The number of NGOs continues to multiply worldwide, and competition for funding is intense. US-based foundations that contribute to international endeavors tend to promote human rights and democracy. But recipient programs in China are tightly monitored and controlled by the government.
“major US foundations tend to award large grants to established organizations either controlled by the Chinese government or under its influence rather than independent or grassroots NGOs.” explains Anthony J. Spires, sociology professor with the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Government-organized NGOs, or so-called GONGOS, “can serve as tools for domestic control of new social forces while also attracting foreign funds for programs the Chinese government itself is unwilling to support,” Spires reports. China welcomes the funds from US foundations for health care, education and research, but not rapid social change that grassroots NGOs could deliver. Foundations are motivated to pursue social improvements, yet funding government programs can endorse the status quo. – YaleGlobal