ChinaNext Foundation seeks to grow effective modern NGO leaders in China by identifying and working with the leaders in the sector who display strong potential and the drive to install effectiveness and governance structure within their organisations.Then we support them, improve on their work and help them learn and exchange ideas with other leaders in the international sphere.
The idea behind the NextFellow project is to boost the standard of operations and governance of Chinese NGOs by enabling a selected group of effective NextFellows. We recognise the limit of general capacity building and choose to work closely with a smaller team of high quality people within the sector. We seek to identify the existing NGO leaders who display strongleadership potential and the drive to achieve the high international standardof governance, then we support them, improve on their work and help them learnand exchange ideas with other leaders in the international sphere. By doingthis, we hope some of the NextFellows can rise to become greater leaders of avibrant voluntary sector in China.
Due to our affiliation to CYDF, our NextFellow project is thus subject to the laws and regulations of China as if it is a local charitable project. This shows China’s growing willingness for social change by supporting our organization. If we want to get anything done in this country, we need the cooperation of the local government as well as the rising civil leaders, so abiding by the country’s laws is the least we can do for China to give us her blessing for improving and growing her fledgling civil structure.
Founded in March 1989, CYDF is one of the longest standing non-profit and non-governmental charitable foundations in China. The mission of CYDF is to help young people build up their volunteering capacity and to improve the environment for the development of young people by providing aid services, giving a voice to the interests of young people, and carrying out social advocacy.
For us, the UK donors, and the public; the NextFellow program provides direct access to the daily happenings of a carefully selected portfolio of charities that are at the frontiers of China’s social transformation.
Click here to download the list of our NextFellows and the charities they belong to:
Since our inception, we have in many aspects pioneered dialogues in this arena in the UK community. We’ll continue to seek all possible arenas with our partners to host or co-host more educational events in this area. Building on the success of our Fellows, we also host various offline forums, seminars, and open discussion groups in the UK and China regularly when we invite charity practitioners, civil society leaders, scholars and alike to join hands and discuss the topics of social development. These offline forums also serve as boundary-spanners between civil organizations in China and Europe, whereby the social development in UK would be introduced to the wider world, and the experiences and lessons learnt in the West could go eastwards.
Our NextFellows are perfect examples. Their respective charitable areas include medical assistance to children without insurance, autistic children support, blind support, inclusion project for daughters of second generation migrant workers, orphanage, as well as community participation, pro bono work, and capability building for other Chinese charites. They come with minimal three years experience working in the charitable sector, and each and everyone of them demonstrated their commitments to charitable work. We were deeply touched by many of their stories and decided that supporting them is one of the best ways for us to do charity work.
For the NextFellows
The most obvious benefits to our successful NextFellow candidates are that they no longer need to worry about not being to carry out charity work because of financial difficulties. Successful candidates are vetted for their financial circumstances and, if necessary, a living stipend is provided to make sure that the good deeds do not stop for making ends meet. As long as our candidates are willing to pursue their valiant causes, we’ll do everything in our power to ensure that they’re able to do so in the coming years.
In addition, our Fellows benefit significantly from the trainings we fund. We recognize that the individual needs are different and our Fellows might work in quite different charitable causes, hence centralized training might not be the most effective way of capacity building. In turn, we delegate the tasks of finding the most suitable training opportunities to our Fellows. The Foundation will discuss with our Fellows about their individual training needs and will, if necessary, provide a training allowance which the Fellows can apply. Our experiences show that our Fellows have been using the allowance wisely. Some use it to fund a Master’s degree in social works, some use it to fund an International training or exchange, and some use it to fund domestic seminars, exhibitions, communications and other forms of capacity building exercises of their choices. We offer a lot of unique opportunities with our training and education programs, all tailored to the exact specifications of what the Fellow wants over anything else. There’s so much waiting for our potential NextFellows, the sky’s the limit.
Thirdly, we have found that the NextFellow program itself has become a platform, a club, or an alumni community which the Fellows have leveraged vigorously for better and bigger charity projects. The otherwise isolated charity workers usually find that they have much in common and there’s a lot to be learnt from each other. As a result, they usually initiate a lot of formal or informal meetings, gatherings, seminars and workshops. New ideas and tested practices are best learnt this way.
For the charities involved
Experiences show that the charities the NextFellows work for also benefit much from the program despite having no formal relationship with the Foundation.
Reduces key staff costs and improves staff retention
Better and higher quality work from trainings the key staff receive
Opportunity for Co-hosting events and other activities
Joint-marketing and cross promotion
Help from other NextFellows and volunteers
For China and UK
The best way to see how China’s charitable sector benefits from the program is to consider that our Fellows are “seeds” cultivated in field where not much has grown (yet). The lack of social development (a luxury we take so much for granted in the West that we don’t even realize the need) chronicles the persisting issues that have inhibited international or local foundations in finding the few charities or charitable projects to support even if they have the budget or the mission. One of our main goals is to undo these centuries of civil neglect so that new “seeds” may grow and make a better field for further social development.
For us, and for the UK donors and public, the NextFellow program provide direct accesses to the daily happenings of a carefully selected portfolio of charities that are at the frontiers of China’s social transformation.