On Top Again | Open, Transparent – That’s How We Do It
January 6, 2017 – Jiemian, one of China’s leading media groups, has released their list of China’s most transparent charitable foundations, and Adream is in first place.
This isn’t the first time Adream has received the “China’s Most Transparent Foundation” award. Starting in 2011, Adream was labelled “China’s Most Transparent Foundation” by Forbes China four years in a row. It could say that openness and transparency are already deeply embedded in Adream’s genes.
In April 2010, Adream tested out the waters by releasing its first “Naked Report” in a press conference. This report was released according to the financial statement standards for listed companies, and disclosed the foundation’s financial data in detail – everything from the over 3000 projectors purchased to a 5.80 yuan socket. In doing so, we became the first charitable foundation to publish a financial report according to the publishing standards set for listed companies.
If it’s okay to just go by the general financial statement publishing standards listed in the Foundation Administration Regulations, why did Adream choose to use the publishing standards for listed companies?
“Finance helps people better earn money, charity helps people better spend money.” Pan Jiangxue, the chairperson of Adream, explains: the financial disclosure standards for listed companies are the product of negotiations between stakeholders of all sorts. These standards are systematized, comprehensive, complete, and convey a lot of information. “ Systematized disclosure avoids only reporting the goods news, and hiding the bad news. The accounting notes disclose every item in detail. The report not only shows what we are doing, it also explains why we are doing it, and how we are doing it.”
Because we insist on openness, we’ve become the only charitable organization known for revealing our own shortcomings.
Reading through Adream’s 2015 Annual Report, you can see the warnings given out by the board of supervisors: In 2015, the Foundation disclosed some risks that had been surfacing in internal procurements. Procurement risk management needed to be strengthened, and supplier risk management mechanisms also needed to be strengthened; After the education network strategy was proposed in 2013, by 2015 the management team had not made any progress, so they hoped to strengthen internal innovation, and watch closely for external opportunities; There was a large increase in employee turnover in 2015 from 2014, so attention had to be paid to constructing an internal career ladder, and we needed to focus on talent cultivation, and talent reserves.
Line by line, Adream was laid bare to all, with all its imperfections.
But, it is this imperfect foundation that has won the trust of our donors. In 2012, while charity donations were decreasing around the country, donations to Adream increased by 47%. In January 2014, the Foundation qualified for public fundraising, and officially became a public charity. In 2015, Adream was awarded the title of “National Advanced Social Organization” by the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
As information technology develops, the cost of being open and transparent decreases for charitable organizations. Because of this, the value of transparency, which was once our core competitive strength, has been declining. So, we think that: with the new era brought on by the charity laws enacted on September 1, the core competitive strength of a charitable organization lies in its charitable services and products.
We will still hold to our principles of openness and transparency, while professionalism and effectiveness remain the core of our practice. These four words – openness, transparency, professionalism, and effectiveness – remain vital to Adream, and we will keep pursing them.