The 2008 Wenchuan earthquake increased the need for disaster relief and reconstruction projects in China. This disaster created an upsurge of Chinese grant-making foundations, which then increased funding expectations. Many grassroots social organizations (SOs) in China believed that going forward, this level of funding would continue. However, the majority of grassroots SOs in China are currently facing an existential crisis. Their survival is being threatened by a shortage of funding from both local and foreign grant-making foundations. This research uses an empirical analysis of grant-making foundations and in-depth interviews, as well as observational evidence accumulated over a 10-year period, to explore the distribution of funding from foundations to grassroots SOs in China. The findings show that there are a limited number of Chinese grant-making foundations and that the foundations that exist do not include grassroots SOs in their funding scheme.

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