Thanks to the diligent and efficient work by our Finance Department under Gui Hongning’s leadership, we have completed our tax return for 2016, and the forms are published on the OCEF website. The board will soon be reviewing the 2016 financial report and 2017 budget. Once approved the 2016 financial report will also be published on our website.
OCEF raised over $770K in 2016, a new record in our history. We are very grateful to all the volunteers and donors who cared for and supported OCEF, especially to our Fundraising Department and its director, Zhang Linfeng, for their outstanding work.
Recently we have closed the 1-to-1 Sponsorship Program for Fall 2016 as we need to start the review process for Spring 2017. All elementary school students in the 1-to-1 Program for Fall 2016 have been paired, but there are still middle school and high school students available for pairing; donors are urged to contact our 1-to-1 Program team for assistance. Special thanks to Zhuo Yunbao and the many volunteers who participated in data entry for Spring 2017. With their tireless effort, all data have been entered into the system and are now under review.
In light of recent changes in the currency exchange rate and the current state of inflation in China, the Executive Committee has voted to adjust the standards for financial aid packages (in RMB) as follows:
Aid package for elementary school students will increase from ¥300 per semester (¥600 per year) to ¥350 per semester (¥700 per year);
Aid package for middle school students will increase from ¥450 per semester (¥900 per year) to ¥500 per semester (¥1,000 per year);
Aid package for senior high school students will increase from ¥1,000 per semester (¥2,000 per year) to ¥1,200 per semester (¥2,400 per year);
Special assistance package will increase by 100% for elementary and middle school students and by 50% for senior high school students, reaching ¥700 per semester (¥1,400 per year) for elementary school students, ¥1,000 per semester (¥2,000 per year) for middle school students, and ¥1,800 per semester (¥3,600 per year) for senior high school students.
The amount for 1-to-1 sponsorship will remain unchanged at US$100 per year for elementary school students, $150 per year for middle school students and $350 per year for senior high school students. The new standards will be effective as of Spring 2017.
In 2016, OCEF distributed a total of ¥2,307,395 in financial aid to students in 16 provinces through 42 coordinators. The final tally includes the following:
For Spring Semester, 759 students in 142 elementary and junior high schools were awarded OCEF financial aid, totaling ¥304,800, and 758 students in 64 senior high schools were awarded ¥780,500. Combined with ¥33,320 in stipends for the coordinators, verified total distribution was ¥1,118,620.
For Fall Semester, 669 students in 147 elementary and junior high schools were awarded ¥276,150, and 767 students in 65 senior high schools were awarded ¥793,000. Combined with ¥26,760 in stipends for the coordinators, verified total distribution was ¥1,095,910.
One-time college freshmen scholarships in 2016 totaled ¥110,000.
¥17,135 in financial aid was returned because the intended students were no longer in the program for various reasons, such as dropping out of school or transferring.
Overall, a total of ¥2,307,395 was distributed in 2016.
Key Elements of Financial Aid Work in 2016
There have been two major improvements in the operations of the Financial Aid Department in response to past experiences and OCEF consensus on future development. One was improved coordination with other departments of the foundation. Through field visitation, summer camps, special projects, and correspondence with sponsored students, especially the summer teaching camps, we have deepened our understanding of the regions we operate in and improved information-sharing and tasks-coordination among different programs in the same region. The other was to enhance our network of operational bases and local coordinators to balance workload and improve work quality.
Also in 2016, the Financial Aid Department added the Book Sponsorship Program to further promote reading and the comprehensive growth of sponsored students. Zhang Hua, a volunteer in Beijing, took on the role of Program Director, aided primarily by other volunteers in Beijing and the online community. The program started a pilot in Spring Semester and collected survey feedback for more targeted sponsorship in Fall Semester. This was a labor-intensive process, yet the task force implemented the program with great efficiency and effectiveness and received great reviews from teachers, students and coordinators. A preliminary tally shows that 2,984 books were distributed in 2016.
Preliminary updating and data entry of financial aid feedbacks and new applications in 2016 took the dedicated efforts of 17 volunteers in Shanghai for Spring Semester and 10 for Fall Semester. Online data processing and auditing were completed by 28 and 19 volunteers for the two semesters, respectively.
All students sponsored by OCEF in Shufu County, Xinjiang, graduated in 2016. In light of increased school aid by the government in Xinjiang, both operational bases that OCEF maintained in the region have completed their mission, and have been closed.
Special Donations in 2016
The Shen Tsong-Long Scholarship for Students with Disabilities is a charitable fund founded by Mr. Shen Kun in 2013 with a $30K donation for the specific purpose of helping students with disabilities or disabled parents. In 2016, 16 students were awarded a total of ¥12,600 from donations made by the Shen Tsong-Long Scholarship.
The Hsing-Ming Chang Charitable Foundation donated $100K to OCEF, all earmarked for the financial aid program. 208 senior high school students from Shanxi, Gansu, Henan, Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia and Sichuan received awards from this donation.
Financial Aid Department Vision for 2017
Expand coordinator network, improving communication between coordinators, and standardize implementation of the financial aid program through existing operational bases;
Work closely with the Fundraising Department to improve implementation of special funds, special sponsorships and feedback gathering;
Keep abreast on changes in Chinese central government policies related to school aid and optimize the network of operational bases and distribution channels for specific conditions and locations;
Assist other OCEF departments in adjusting operations in response to new Chinese government regulations over international NGOs and assure smooth implementation of the financial aid program in China.
第29期（2017年4月）/No. 29 (April 2017) 翻译：何雪炀 编校：汤柏 Translated by He Xueyang Edited by Tang Bai