The way that the Chinese philanthropic scene will develop will be vastly different than any other country in the world, due in large part to the interplay of roles between the government & the market economy in China, among many other factors. I always wince when people compare China to India when it comes to charity, and I think there are even less similarities with the US. Still there are often interesting and instructive things of note about the philanthropic trends in other countries which would preclude us from throwing the whole baby out with the bath water (kudos to anyone who might know a Chinese idiom that matches that meaning!) Wouldn't it be interesting to draw some universal parallels if they exist? And let me just say this upfront...when we post articles on this blog about trends in the philanthropic scene in the US, they will ALWAYS be accompanied with the "so what?" for China. :::::::::::: That said, I was intrigued to read this post on PhilanTopic that alludes to a study done which tracks total charitable giving in the US against the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P500 during the period of 1967-1997. The results are counterintuitive...while total giving naturally increased with the growth of these two indices, total giving did NOT naturally DECREASE when the indices were down. Charted for the DJIA over the period Charted for the S&P500 over the period The "so what" for China? If philanthropy is to grow in China, must of what might so easily adopted as "conventional wisdom" needs to be carefully re-examined. The wealth creation in China over the last 20 years has been monumental and is highly unlikely to be undone by any one downturn. The trends towards greater charitable giving may slow but it is unlikely they will stop completely. The response of Chinese citizens in the wake of natural disasters such as the earthquake and other annual flooding in China is an encouraging sign that if human tolls are high, there will be charitable responses. The Shanghai stock market is down over 60% this year. There is probably very little data to do a similar comparison. Over the long term, do you think we could see a similar trend in total giving in China?