Grassroots NGOs (most of which are unregistered) can be found in almost every area of China. Yet most of them struggle with critical problems – a lack of financial support, no legal identity (see our previous post), poor communication with government bureaus and public mistrust. Mere training courses (which in themselves are few and far between) are insufficient to meet these issues.
To answer this need, a handful of nonprofit incubators have emerged to foster tomorrow’s influential organizations. Enpai has been the leading incubator since Lv Zhao founded it in 2006. Using the existing model of a business incubator, the Shanghai-based organization’s core service is a one-year systematic training program that provides groups (many who are still in the idea stage) with nonprofit registration guidance, capacity building courses, financial support and government and public relations. The free program also helps organizations develop long-term fundraising strategies.
With sponsorship from the Narada Foundation and the Ford Foundation, Enpai rents a large office where groups have use of professional facilities at a small cost. Several organizations share the same space providing the added benefit of a collaborative atmosphere where they can share information and experiences. Enpai also provides groups with a small stipend to cover their administration costs.