It is with great pleasure and pride that we can now announce the winner of the Second Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize: He Daofeng, executive president of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation and chair of the China Foundation Center. The winner was announced on 27 March at a special awards ceremony at the 2014 WINGSForum, held 27-29 March in Istanbul.
Christopher Harris, chair of the panel of judges, was at the ceremony and presented certificates to all winners, while Barry Gaberman came on stage to open the gold envelope and read out the winner. He Daofeng then talked about philanthropy in China and how his work has contributed to developments there. A full transcript will be published on this blog next week.
In choosing He Daofeng, the judges commended him for ‘his significant, creative, far-reaching and, at times, courageous contributions to expanding the field of Chinese philanthropy and putting it on a trajectory to support progressive social change’.
‘In a country that has wrestled for more than a decade with a national Charities Law and continues to do so, he courageously pushed for the first local (Province) Charity Law and promotes “greater democratic self-governance” in a country whose government encourages neither,’ said one judge.
‘His leadership in transforming China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation into an independent foundation that emphasizes institutional transparency/accountability, innovation, impact and scale would have been significant under any circumstances, but especially so and far-sighted in the Chinese context where such practices had not been usual,’ said another.
While the judges were unanimous in their choice of He Daofeng as winner of the 2014 Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize, they also commented ‘how difficult this decision was because of the remarkable, energetic and creative efforts of the other finalists’. They encouraged practitioners to look at each of the finalists for ideas and inspiration, and congratulated all of the finalists on ‘their significant efforts and their leadership’. The other finalists were:
• Dhaval Udani of GiveIndia
• Itır Erhart and I Renay Onur of Adım Adım (Step by Step), Turkey
• Larisa Avrorina of CAF Russia
• Lucia Dellagnello of ICom (Instituto Comunitario Grande Florianopolis), Brazil
• Natalya Kaminarskaya of Russian Donors Forum
• Rūta Dimanta of Foundation ‘Ziedot’ (‘Donate’), Latvia
We too would like to congratulate He Daofeng and the other finalists. Each one of them would have made a worthy winner. If you haven’t already done so, you can read all about their achievements in a special Alliance supplement.
Finally, we’d like to thank our judges for their dedication and hard work, especially as this is their second year of service:
• Akwasi Aidoo, TrustAfrica, Senegal
• Ana Valeria Araujo, Brazil Human Rights Fund, Brazil
• Shenyu Belsky, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, China
• Christopher Harris, Philanthropy Consultant, US
• Kavita Ramdas, Ford Foundation, India
In a few months’ time we will be launching the Third Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize, so watch this space!
Maria Chertok, Caroline Hartnell, Jenny Hodgson