China Charity Law Guidebook – Chapter 7: Charitable Assets & Chapter 8: Charitable Services (Pt. 7)

We continue with Part 7 of our series on the China Charity Law and other regulations in China in partnership with Shanghai Legal Center for NGO (ForNGO) with Chapters 7 and 8 of the China Charity Guidebook with an overview of charitable assets and charitable services (click the corresponding links to jump to each section). For a full list of articles part of this series, please visit our intro article or sector news page.​​​​​

Chapter 7 Charitable Assets

1. About Charitable Assets

1.1 The Legal Nature and Financial Sources of Charitable Assets

legal persons in two fundamental ways. First, they fall under the legal persons of a charitable organization. Second, and for the following reasons, they’re considered public:


Assets of Corporate Legal Person

Assets of Charitable Organization

Source of Initial Funds

Shareholder’s investment

Founder’s donation and grant



Non-profit; public welfare

Profit Distribution




No limit

For charitable purposes according to the Articles of Association and the donation agreement

Right of Shareholder and Founder

Equity (shareholders' rights to economic benefits from the company and participation in its operation and management based on the shareholder’s qualifications)

Do not reserve or enjoy any property rights

According to the Charity Law, the financial sources of a charitable organization’s assets are the following:

  1. Initial funds donated or provided by the founders;
  2. Assets collected from fund-raising;
  3. Other legal assets.

The “other” assets referenced in item (3) include:

  1. Income gained from the government’s purchase of services or from government funding;
  2. Operational income, including maintenance and incremental income, interest income, and charity service income;
  3. Other legal income (e.g. income from membership fees and commissions in cases where charitable organizations serve as trustees of funds).

1.2 Standards for the Annual Expenses and Management Fees of Charitable Organizations

According to Article 62 of the Accounting Rules for Non-governmental Non-profit Organizations, “fees” refer to economic interests deprived from a non-governmental non-profit organization’s net assets or outflow of services during regular business activities. Such fees can be divided into business activity costs, management fees, fund-raising fees, and others.

According to the above accounting system, management fees refer to the various costs incurred by non-governmental non-profit organizations in managing business activities. Such fees include the expenditures of the board of directors (or similar governing body), remuneration, bonuses, welfare, housing funds, housing subsidies, social security costs for administrative staff, salaries and subsidies for retirees, office rentals and associated costs, utilities, postal and telephone charges, property management fees, travel expenses, depreciation costs, repair fees, rental expenses, amortization expenses for intangible assets, loss of assets, asset inventory losses, losses due to asset impairment, losses due to estimated liabilities, fees for agencies, and assets to be repaid.

To specify the annual expenses and management fees needed for charitable organizations to improve and regulate their use of charitable property, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, Ministry of Finance, and State Administration of Taxation of the State Council formulated and promulgated their Regulations on the Annual Expenditures and Administrative Fees for Charitable Organizations to Carry Out Charitable Activities in 2016.

Charitable expenditures and management fees are as follows:



Charitable Activity Expenditures

  1. Money and/or property given to the beneficiary or  organizations for distribution to the beneficiary;
  2. Remuneration given to staff responsible for implementing charitable services and projects, costs for the housing equipment, and supplies;
  3. The costs for travel, transportation, traffic, conferences, audits, and evaluations for managing  charity projects.

Management Fees

  1. Working expenses of decision-making bodies like the board of directors;
  2. Remuneration, bonus funds, housing funds, housing subsidies, and social security costs for administrative staff;
  3. Costs for offices, utilities, postal and telephone charges, property management fees, travel expenses, depreciation costs, repair fees, rental expenses, amortization expenses for intangible assets, asset inventory loss, losses due to asset impairment, losses due to estimated liabilities, and fees for agencies.

Distribution in Each Activity

If certain expenses, business activities, or management activities cannot be classified properly, such expenses will be distributed to each activity accordingly. Charity-related, business-related, and management-related costs and fees are to be calculated separately.

The provisions concerning management fees in the Charity Law system do not include remuneration costs for staff running projects. In other words, the remuneration for staff assisting in charitable activities should be calculated as charity activity costs, whereas the remuneration of staff in other functions should be calculated as other business activity costs. The Charity Law uses different standards for managing annual expenses and management fees for each kind of charitable organization.

1.3 Use of a Charitable Organization’s Assets

According to Article 52 of the Charity Law, it is important for charitable organizations to note the following concerning their assets:

  1. They shall be used in accordance with the Articles of Association;
  2. They shall be used in accordance with the donation agreement;
  3. They can only be used for charitable purposes;
  4. They shall not be distributed;
  5. Financial assets shall not be distributed privately, misappropriated, withheld, or embezzled.

If a charitable organization wishes to change the use of their assets, below is the procedure for doing so:

  1. For assets gathered from public fund-raising, if a charitable organization needs to change the use of its donated property as specified by their fund-raising proposal, they shall report to the Civil Affairs Department to record it;
  2. For other donated assets, if a charitable organization needs to change the purpose of its donated property as specified in their donation agreement, they shall seek the donor’s consent.

1.4 Disposal of Remaining Property

There are two issues which must be addressed regarding the disposal of leftover property. The first is how to deal with donated property after a project is terminated. The second is how to deal with remaining property when a charitable organization is liquidated.

  1. Upon the termination of a charitable project, any remaining donated property shall be disposed of in accordance with the fund-raising proposal or the donation agreement; where relevant provisions are not specified in the fund-raising proposal or donation agreement, charitable organizations shall use their remaining property in a charity project with a similar purpose and make a public announcement about it (Article 57 of the Charity Law).
  2. After the liquidation of a charitable organization, any remaining property shall be transferred to a charitable organization with a similar purpose according to their Articles of Association; if it is not provided for in the Articles of Association, the Civil Affairs Department shall transfer the property to the charitable organization with a similar aim and announce this transfer to the public (Article 18 (3) of the Charity Law).

1.5 Preserving the Value of a Charitable Organization

One way for a charitable organization to increase its income is to invest its property. According to data from the China Foundation Centre, the income from investments by Tsinghua University Education Foundation in 2015 reached as high as RMB 357,090,000.

The Charity Law sets up two principles for charitable organizations to maintain and increase property values. One is to engage in “legitimate, safe and effective” investments. The second is to ensure “all income from investments shall be used for the purpose of charity”. That said, the Charity Law does not elaborate on what exactly constitutes legitimate, safe, and effective investments. Moreover, the Charity Law has two prohibitions. The first forbids assets provided by governments or received under a donation agreement from being invested. The seconds restricts the person-in-charge of a charitable organization from being employed by or receiving remunerations from the enterprises in which their organization is invested.

In December 2017, the Ministry of Civil Affairs published its Interim Management Measures for the Investment Activity of Value Preservation of the Assets of Charitable Organizations (Draft for Comment), which regulated the principles, range, model, conditions, decision making procedures, risk control, supervision, and management of charitable organizations in their carrying out of investment activity. These measures are designed to reinforce the idea that the protection of an asset is more important than the profit made from and investment.

2. Practical Guide

2.1 Operational Expenditures and Management Fees of Charitable Organizations

Concerning the different scales and organizational forms of charitable organizations, the Regulations on the Annual Expenditures and Management Fees for Charitable Organizations to Carry Out Charitable Activities has defined four types of annual costs for foundations, social bodies, and social service institutions, each with different public fund-raising qualifications:

Organization Form


The Ratio of Charitable Activity Expenditures to net assets by end of last year

Management fees/total expenditures

Foundations with Charitable Organization Attribute

With public fund-raising qualification


(total income of last year or average income of the past three years)


Without public fund-raising qualifications

(net assets by the end of last year or average net asset X by the end of the past three years)

X≥60 million



8 million ≤ X < 60 million



4 million ≤ X < 8 million



X<4 million



Social Bodies with the Nature of Charitable Organizations

With public fund-raising qualifications


(total income of last year or average income of the past three years)


Without public fund-raising qualifications

(net assets by the end of last year or average net asset X by the end of the past three years)

X≥10 million



5 million ≤X<10 million



1 million ≤X <5 million



X<1 million

X ≥ 8% and (total income of last year or average income of the past three years) ≥ 50%


Annual management fees<200 K

Need not apply the above provisions to management fees

Due to the difficulties involved in meeting the annual management fee requirements, there are three circumstances which require both timely reporting to department administrations and full public disclosure:

  1. A charitable organization has not yet been registered or certified for a full year, nor has carried out charitable activities to full capacity;
  2. A charitable organization’s depreciation costs, amortization expenses for intangible assets, asset inventory loss, and losses due to increasing asset value impairment;
  3. A charitable organization’s losses due to a sudden increase in liabilities.

2.2 What to Do and Not Do to Preserve and Increase the Value of an Organization’s Assets

Concerning the method for preserving and increasing the value of a charitable organizations’ assets, the Charity Law only prescribes so-called “legitimate, safe and effective”[1] investments, without elaborating on the details of what that means. The (Trial) Provisions on Regulating the Behavior of Foundations draws on the provisions concerning value preservation (e.g. the assets for investment are limited to non-restrictive assets and restrictive assets which do not require allocation during investment). Foundations shall entrust banks or other financial institutions with managing their investments.

In December 2017, the Ministry of Civil Affairs promulgated their Interim Measures for the Investment Activity of Value Preservation of the Assets of Charitable Organizations (Draft for Comment), which describes three investment methods beside liquid savings and equity donations[2]:

Investment Method



To buy finance products, bonds, and trust products directly

1. The finance products are limited to those with the lowest level of independent risk rating, i.e. Level 1 or 2

Since there are no uniform standards for risk ratings for financial products, each bank has adopted different rating symbols, i.e. R1 to R5, No. 1 to 5, and the Chinese characters from One to Five, all of which indicate that banks have five levels of risk ratings arranged from low to high.

2. Bonds are limited to national debt and other government bonds, open bank bonds, AAA corporate (company) bonds, and financial bonds as assessed by credit rating agencies; investment in green bonds is encouraged.

Green bonds refer to any bond instruments that use the yields exclusively to finance eligible green projects or to refinance said projects.

3. Trust products are limited to the fund trust plan and the single fund trust plan specially designed and issued for charitable organizations. The credit rating shall not be lower than A or shall be equivalent to A by domestic credit rating agencies.

According to the use of trust assets, trusts may be divided into financing trusts and investment trusts. Unlike investment trusts which are in equity relationships with the demand parties, financing trusts generate debt and creditor relationships and their risk is relatively low.

To entrust professional investment management institutions to manage and operate assets

1. Financial institutions registered in China and approved by the financial supervision and administration authority under the State Council, with corresponding business qualifications;

2. The net assets of such financial institutions are not less than 50% of paid-in capital;

3. Such financial institutions have more than 3 years of experience in investment management in China and a reputation for stable investment performance. They cannot have any major violations in the past three years.


To carry out equity investment related to the purpose and business scope of the charitable organization

Charitable organizations are not allowed to carry out equity investments which have nothing to do with their purpose or business scope.


The Interim Measures for the Investment Activity of Value Preservation of the Assets of Charitable Organization (Draft for Comment) prohibits 12 investments activities:

  1. Savings in non-bank financial institutions;
  2. Direct investment in secondary market stocks;
  3. Investment in personal insurance products;
  4. Investment in futures, options, forwards, swaps, and other financial derivative products, except for purposes of hedging against risk;
  5. Investments without stable cash flow return expectations or value-added assets;
  6. Direct loans to individuals or enterprises not related to the purpose of the charitable organization or the activities that are specified in its business scope;
  7. Unlawful guarantees, mortgages, and use of financial assets for pledges unrelated to the purpose of the activities specified in the organization’s business scope;
  8. Convert into equity or sell the financial assets of a charitable organization at a low price that is self-evidently unfair;
  9. Investment in high-pollution projects that do not comply with national industrial policies;
  10. Investments that may impose unlimited liabilities on the charitable organization;
  11. Investments that may damage its credibility;
  12. Participation in other activities prohibited by national laws and regulations such as illegal fund-raising.

As charitable organizations differ in form, scale, and management capacity, the same investment may have different effects from one to another. For this reason, the Interim Measures for the Investment Activity of Value Preservation of the Assets of Charitable Organizations (Draft for Comment) stresses the importance of establishing internal systems for investment accountability purposes. The creation of an asset management system that matches investment activities, makes clear investment decision making procedures, decentralizes power, authorization, isolation, and avoidance systems, and subjects them to societal supervision is also required.

Charitable organizations’ investments should focus on preventing concentrated risk. When investing in equity and fixed income assets, the amount of a single investment project should not exceed 30% of the organization’s total assets. The standards for major investments should be specified explicitly in the Articles of Association. Apart from liquid savings, major investments include those of a single type or with an individual investment management agency which comprise over 5% of an organization’s total assets, and those making up less than 5% of the total assets but which generate significant impact on the organization.

Chapter 8 Charitable Services

1. Charitable Services ABC

1.1 Charitable Services Are Not Necessarily Provided for Free

There are two main steps in operating a charitable activity. The first is to mobilize resources in the form of donations and fund-raising; the second is the redistribution of charitable resources, derived from the rendering of charity-related services.

Charitable services refer to uncompensated volunteer services and other non-profit services given to society for charitable purposes. They are provided by charitable or other organizations or individuals, according to Article 61 (1) in the Charity Law. Charitable services are classified into free services, voluntary services, and other non-profit services; however, the Law stops short of specifying what exactly the “other non-profit services” are.

According to Article 2 of the Regulations on Volunteer Services[3], volunteer services are public welfare services that volunteers, volunteer service organizations, and other organizations provide to the public free of charge and for the sake of the public good. Three basic features characterize “uncompensated volunteer services” as set out in the Charity Law. The Law describes charitable services in an eight-chapter article, with seven of those chapters focusing on the institutional framework for uncompensated volunteer services. The law provides rules concerning volunteer recruitment and registration, management and training, voluntary service records, and the issuance of certificates for volunteer work. It also guarantees personal safety and protects the legal rights and interests of both charitable organizations and volunteers.

Uncompensated volunteer services are the most common charitable activity. In addition to uncompensated volunteer services, compensated non-profit services are also a common form of charitable service.

Non-profit services refer to services that charitable and other organizations and individuals provide not-for-profit. Considering that charitable services are provided at a cost, organizations and individuals who provide such services should be allowed to charge beneficiaries low service fees, the surplus of which must be reused for a charitable purpose if they are to maintain their “non-profit” status. For example, a social service agency that provides professional rehabilitation training and counseling for autistic children and their families raises funds through service charges and social donations. The income is used to pay wages and salaries, welfare expenses, and other agency-related expenditures. The surplus and its yield are not distributed. The agency not only enables autistic children to receive professional treatment, but also helps relieve the burden on their families. The agency’s services allow it to stay afloat without needing to rely on fund-raising or social donations, thus ensuring financial sustainability.

1.2 Charitable Services Should Adopt Standardized Management

Charitable services cover a wide range of fields, such as education, science and technology, culture, health, sports, and environmental protection. Some services are so specialized that providers must be highly skilled and comply with relevant standards set by the State or industry organizations.

When carrying out charitable services involving specialized skills, such as medical rehabilitation and educational training, standards and procedures established by the State or an industry organization shall be followed, according to Article 63 (1) in the Charity Law. China is seeing a growing number of social service organizations in increasingly diversified and specialized fields. Their service quality, however, varies greatly, especially in fields such as medical rehabilitation, education and educational training, and disabled care, where mistakes can cause irreparable harm. For this reason, it is necessary to develop and implement national or industry-wide standards for all such professional services. For example, charitable services should be required to comply with all relevant national and industry standards in the carrying out of their work. This is to ensure providers, personnel, and venues provide beneficiaries with fully compliant services.

When charitable organizations recruit volunteers to carry out services that require specialized skills, they shall provide relevant training for volunteers, according to Article 63 (2) in the Charity Law. Moreover, Article 67 stipulates that volunteers participating in charitable services shall be subject to the management of the responsible charitable organization and accept necessary training. When arranging volunteers to render professional services, charitable organizations shall regard recruited volunteers as having responsibilities similar to those of their own staff. This demands that volunteers either have professional skills or are willing to participate in training activities to ensure that high-quality services are delivered.

1.3 Volunteers’ Participation in Voluntary Services Should Be Regulated

Articles 62-68 of the Charity Law provide rules for the recruitment and registration of volunteers and their participation in charitable services. In recruiting volunteers, charitable organizations shall disclose relevant information and conduct real-name registration. Specifically, they shall publicly disclose all information related to their charitable services and inform volunteers of any risks they might encounter during their service time. Organizations must register the real names of their volunteers, record the amount of time they volunteered, and perform an appraisal of the volunteers’ services. For the real-name registration of volunteers, Article 19 of the Regulations on Volunteer Services stipulates that volunteers’ personal information, voluntary services, training, commendations and rewards, and appraisal shall be recorded in a designated voluntary service information system. In terms of volunteer management, charitable organizations should arrange services appropriate to the physical conditions and professional expertise of their volunteers. Meanwhile, volunteers should be given professional training as needed, in order to improve their service skills. Unfortunately, there have been many incidents involving volunteer injuries during the provision of services. To better protect the personal safety of volunteers, Article 68 of the Charity Law stipulates that charitable organizations shall provide volunteers with safe working conditions and protect their legal rights and interests. Before charitable organizations arrange for volunteers to participate in charitable services where personal injuries might occur, they shall purchase personal injury insurance on their behalf.

1.4 Charitable Organizations Shall Bear Strict Liability for Charitable Servicesxii

According to Article 106 of the Charity Law, when beneficiaries or third parties suffer harm caused by the negligence of charitable organizations or volunteers while performing services, the organization bears responsibility for damages. When harm is intentionally caused by volunteers, the charitable organization under which they are volunteering may seek damages from them. When volunteers suffer harm caused by the negligence of charitable organizations during the provision of services, the organization bears responsibility for all damages. Finally, when harm is caused by force majeure, the charitable organization shall give appropriate subsidies. Tort liability shall be assumed both externally and internally when beneficiaries or third parties suffer damages in the carrying out of services. That means a charitable organization shall bear strict liability externally and share responsibility with the volunteer concerned, the latter being based on fault liabilityxiii and supplemented by fair liabilityxiv.

a) Liability for Harm Caused by the Acts of Charitable Organizations or Volunteers to Beneficiaries or Third Parties

There are two circumstances where charitable services cause damage to beneficiaries or third parties:

  1. A charitable organization shall assume tort liability when its legal representative, responsible person or employee (full-time or contracted) causes damages to a beneficiary or third party during the performance of their duties. This liability stems from the principle of strict liability on the employer’s part in China’s tort liability system. Article 34 (1) of the Tort Liability Law[4] states that if an employee causes damages to another in the carrying out of a work task, the employing organization shall bear tort liability. Article 8 of the Supreme People’s Court’s Interpretation on the Application of the Law on the Trial of Cases on Compensation for Personal Injury[5] stipulates that when a legal representative, responsible person, or employee of a legal person or organization causes injury to another in the performance of duties, the legal person or organization shall bear civil liabilities. Article 9 of the Interpretation states that when an employee causes injury to another when carrying out an employment activity, the employer shall bear compensation liabilities. If an employee, intentionally or negligently, causes injury, the employee shall bear joint compensation liabilities along with the employer. A charitable organization may, when bearing joint compensation liability, claim compensation from its employee. The above legal provision and judicial interpretation impose liability without fault upon the employer. The legal representative, responsible person, or employee of a charitable organization shall carry out their work by following the instructions of the organization. Thus, a charitable organization cannot exempt itself from liability merely by proving that it has fulfilled its corresponding obligations in selection or supervision. This safeguards the rights and interests of beneficiaries and incentivizes charitable organizations to strengthen employee management.
  2. A charitable organization shall bear tort liability when a volunteer causes damages to a beneficiary or third party during the rendering of services. Volunteers are not employees of charitable organizations, which means the organizations do not need to pay them for their services. That said, volunteers can sign volunteer agreements with organizations to define their rights and obligations, service time, and the duties of both parties. Volunteers should abide by the management and arrangements of the charitable organizations the wish to serve, receive training when needed, and provide services according to the organization’s instructions. Thus, charitable organizations shall bear tort liability for damages caused to beneficiaries or third parties when volunteers perform voluntary services. If volunteers are exempt from liability, however, this may prevent them from acting cautiously in their carrying out of services, and potentially increase the burden on the organization. To hedge against this, the Charity Law grants charitable organizations the right to claim compensation from volunteers who have, intentionally or negligently, caused damages.

b) Liability for Damage Suffered by Volunteers Participating in Charitable Services

According to Article 106 of the Charity Law, when volunteers suffer harm caused by the negligence of charitable organizations, the organization shall bear compensation liabilities. Participants in voluntary service activities include charitable organizations, volunteers, beneficiaries, and third parties. If a beneficiary or third party infringes upon the legitimate rights and interests of a volunteer, and the charitable organization is not at fault, the volunteer in question may request that the beneficiary or third party assume the liability for compensation. In this case, the charitable organization shall not be liable for the infringement. Thus, the key consideration is how to determine if a charitable organization is not at fault. To protect volunteers’ personal and material safety, the Charity Law requires charitable organizations to inform volunteers of potential risks during recruitment and only arrange work appropriate to the physical conditions, education level, and skills of each volunteer. If a charitable organization arranges for volunteers to participate in charitable services where personal injury might occur, the organization shall purchase appropriate personal injury insurance for them. If a charitable organization fails to perform the aforementioned legal obligations, it may be considered at fault.

The Charity Law explicitly requires charitable organizations to give subsidies (not compensation) to volunteers when the damages suffered were caused force majeure[6]. As volunteers provide uncompensated public welfare services, charitable organizations shall, for the sake of social equity and if financially feasible, compensate for losses that volunteers suffer; this despite the lack of financial liability on the part of the charitable organization and the damage suffered having been caused force majeure.

2. Practical Guide

2.1 Compliance Risk Points from Charitable Services

Charitable services are classified by resource into independent charitable services and undertaken charitable services. These two charitable services are different in terms of where and how they are accessed and rendered. Their potential compliance risk points are analyzed below based on the timeline of service provision.


Preliminary Communication

Signing of a Written Agreement

Provision of Charitable Services

Conclusion of Charitable Services

Independent Charitable Service

1. Discuss service fees (if any);

2. Specify the service content and payment method;

3. Avoid delivering core service content or core product information before signing a written contract;

4. Sign a confidentiality agreement before signing a formal contract as needed.

1. Stipulate contract terms concerning the rights and obligations of both parties, liability for breach of contract, and jurisdiction for dispute resolution between the service provider and service recipient;

2. Avoid using highly specialized terminology or vague industry-specific expressions in specifying the content of services or products to be delivered, because this will cause the buyer and seller to have different expectations for the delivery of products or services.


1. Provide charitable services as agreed and collect/pay service fees (if any);

2. Use communication methods agreed upon in the contract for all communications during the performance of the contract;

3. Add stipulations in writing, such as adjustments to products or services and changes in delivery time.

1. Settle service fees;

2. Ensure that the acceptance of deliverables is documented.

Undertaken Charitable Service

1. Register to bid;

2. Estimate the project fund, cycle, and content;

3. Ensure that there is sufficient communication between project personnel and financial personnel during budgeting;

4. Avoid including items that are uncertain or whose expenses cannot be reflected in the accounts of the project content.

1. Confirm core provisions of significant interest, as a format contract template is usually provided;

2. Identify items that may have significant risks;

3. Ensure that a time limit is set for assessment or acceptance if such is a precondition for the payment.

1. Carry out the project as planned and report how money was spent and how well the project went in the view of its sponsors;

2. Perform interim project assessment in accordance with sponsors’ criteria.

1. Arrange for project closing and perform final assessment;

2. Check how money was spent;

3. Make public how the services were performed and their results, insofar as no privacy concerns are breached.



2.2 Volunteer Compliance Management Process

The rights and obligations stipulated by the Charity Law and Regulations on Volunteer Services for charitable organizations and volunteers are specified below based on the time from volunteer recruitment to the conclusion of voluntary services.


  1. Recruitment
  1. Contract Signing
  1. Preparation
  1. Participation in Voluntary Services
  1. Conclusion of Voluntary Services

Charitable Organization

  1. Publicly announce all information related to charitable services and inform volunteers of any risks they might encounter during the provision of services;
  2. Define the eligibility conditions of volunteers;
  3. Remember not to replace employee recruitment with volunteer recruitment.
  1. Clearly define the rights and obligations of both parties and stipulate the content, methods, time, location, working conditions, and safety measures of voluntary services;
  2. Purchase appropriate personal accidental injury insurance as needed.


  1. Register the real name of each volunteer;
  2. Carry out necessary training activities;
  3. Only arrange charitable services appropriate to the age, education level, skills, and physical condition of each volunteer;
  4. Do not collect remuneration from the recipients of voluntary services.
  1. Truthfully record volunteers’ basic personal information, voluntary services, training, commendations and rewards, appraisal, and other information in a voluntary service information system in accordance with universal standards.
  1. Respect the personal dignity of volunteers and do not make public or otherwise disclose information related to volunteers without their consent.
  2. Issue truthful certificates of voluntary work free of charge upon request.


  1. Register  basic personal information such as identity information, service skills, service time, and contact information with the voluntary service information system prior to recruitment.
  1. Never sign a volunteer service agreement with a charitable organization if you think you are its employee;
  2. Clearly define the rights and obligations of both parties and stipulate the content, methods, time, location, working conditions, and safety measures of voluntary services;
  3. Purchase appropriate personal injury insurance as needed.


  1. Fully understand the content of activities arranged and the nature of the work assigned by a charitable organization;
  2. Respect management and undergo training as needed.
  1. Respect management and provide voluntary services as agreed;
  2. Promptly inform voluntary service organizations or the recipients of voluntary services if the provision of such services becomes impossible or untenable;
  3. Do not collect remuneration from the recipients of voluntary services.
  1. Ask charitable organizations to issue certificates of voluntary work free of charge.





2.3 Files Frequently Used for Volunteer Management

a) Certificate of Voluntary Service

  1. Voluntary Service Information Form (template)
  2. Voluntary Service Agreement (template)

[1]Article 54 of the Charity Law

[2]The Interim Measures for the Management of charitable organization’s Value Maintenance and Increment Investment was not officially promulgated by the time this chapter was drafted. Thus, this chapter is based on the version for public review and is only for reference and not for practical guidance.

[3]Regulations on Volunteer Services, which was issued by the State Council on August 22, 2017 and came into force on December 1, 2017

[4]Tort Liability Law of the People’s Republic of China, which was adopted at the 12th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eleventh National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China on December 26, 2009 and came into force on July 1, 2010.

[5]Interpretation of the Supreme People’s Court of Several Issues Concerning the Application of the Law on the Trial of Cases on Compensation for Personal Injury, which was adopted at the 129th Meeting of the Judicial Committee of the Supreme People’s Court on December 4, 2003 and came into force on May 1, 2004.

[6]According to Article 180 of the General Rules of the Civil Law, “force majeure” means an unforeseeable, unavoidable, and unconquerable situation.


xii No-fault Liability - No-fault liability is a system established to compensate for the insufficiency of negligence liability. No-fault liability refers to a form of statutory liability that does not take into account the negligence of the injurer or the negligence of the victim when the damages occur. Its purpose is to compensate the victim for the loss. Paragraph 3 of Article 106 f the General Principles of the Civil Law stipulates that “Civil Liability shall still be borne even in the absence of fault, if the law so requests”. In a certain sense, no-fault liability is also a legal liability.

xiii Fault Liability - In accordance with the General Principles of the Civil Law, fault liability is the basic principle for the determination of liability in China’s civil liability system, and it is the principle for the determination of liability that is generally applicable under normal circumstances. The fault in the civil law refers to the subjective adverse psychological state of the offender as to the unlawful acts and the results thereof, including intentional or negligent.

xiv Fair Liability - Fair liability refers to the fact that, in the event that the parties have no fault in causing damage, the court shall, on the basis of the concept of fairness, order the offender to compensate for the victim’s property damage after considering the property status and other conditions of the parties. Article 132 of the General Principles of the Civil Law provides that “If none of the parties is at fault in causing damage, they may share civil liability according to the actual circumstances”.