Yenching Scholars Participated Impact Funding Lab

This spring, 16 Yenching Scholars dived into China’s rapidly evolving philanthropic sector through a 9-week Impact Funding Lab intended for emerging leaders looking to hone skills related to making social impact. On May 26th, scholars presented the outcome of the Impact Funding Lab, honoring a local Beijing non-profit organization with a grant award of more than more than 20,000 RMB. Cross-sector leaders including Ashleigh Au, Former Secretary-General of SOHO China Scholarships; David Moser, Academic Director CET China Studies at Beijing Capital Normal University, and Min Ko, International Affairs Director at First Respond helped commemorate the program, sharing their advice on being bold for social good and leading a mission-driven career in any position or industry.


Through this program in partnership with Ginkgo Foundation, Yenching scholars acted as the board of directors of the Yenching Academy “Millennial Foundation,” responsible for making strategic decisions on how to support local education initiatives. Over the course of the 9-weeks, scholars participated in a series of workshops, lectures, and site visits delivered by sector experts and practitioners, equipping them with perspectives and frameworks to understand what it means to think from a systems perspective in context of China’s social sector.


Using skills and perspective gained in the classroom,Yenching Scholars crowd funded a philanthropy fund of over 20,000 RMB in less than 3 weeks.They were then responsible for setting the strategic direction of their foundation, uniting around a shared vision of a China in which students of all backgrounds are empowered to pursue a meaningful education. 


To realize this vision, scholars went out into Beijing to investigate and understand five grassroots non-profit organizations working to address gaps in the local education sector. Ultimately, they decided to award the venture philanthropy fund to Plan C, a grassroots social enterprise with a mission to nurture civil society in China through the promotion of critical thinking and civic education.


Check out the video above by Riaki Tanaka, Yenching Scholar to learn more about the process of forming a “Millennial Foundation”!

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