Transparent Fish Fund is a 501(c)(3) US non-profit organization founded in 2011 in Palo Alto, California, established exclusively for charitable purposes to connect credible Chinese and East Asian grassroots NGOs with individuals from the West. The greater mission behind this work is to foster a sustainable long-term NGO culture in East Asia, and in doing so, spread a global spirit of philanthropy:
(i) Identifying and partnering with most promising grassroots NGOs in East Asia to provide them with long-term fundraising, marketing, capacity building resources and support from Western nonprofit culture.
(ii) Educating the West on nonprofit development in East Asia and ways to support and encourage the establishment of a sustainable NGO infrastructure abroad
(iii) Facilitating financial accountability and transparency in East Asian nonprofits by requiring and disclosing partners' financial reports publicly. We firmly believe that accountability should not end when donations reach their intended recipient, but that it should extend to ensuring that the recipient uses financial contributions properly.
Why does TFish Fund focus on East Asia?
A culture of philanthropy is beginning to develop on its own in East Asia, and small grassroots organizations are springing up as part of this movement. Unfortunately, many of these grassroots NGOs are unable to sustain themselves over the long-term due to a lack of experience, funding, and challenging cultural or political climates. At the same time, Western parties are increasingly interested in supporting small-scale projects in developing countries, as non-profits like Kiva demonstrate. However, a lack of donor confidence in East Asian organizations’ operating climate and ability to properly utilize funding has prevented support from reaching these NGOs that desperately need assistance.
The Transparent Fish Fund targets these areas of opportunity by connecting Chinese and East Asian NGOs with parties from abroad. Transparent Fish Fund’s 1) rigorous due diligence processes, 2) dedicated field partners, 3) mandatory financial disclosures, and 4) project disclosures ensure accountability and transparency for all partner NGOs, so donors or potential volunteers can safely invest their resources. Meanwhile, the established non-profit culture in the West can provide encouragement, learning opportunities and funding channels for these budding East Asian grassroots organizations. By linking the East and West, Transparent Fish Fund hopes to facilitate the establishment of a sustainable NGO ecosystem in China and East Asian countries, and simultaneously encourage a more global spirit of philanthropy.
Transparent Fish Fund accomplishes its goal by selecting promising NGOs and grassroots organizations in East Asia based on specific criteria. NGOs that are accepted as strategic partners benefit from free services such as financial accounting, expert hotline advise, training, consulting, and the use of technology platforms. On behalf of donors, we verify the financial expenses of all our partnering NGOs through performing auditing and due diligence. On behalf of our grassroots NGO partners, we also provide fundraising services. Because we never deduct administrative or transaction fees, 100% of donations go directly to partners and programs. By implementing a strict selection process and rigorous due diligence, we give interested parties in the West a chance to hear about and connect with credible East Asian NGOs. Through these connections, a spirit of service and philanthropy can be spread on a more global level. We hope you will participate in this aspiration and thank you for your interest in Transparent Fish Fund.
Transparent Fish Fund is mainly sponsored by the Ping & Amy Chao Foundation. The program identifies the most promising grassroots NGOs in East Asia to provide long term fundraising, marketing, capacity building support.
TFish Partner NGOs are local grassroots who lack tremendous resources with a strong track record for impact and sustainability, which display commitment to transparency and financial accountability. At TFish Fund, we are selective about who we accept as strategic partners. Out of 350 NGOs who were considered this application round, only 20 (5.7% selective) have fit our criteria and are given an opportunity to apply. We look for grassroots organizations or NGOs who have financial need and have similar values as we do. They should be committed to spreading a spirit of philanthropy and willing to perform financial transparency. By working closely only with those NGOs that show extreme dedication to these goals, we can make sure these partners receive a very high standard of service from us.