Fundraising in the Digital Era: Legitimacy, Social Network, and Political Ties Matter in China

  • Huiquan Zhou
  • Shihua YeEmail author
Original Paper


Development in information technology enables nonprofit organizations to reach more potential donors in a fast and affordable way. To help nonprofits form evidence-based strategies that suit the digital era, we conducted a study on a random sample of 400 Chinese foundations, investigating to what extent organizational legitimacy, network, and political ties influence their ability to attract donation. Results show that in terms of legitimacy, comparing to the past, organizations need to disclose additional information beyond what is required by the government to foster a trusting relationship. In terms of network, online networking can not only bring in online donations but also potentially increase offline donations. In terms of political ties, implicit political ties are beneficial to the organization, whereas explicit political ties may have negative influences.


Donation Legitimacy Social network Political ties 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© International Society for Third-Sector Research 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social DevelopmentNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Zhou Enlai School of GovernmentNankai UniversityTianjinChina

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