Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2010 (Revised January 2011)

The Tzu Chi Foundation's China Relief Mission

by Herman B. Leonard and YiKwan Chu

Abstract

Tzu Chi is one of the largest charities in Taiwan, and one of the swiftest and most effective relief organizations internationally. Rooted in the value of compassion, the organization has many unusual operating features -- including having no long term plan. This case explores the basic operating approach of the organization and invites students to explain the overall effectiveness and success of the organization and its surprising success (as a faith-based, Taiwanese, direct-relief organization -- all of which are more or less anathema to the Chinese government) in securing an operating license in China.

Keywords: Leadership; Crisis Management; Service Delivery; Mission and Purpose; Religion; Natural Disasters; Nonprofit Organizations; Welfare or Wellbeing; China; Taiwan;

Citation:

Leonard, Herman B., and YiKwan Chu. "The Tzu Chi Foundation's China Relief Mission." Harvard Business School Case 311-015, November 2010. (Revised January 2011.)