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The Business of Giving

Exploring philanthropy, non-profits and socially motivated business, from the Gates Foundation to your donation. A fresh look at the economy of good intentions.

February 3, 2010 at 9:40 AM

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RDI receives largest individual gift from philanthropist in Asia

Posted by Kristi Heim

Seattle's Rural Development Institute received a $2.1 million donation, the largest gift it has ever received from an individual donor, for its work in rural China and in support of women's land rights.

The three-year grant came from a philanthropist based in Asia who wished to remain anonymous, said RDI President Tim Hanstad.

"Such a significant grant from an individual donor demonstrates the growing awareness of the value of secure, long-term land rights as an innovative solution to rural poverty," he said.

The money will allow RDI to continue field research, policy work and program implementation in China and will help expand RDI's new Global Center for Women's Land Rights.

RDI has worked in China since 1987 and now serves as a key adviser to the central government on rural land issues. RDI has helped advance legal rights of farmers, which has encouraged them to make long-term investments and helped them obtain better compensation if their land is used by the local government for development.

This story talks about RDI's efforts and history in more detail.

RDI Founder Roy Prosterman will speak and take questions about RDI's work in China and implications for the future on Feb. 10 at The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR). More information about the event and background on the topic can be found here.

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