In China, the information disclosure of charity organizations is lagging behind. Due to the lack of transparency, the negative news about the source and destination of charity funds has been frequently reported. The root of the trust crisis lies in the lack of effective information disclosure mechanism of charity organizations, which has become a stumbling block to the long-term healthy development of charity organizations. During this outbreak, the information disclosure of charity organizations has become a social focus in the fight against the virus. It can be seen that the public crisis not only causes casualties and serious ecological damage, but also causes the charity organizations involved to bear a lot of reputational costs. The epidemic’s query on the information disclosure of charity organizations could promote China’s implementation of the government accounting system reform and put forward constructive suggestions.
The epidemic presents an excellent opportunity to study the information disclosure of non-profit organizations under public pressure. This study provides empirical evidence for promoting the implementation of Accounting System of Non-profit Organizations and even Charity Law in China, and emphasizes the importance of central and local governments on anticorrosion work during the epidemic. The occurrence, spread and suppression of the epidemic is a typical natural experiment, which is periodic and unpredictable. The call of the central government will be the political guarantee for non-profit organizations to seize this opportunity.
This paper collects the disclosure information of China Charity Federation and Red Cross Society of China, and then empirically tests the development influence of public crisis on the charity information disclosure and its mechanism of action. It is found that the epidemic can promote information disclosure; the supervision effect of media public opinion pressure and the deterrent effect of anti-epidemic official turnover jointly play the regulatory role of external governance. Further analysis shows that after the “Han Hong Foundation” incident, the impact of epidemic development on the information disclosure of charity organizations is more significant. We conduct at least four robustness tests, and our main empirical findings are stable.
This paper enriches the existing literature from the following three aspects: (1) It expands the research on the influencing factors of information disclosure of charity organizations, and deepens the understanding of the law of information disclosure of charity organizations. The existing studies mainly discuss the organizational characteristics of charity organizations and the characteristics of council from the perspective of information suppliers to study the influencing factors of information disclosure of charity organizations. This paper examines the demands of information demanders from the development process of public crisis, expands the cognition of influencing factors of information disclosure of charity organizations, and makes up for the lack of information supply perspective. (2) It expands the research on the supervision effect of media reports and the deterrent effect of official turnover. The existing studies have proved that the pressure of public opinion in media reports plays an important role. The findings of this paper prove that in the special situation of public crisis events, media reports and official turnover can significantly improve the response level of charity organizations to social information needs. (3) It expands the policy research on the restoration of social and economic order after the public crisis. The findings of this study show that the public crisis can promote the information disclosure of charity organizations, and has the policy reference significance of “COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control”.