Lao Niu Foundation is a private foundation engaged in public welfare and philanthropy. It was established in late 2004 by Mr. Niu Gensheng and his family. Mr. Niu (the founder, former chairman, and president of Mengniu Dairy Group) and his family donated their Mengniu Dairy Group corporate shares and the majority of their dividends to create the foundation. The Foundation is registered with the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region’s Department of Civil Affairs and supervised by the Financial Affairs Office.  

The vision of the Lao Niu Foundation is to “have grateful hearts and improve oneself by helping others,” and to “be responsible for the earth under heaven by nurturing both people and nature.” The Foundation’s mission is founded on the belief that “education is fundamental to the nation, the environment is fundamental to life, and philanthropy is fundamental to society.” The three primary focuses of the Foundation are environmental protection, cultural education, and championing the development of China’s philanthropic sector. Lao Niu Foundation is dedicated to creating a healthy and equitable environment for all of mankind, “Heritage hundred years and guard the future”.    

Through cooperation with 161 institutions and organizations in both China and foreign countries, the Foundation has undertaken 208 public welfare and charity projects in 30 provinces (autonomous regions/municipality/special administrative region) in China and the regions of the United States, Canada, France, Nepal, and Africa by the first half of 2017, with the philanthropic expenditure of CNY 1.202 billion.

For their efforts, The Foundation was rated as “An Excellent Organization” in 2013-2014 China Charity Transparency Report. It ranked the first in 2015-2017 China Charity Transparency Index, and it topped the list of “2014 China’s Non-Public Offering Foundation Donation”, ranked in first three of “2015 China’s Non-Public Offering Foundation Donation”, and honored as one of “2016 Top Ten Non-public Foundation” and won the prizes of 2014 Wise Giving Promoter and Top Ten China–European Green Foundations.  It was awarded the titles of National Advanced Social Organization by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and Class 5A Social Organization by the Department of Civil Affairs of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the Prize for the Outstanding Contribution to Philanthropy by Hohhot Government. Its flagship project in environmental protection - “Inner Mongolia Shengle International Ecological Demonstration Zone” once won China Charity Prize “The Most Influential Project” of Ministry of Civil Affairs of China, and the cultural and educational project--“Lao Niu Children Exploratorium of The China National Children's Center (CNCC)” earned a nomination and one of “2016 Top Ten Philanthropy Project”. The disaster relief and poverty alleviation project—“Vision Recovery”Social Public Welfare Activity has been honored as the activity of the sixth “Touching the Inner Mongolia Character” and also has been awarded as “The Only Special Award” in Asia by The Asian Foundation for the Prevention of Blindness .

The Lao Niu Foundation’s board of directors consists of 9 members and 1 supervisor who come from different sectors and areas throughout China but share an enthusiasm for philanthropy. Niu Gensheng, the founder and honorary president of the foundation, is also the vice chairman of China Charity Alliance, a member of the China Entrepreneur Club, the vice chairman of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) China Council, and a trustee of The Paradise International Foundation.

The Founder’s Proverbs and Reflections on Philanthropy:

“Small victories are won by wisdom, while a great victory must be scored by virtue.”

“The more fortune one has, the greater responsibility one should undertake.”

“Helping others allows you to improve yourself.”

“The benefactor should be grateful to the beneficiary.”

“How happy you are depends on how many people love you.”

“Going from not having to having can satisfy a single person, but it will only bring small happiness. Going from having to not having by giving back to society will bring great joy.”