Responding to Covid-19: Who’s Doing Good?

14 April 2020 - 20 April 2020

THE GIVERS
Individuals are funding initiatives that support nonprofits and hard-hit communities.

Laurence Lien, Singapore philanthropist, and his family donated SG$2 million earlier this month to aid 17 charities in Singapore affected by Covid-19. 

Adrian Cheng, executive vice-chairman of New World Development, launched a new Covid-19 initiative that will install 35 “Mask To Go” dispensers at designated NGOs in all 18 districts across Hong Kong. NGOs will provide contactless “Mask Redemption Cards” to pre-registered low-income families and disadvantaged groups. The dispensers will begin to operate by the end of April.

THE THINKERS
Organizations are collecting data to better understand the impact of Covid-19 on nonprofits and communities.

BRAC, the world’s largest nonprofit based in Bangladesh, published the findings from its Rapid Perception Survey on Covid-19 Awareness and Economic Impact survey of 2,675 individuals in Bangladesh. Among other key findings, the survey shows that the average household income is down 75% from the previous month, and that 96% of households are not receiving any government support.

Management and Sustainable Development Institute (MSD) launched its latest report, The effects of Covid-19 pandemic on civil society organizations in Vietnam. The study surveyed 101 organizations, with almost all (96%) reporting that their operations have been impacted as a result of the outbreak. Click here for the Vietnamese version.

THE NONPROFITS
Charities are stepping up their operations and joining forces to serve communities affected by Covid-19.

Hong Kong Jockey Club launched a number of initiatives to support those affected by Covid-19, earmarking HK$30 million (approximately US$4 million) for the distribution of more anti-epidemic packages to vulnerable groups, HS$42 million (approximately US$5.5 million) to provide free mobile internet data to underprivileged students to facilitate online learning, and a HK$50 million (approximately US$6.5 million) top-up its “Covid-19 Emergency Fund.”

The Asia Foundation is refocusing its work to help battle Covid-19 and support disproportionately impacted communities. For example, the foundation is expanding access to its “Let’s Read” library, Asia’s only free digital and multilingual library for children, to help improve access to education materials at a time when 9 out of 10 children in the world are out of school. Read more about the foundation’s other relief efforts, such as those in Myanmar, Pakistan, and Nepal here

International Justice Mission (IJM) has expanded rescue and awareness operations in response to issues exacerbated by Covid-19 in India and the Philippines, including online child trafficking and increased violence during lockdowns. IJM is also working with governments to provide food support, offer hand-washing trainings, and raise awareness about the virus.

A number of organizations in Pakistan are providing direct healthcare services to communities in need. This includes Indus Health Network, Alkhidmat Foundation, Kashmir Orphan Relief Trust, Patients’ Aid Foundation, and Ghurki Trust Teaching Hospital.

THE BUSINESSES
Companies are contributing to Covid-19 relief efforts and donating medical supplies, food and beverages, and other staples to affected communities. Some companies, such as Alibaba and ByteDance, are expanding their portfolio of response efforts with new initiatives.

B.Grimm, one of Thailand’s leading conglomerates, recently launched “B.Grimm Fights Covid-19 with Compassion” and donated over 46 million baht (nearly US$2 million) to relief efforts. Donations from the company have gone to hospitals and a number of charities in Thailand.

Oishi Group, a subsidiary of ThaiBev, launched the “Oishi Gives to Fight against Covid-19.” Through this campaign, the company is donating cash as well as food and beverages through the Thai Red Cross Society, which has totaled 24 million baht (approximately US$800,000) to date.

CP Group has donated more than US$29 million in Thailand to tackle Covid-19 and provided free food delivery to 88 hospitals across Thailand. Additionally, CEO Suphachai Chearavanont announced that the Group is committed to not making layoffs across the Group worldwide, will cover employee medical expenses, provide food to quarantined employees, and provide education loans for their employees’ children.

Carousell, one of the world’s largest digital marketplaces, launched “Covid-19 Free Ads for Charity,” among other response efforts. This initiative will offer up to SG$2 million (approximately US$1.4 million) of its advertising inventories for nonprofits in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines helping affected communities. The initiative aims to help nonprofits gain more visibility and access to volunteers and potential donors.

DBS Bank pledged SG$10.5 million (approximately US$7.5 million) to help communities affected by Covid-19, both in Singapore and across the region. The DBS Stronger Together Fund will provide around 4.5 million meals and packages containing food and staples to affected individuals in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia, and Taiwan. In Singapore, DBS is partnering with two local nonprofits in a SG$2.5 million (approximately US$1.8 million) plan to provide food for the elderly, low-income, and migrant workers.

Alibaba Group has published a factsheet, listing all of the donations and relief efforts of both the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation to date. The foundations also shared a coronavirus prevention and treatment handbook—available in 23 languages—which offers key insights from doctors, health care workers, and hospital administrators at the First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, who were at the frontline of the outbreak in China.

ByteDance recently published an overview of its Covid-19 response initiatives, categorized by country. Examples include contributions to Covid-19 relief funds, donating medical equipment, and creating online, multi-lingual training modules to help educate health workers around the globe.

Tsinghua University and China Vanke Co have joined together to establish the Vanke School of Public Health, aiming to boost talent training and scientific research and enhance China’s capacities in public health management. A special fund was set up with a donation of 200 million Vanke shares, valued at around 5.3 billion yuan (US$748 million) to the Tsinghua University Education Foundation. The former director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun, was named the inaugural dean of the school. China Vanke and Dalian Wanda Commercial Management have also teamed up for a combined US$225 million in funding initiatives to help people affected by Covid-19.

Ping An Insurance Company donated US$1.5 million worth of Covid-19 medical supplies and technology to Indonesia. This includes medical technology that can generate accurate and rapid analysis of CT scans. This smart image-reading system has provided services to more than 1,500 medical institutions in China, including Hubei Province, and has assisted doctors with analysis in over a million CT scans for more than 20,000 patients. Earlier, Ping An donated more than US$20 million worth of supplies and cash in China, among a number of other donations and initiatives aimed at fighting the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Korean companies that conduct business in India are donating to help the country’s fight against Covid-19. Examples include: Samsung India, Hyundai Motor, and LG Electronics.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Relief Fund for Covid-19 saw a commitment of Rs100 million (approximately US$700,00) from English Biscuits Manufacturers (EBM) and Rs50 million from Telenor (approximately US$300,000). Telenor has also pledged PKR1.6 billion (approximately US$10 million) in cash and supplies towards Covid-19 relief efforts. Jazz, the Pakistani telecommunications company, has also contributed PKR50 million (approximately US$300,000) to the PM Pandemic Relief Fund, part of the company’s total pledge of PKR1.2 billion (approximately US$7.5 million) for Covid-19 relief efforts.

PepsiCo Foundation pledged US$700,000 in grants to support the response efforts of nonprofits certified by the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP), operating in more than 30 districts across Pakistan. Through its certification and Advised Grant Making services, PCP helps identify nonprofits with high standards of governance, financial management, and operations, building donor confidence and facilitating the deployment of funding. PepsiCo India, along with PepsiCo Foundation, is also providing 25,000 Covid-19 testing kits and over 5 million meals to support families impacted by the coronavirus outbreak in India.

Airbnb is partnering with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) to expand its global Frontline Stays to the Philippines—an initiative to provide housing to 100,000 Covid-19 responders and relief workers. PDRF, together with partner hospitals, will help identify priority areas and healthcare workers in need of temporary housing.

THE TRUSTBREAKERS 

In this section, we usually share stories about scandals that are having negative repercussions for the social sector. With the fear and anxiety surrounding Covid-19, there are some trust-breaking stories circulating from price-gouging to faulty medical supplies. Fortunately, the stories of people being constructive during these times far outnumber them. We look forward to bringing more of these positive stories to you in the coming weeks.

RESOURCES

India Development Review analyzed a total of 75 resource announcements from the CSR community in India during the Covid-19 crisis. Combined, these contributions total more than ₹4,124 crore (nearly US$550 million). Of these, 89% is earmarked towards relief work, and of this, 54% is directed towards the Prime Minister’s PM-CARES Fund or state Chief Minister Relief funds.

Thank you to all the individuals and institutions stepping up to help fight Covid-19. Watch CEEW India’s #SupportYourSuperheroes video thanking the unknown heroes working to ensure the health and safety of their communities.

We’d also like to hear from you. How is your organization responding to Covid-19? Email us your stories at research@caps.org

The Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Vietnam

Management and Sustainable Development Institute (MSD)

This report provides an overview of the impact of Covid-19 on the social sector in Vietnam. It is based on a survey of 101 civil society organizations (CSO) conducted between 31 March and 10 April 2020. Almost all (96%) of CSOs report their operations are impacted as a result of the outbreak. Mobilizing funds and coordinating with others in the social sector has become more difficult. Some CSOs are adapting to be able to continue supporting their beneficiaries. Recommendations for how stakeholders can support CSOs during and after this outbreak are also discussed. Read it here: English, Vietnamese.

The Palgrave Handbook of Global Philanthropy

Palgrave Macmillan

This publication is a comprehensive guide to the philanthropic sectors of 26 economies, including China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. It provides an overview of the landscape of giving, the role that government and religion play, fiscal incentives, and the legal policies that shape philanthropic giving. It also seeks to understand what motivates individuals to give and why the level of giving varies across countries. Read it here.

Social Impact Landscape in Asia

Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN)

This series of reports documents the landscape for social investment across Asia. Each report maps a country’s socio-economic development context, government initiatives and investment indicators related to the social economy, and notable actors in the social investment landscape. Opportunities, challenges and recommendations for investors and intermediaries are also discussed.

Read it here:

Transparency and Accountability Practice of Vietnamese CSOs (2015 – 2016)

Management and Sustainable Development Institute (MSD)

This report examines transparency and accountability in Vietnamese civil society organizations (CSOs). Based on data collected through fieldwork assessments, the report outlines the strengths and weaknesses of Vietnamese CSOs, analyzes their capacity, and recommends how to enhance a culture of transparency and accountability. Read it here.

Corporate Philanthropy and Corporate Perceptions of Local NGOs in Vietnam

The Asia Foundation, Center for Community Support and Development Studies (CECODES) & the Vietnam Chamber of Industry and Commerce (VCCI)

This study establishes a baseline of corporate philanthropy in Vietnam based on a sample of over 500 Vietnamese companies. As foreign funding declines and Vietnamese nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) become more reliant on domestic resources, the report provides insights into the scale, motivation, pattern and behavior of corporate philanthropy in Vietnam. This report also examines businesses’ views on the role of NGOs, their motivation and integrity. Read it here.

Civil Society Briefs

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

This series of briefs provides insights into the growth of civil society and nonprofit organizations in countries across Asia. Civil society comprises of a diverse range of individuals, community groups and organizations operating around shared purpose and values. The briefs spotlight the legal framework within which they operate and their broader relationship with government and society.

Read it here:

The Landscape for Impact Investing in Southeast Asia

Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) & Intellecap Advisory Services

Southeast Asia is undergoing rapid development, but the region continues to face challenges. Impact investing is a growing practice and is seen as a means to generate positive social and environmental impact along with financial returns. This study examines the trends and landscape of impact investing in Southeast Asia. It outlines challenges and opportunities for impact investors and the political and economic factors that can inform investment decisions. The report provides an in-depth analysis of the three most active markets in the region–Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines–and a broader regional overview of Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Thailand. Read it here.

Responding to Covid-19: Who’s Doing Good?

06 April 2020 - 13 April 2020

THE GIVERS
Individuals and foundations are donating supplies and funding initiatives supporting hard-hit communities.

Tanoto Foundation, founded by Indonesia’s Sukanto Tanoto, donated over 1 million gloves, 1 million masks, 100,000 coveralls, and 3,000 goggles to the national Covid-19 taskforce. The equipment will be distributed to hospitals in Jakarta, Medan in North Sumatera, and Pekanbaru in Riau.

Chaudhary Foundation has handed over 1,000 PCR testing kits to Nepal’s government to help accelerate the country’s efforts to mitigate Covid-19. The Foundation’s chairman, Binod Chaudhary, underscored the importance of collaboration with the government to contain the pandemic. The Foundation has also provided PPE and medical equipment to 48 health posts of seven provinces in Nepal. 

Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Google, donated Rs5 crore (approximately US$700,000) to nonprofit GiveIndia, matching an earlier donation from Google to GiveIndia. Google has set aside a total of US$800 million to help fight Covid-19 globally.

Kim Beom-su, founder and chairman of online company Kakao, donated his stocks worth ₩2 billion (approximately US$2 million) to help combat Covid-19 in Korea, and the company is matching the donation. Kakao has also been aiding Covid-19 relief efforts through its platform Together, and has raised approximately US$4 million as of April 7th.

In Korea, around 200 celebrities have contributed a total of over US$8 million in donations. K-pop groups are also spurring more donations to relief efforts. After K-pop group BTS singer SUGA donated ₩100 million (US$80,600) to Hope Bridge Korea Disaster Relief Association, 11,000 fans followed suit and donated a total of around US$500,000.

Government-led Covid-19 Funds in South Asia continue to see donations from local and foreign donors. Pakistani expats answer Prime Minister Imran Khan’s appeal for donations, with 900 expats donating a total of Rs45 million (approximately US$300,000) to the Prime Minister’s Covid-19 Relief Fund via the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development’s online donation portal. Sri Lanka’s Covid-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund established by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has now reached Rs517 million (approximately US$3 million). India’s PM Cares Fund saw donations of US$13.2 billion from Prosus and US$13.2 million from JSW Group.

THE NONPROFITS
Charities are stepping up their operations and joining forces to serve communities affected by Covid-19.

Covid-19 and Chinese Civil Society’s Response. Stanford Social Innovation Review gives insight into the response from nonprofits, foundations, and businesses in China to Covid-19 and how civil society organizations from other regions can replicate their success.

India’s nonprofits are working closely with government to reach the most vulnerable communities during Covid-19, including NGO SEEDS, Akshaya Patra Foundation, Wishes and Blessings, and NGO Fuel.

EMpower (Emerging Markets Foundation), a global philanthropic organization, is working with a number of organizations on Covid-19 responses, such as the Teach Unlimited Foundation in Hong Kong and YKB in Indonesia, as well as providing flexible support to their grantees. The organization is also running the series #storiesofresilience, in which it features its partners who are helping fight Covid-19, such as the Indian NGO Saath.

THE BUSINESSES
Companies are funding relief efforts, supporting innovative startups, and leveraging their own resources to contribute to the fight against Covid-19.

Funding relief and vaccination efforts.

China Evergrande Group has set up a US$115 million effort that will support more than 80 researchers at top universities in Boston, including Harvard and MIT, and local biotechnology companies, to support research related to mitigating Covid-19.

Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), a private sector disaster risk reduction and management network, raised around US$31 million in donations through its Project Ugnayan. This week PDRF announced that the project has reached over 7.6 million beneficiaries in Greater Metro Manila poor communities in just over three weeks.

TikTok, the Chinese video sharing platform, donated US$6.28 million for the government of Indonesia to buy protective equipment for front-line healthcare workers.

India’s Jaypee Group contributed Rs4.22 crore (over US$500,000) to the fight against Covid-19. This includes contributions to the PM Cares Fund, Uttar Pradesh CM CARE Fund, Madhya Pradesh CM CARE Fund, and Uttrakhand CM CARE Fund.

Supporting start-ups.

Singtel Group has set forth a Special Pandemic Support Grant as part of its Singtel Future Makers program. The cash support will go towards promising start-ups with innovative technological solutions that help the social sector tackle the challenges posed by Covid-19. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to join the main program with other Singtel Future Makers 2020 finalists addressing other themes and challenges in the latter half of 2020. 

Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) is launching its Emergency Financing Facility, a revolving fund to provide grants and working capital loans to select high-impact SMEs. IIX surveys indicate that over 74.4% of SMEs in its network will require additional capital in the coming months in order to stay on course with their growth and impact plans.

Leveraging and donating their own resources.

35 Indonesian manufacturers are ramping up capacity to produce more than 18 million pieces of Covid-19 protective gear by early May. Many are redeploying raw materials used for manufacturing other products towards making the gear. Examples include PT Pan Brothers, which has shifted its usual garment production to manufacture 10 million cloth masks every month; and garment manufacturer PT Sritex, which plans to increase its protective gear production to a monthly 1 million pieces from the current 150,000 units.

Vietnam’s Vingroup is producing ventilators through two of its subsidiaries. Vinfast, its automaker, and Vinsmart, its electronics arm, are shifting their production lines to produce 10,000 ventilators per month. Vingroup also committed US$4.3 million for medical equipment and testing through the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee. Its retail arm, Vincom, also allocated US$13 million to support its tenants during Covid-19.

Huawei Malaysia donated four technology solutions to the Ministry of Health to aid communication between public health experts, front-line healthcare workers, public hospitals, and government as the country fights Covid-19.

Philippines’ financial industry and NGO groups have partnered for faster Covid-19 subsidy delivery. The joint initiative between NGOs, rural banks, cooperatives, and companies aims to provide alternative options to quickly disburse the government’s over P200 billion (approximately US$4 billion) emergency subsidy to over 18 million families.

Singapore gaming company Razer announced that it will set up Singapore’s first fully automated mask production. Other Singaporean firms, Frasers Property, JustCo, and PBA Group are supporting Razer’s initiative.

Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group invested US$3 million to build a factory in Bangkok to produce 100,000 surgical face masks per day to donate to healthcare workers. The group is also providing free food delivery to patients and staff at more than 40 hospitals across Thailand.

Indonesian food group Mayora pledged to donate 1 million masks, 1 million water bottles, and 1 million biscuit packs to medical front-liners across Indonesia.

CJ Indonesia, the Indonesian arm of Korean CJ Corporation, donated test kits, hand sanitizer, and food and milk packages worth US$255,000 to healthcare facilities and motorcycle taxi drivers, who are impacted by the government’s social restrictions amidst Covid-19.

THE VOLUNTEERS

While Bangladeshi celebrities are helping with resources and awareness, student-led voluntary organizations are supporting communities on the ground. For example, at the beginning of the outbreak, voluntary organization Bidyanondo Foundation sprayed disinfectant in public transport vehicles and made arrangements to feed 200,000 people living in slums in and around Dhaka. Donations from Bangladeshis abroad are also being distributed by volunteer organizations on the ground, for example, through the nonprofit Resource Coordination Network.

THE TRUSTBREAKERS 

In this section, we usually share stories about scandals that are having negative repercussions for the social sector. With the fear and anxiety surrounding Covid-19, there are some trust-breaking stories circulating from price-gouging to faulty medical supplies. Fortunately, the stories of people being constructive during these times far outnumber them. We look forward to bringing more of these positive stories to you in the coming weeks.

We’d also like to hear from you. How is your organization responding to Covid-19? Email us your stories at research@caps.org

Who’s Doing Good?

14 October 2019 - 27 October 2019

THE GIVERS

Shiv Nadar top philanthropist in India, followed by Premji and Ambani. HCL founder and chairman Shiv Nadar was named the most generous individual philanthropist in India. According to the Edelgive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2019, Nadar and his family gave Rs826 crore (approximately US$117 million) in 2018. Azim Premji was second on the list followed by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani. The list also noted an almost two-fold increase from the previous year in the number of Indians who donated more than Rs5 crore (nearly US$1 million) to social causes, excluding religious donations. 

THE THINKERS

Universities in Hong Kong should focus more on practice and less on theory to create social change. A new report, Surveying the Landscape of Social Innovation and Higher Education in Hong Kong, pushes universities to “do less theory and more practice to have genuine social impact.” The main findings of the report show a buildout of social innovation research and teaching in Hong Kong. However, the report notes that scholars need to engage in more practical activity and collaborations outside academia to impactfully tackle social challenges. The article details current collaborations in Hong Kong such as the British Council’s BRICKS (Building Research Innovation for Community Knowledge and Sustainability) consortium, and Nurturing Social Minds, a social innovation teaching program funded by the government’s SIE Fund and Yeh Family Philanthropy.

THE NONPROFITS

Change in India’s sector is being powered by tech, young entrepreneurs, and committed funders. As the revenue pool available for nonprofits grows with increased corporate funding and philanthropic funding, the sector is seeing significant change. This includes a new focus on organization-building, talent development, and leadership training. This comes at a time when there is growing acknowledgement globally that donors need to help nonprofits develop their own capacity to achieve greater impact. India’s sector is catching up with promising trends including nonprofit leadership programs, young professionals entering the sector, and more focus on nonprofit organizational development.

THE BUSINESSES

J.P. Morgan commits US$25 million to aid skills development in India. J.P. Morgan has announced a five-year commitment to skills development initiatives for low- and middle-income communities in India. This US$25 million commitment is part of the firm’s five-year US$350 million global commitment to meet the growing demand for skilled workers and to create economic mobility for underserved populations. In collaboration with government and nonprofit leaders, J.P. Morgan will support skills training and career education programs related to the country’s high growth sectors and aligned with market trends. It will also support actionable research to inform future philanthropic investments in India and to share best practices on education and training programs. 

Japan Inc. plays catch up in scramble to bioplastics. Nikkei Asian Review reports on Japanese companies committing to better recycling practices as they risk losing environmentally conscious investors. This includes household goods producer Kao, which is a founding member of a consortium of 265 companies and associations fighting plastic pollution. Beverage giant Suntory Holdings has also stated it will replace fossil fuel-based materials with items made from used plastic bottles and bioplastics by 2030. Kuraray and Mitsubishi Chemical are also joining in. These efforts are intended to help create a circular economy, where products are made from recycled materials, and in turn are recycled. Such a system is estimated to pump at least ¥20 trillion (US$187 billion) into Japan’s economy—nearly 4% of GDP.

Vietnam ed tech startup aims to fill Southeast Asia’s talent pool. A recent report from Google and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings highlights the region’s shallow talent pool, which is weighing on efforts to boost the internet economy. Education startups, like Vietnam’s Topica Edtech Group, are pioneering digital training grounds for talent development in the Southeast Asian tech scene. At the forefront of Southeast Asia’s burgeoning “ed tech sector,” Topica is upskilling young professionals for the digital age. The startup, which was launched in 2008, now offers 3,000 e-learning courses and has about 1.5 million students in Vietnam and Thailand. Nikkei Asian Review covers the startup’s pivot and journey towards addressing Southeast Asia’s talent shortage, especially in digital technologies.

THE INNOVATORS

Asian Development Bank invests ฿3 billion in Energy Absolute’s green bond. The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) climate financing, which supports climate change mitigation, is expected to reach US$80 billion from 2019 to 2030. ADB recently signed an agreement with Energy Absolute, one of the largest renewable energy companies in Thailand. ADB will invest US$98.7 million in Energy Absolute’s maiden green bond issuance, the first bond dedicated to a wind power project in Thailand. The green bond will help support the long-term financing of the company’s 260-megawatt Hanuman wind farm. As the largest wind farm in Thailand, it is expected to reduce the country’s annual carbon emissions by 200,000 tons by 2020. 

Asia-Pacific issuance of green bonds hits record high US$18.9 billion. A recent HSBC report on sustainable financing found that more than a third of Asian investors surveyed noted that the bulk of their clients had negative perceptions of ESG investing, compared with a global figure of around one fifth. However, the region is now “catching up,” according to Financial Times. Green bond issuance in the Asia-Pacific region has reached a record US$18.9 billion raised from 44 green bond issuances in the year to date. A director at Citi, one of the biggest green bond underwriters in the Asia-Pacific region, underscored the growing interest noting, “The amount of enquiries we get tells us that in the future every bond will need to be marketed with an ESG component.”