CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

07 July 2021 - 20 July 2021

Wipro commits an additional ₹1,000 crore (approximately US$134 million) of grants for Covid-19 relief. These funds will focus on universal vaccinations and build on the company’s donation of ₹1,125 crore (approximately US$150 million) in the early days of the pandemic. Wipro’s founder and chairman Azim Premji has been recognized as one of the world’s leading donors in Covid-19 relief efforts. Continue reading in The Times of India →

Corporates and foundations are pooling resources to support relief efforts as Southeast Asia’s Covid-19 infections surge. To aid relief in Indonesia, Temasek FoundationTanoto FoundationBakti Barito FoundationDBS Bank and a dozen other businesses are coordinating the sourcing and shipments of 11,000 oxygen concentrators. Indonesia’s largest tech company GoTo is leading efforts to develop a facility that will provide an uninterrupted oxygen supply directly from a production plant in East Jakarta, addressing severe shortages in hospitals. The Indonesian embassy in Singapore is also collecting donations and medical supplies from the Indonesian expat community with a target of raising US$1 million, half of which have been collected thus far.

Other economies are also receiving Covid-19 relief. Procter & Gamble is providing 300,000 care packs, worth SG$3.1 million (approximately US$2.3 million), to support migrant workers in Singapore. The Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation announced further donations of essential medical equipment to seven Asian economies, including India and Vietnam.

Rotary and Tata Trusts announce a five-year collaboration to scale community interventions in India. The partnership will focus on water and sanitation, health, education, Covid-19 relief, economic empowerment and education, with an emphasis on women and children. The joint programs are aligned with the Government of India’s objective of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. With an existing overlap in interest and convergence of activities, the collaboration seeks to scale impact and reach more communities in need. Continue reading on the Tata Trusts website →

Xiaomi Corp. co-founder Lei Jun donates US$2.2 billion to charity. Lei transferred 616 million Xiaomi shares to the Xiaomi Foundation and Lei Jun Foundation, just as the company becomes the world’s second largest smartphone maker. With this donation, the billionaire joins the likes of other Chinese tech company founders in substantially growing their philanthropic giving. Continue reading in Bloomberg →

Philanthropist Rohini Nilekani and institutional investor Social Alpha invest ₹3.05 crore (approximately US$548,000) in DanaMojo, a payment solutions platform for NGOs. The investment will help DanaMojo grow the platform, and reduce the time, energy and cost for nonprofits in managing donations. Since its inception, DanaMojo has onboarded over 900 NGOs. Continue reading in The Economic Times →

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CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

23 June 2021 – 06 July 2021

With total donations valued at US$102.4 billion, India’s Jamsetji Tata—founder of the Tata Group—tops the 2021 EdelGive Hurun Philanthropists of the Century list. This is the first time EdelGive Foundation and Hurun Research Institute have spotlighted top philanthropists spanning a century. The 50 most generous individuals come from five economies, including three from China and two from India. Continue reading on the Hurun website →

Corporates and the social sector continue to support relief efforts as Asia experiences a resurgence of Covid-19. In India, Standard Chartered BankGoogle India and Vedanta Resources have pledged support towards relief efforts. Vinamilk, a Vietnamese dairy company, is supporting the domestic and regional fight against Covid-19. Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese companies operating in Vietnam are contributing to the government’s vaccine fund. In Taiwan, the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation becomes the third organization to win approval to procure vaccines, following Foxconn and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).

CAPS explains how Asian business leaders are championing public-private partnerships for social good. As the world comes to grips with the social and economic repercussions of Covid-19, the need and potential for multi-stakeholder collaborations are becoming more evident. CAPS’ Senior Researchers Annelotte Walsh and Wilson Lau discuss how a deeply rooted desire to do good can drive business leaders to partner with government for social good. Continue reading on the WINGS website →

Zhang Yiming, founder of TikTok owner ByteDance, gives ¥500 million (US$77.3 million) to education. Zhang’s donation will be transferred to an education fund in his hometown of Longyan city. The funds will be used for teacher training, ed-tech infrastructure and the construction of dormitories, reports Bloomberg. This donation is in line with the recent trend we have reported of Chinese tech billionaires giving big. Continue reading in Bloomberg →

HKEX Foundation launches HK$10 million (approximately US$1.3 million) HKEX Impact Funding Scheme to support community projects run by local NGOs. The scheme will be implemented in partnership with the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) and focus on four thematic areas: financial literacy, diversity and inclusion, poverty relief, and environmental sustainability. Applications close on 11 August. Continue reading on the HKEX website → 

Indian companies unveil ambitious plans to push clean energy. Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries pledges INR750 billion (US$10.1 billion) over three years to clean energy investment. Last year Reliance set itself the target of becoming a net-zero carbon company by 2035. Gautam Adani of Adani Group plans to turn his business carbon negative, aiding the government’s goal to expand the country’s renewable capacity nearly fivefold and meet its 2030 climate commitments.

Singapore-based EcoWorth Tech wins at the 2021 SAFE STEPS Disaster Tech (D-Tech) Awards. The winner in the for-profit category, Eco-Worth is the creator of the Carbon Fibre Aerogel (CFA) sponge. The sponge is made from low-cost natural materials and can be used to clean organic materials from wastewater. The awards, by Prudence Foundation and partners, recognize the essential role that technology plays in protecting and saving lives before, during and after natural disasters. Continue reading on the Safe Steps website  

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Public-Private Partnerships for Social Good

Rethinking PPPs

There is a growing trend in Asia of governments and the private sector coming together to address social needs, and our latest study spotlights these “public-private partnerships for social good.” With 88% of top business leaders in Asia believing such partnerships will become even more common over the next five years, it is more important than ever to understand what they are and how they work.

We conducted an in-depth analysis of 20 notable PPPs for social good spanning 11 Asian economies and 9 sectors to find out. Our report showcases why this trend is taking root, what best-in-class PPPs for social good look like, and how they maximize impact.

Read on to learn more about the 6 strategies that enable public-private partnerships for social good to achieve greater impact, how they can prepare for sustainability, and how they can navigate risks.

Read the press release hereand download the full report below.

 

Sustainable Investment – Impact in Asia

UNDP & Asia Asset Management

This book explores the advances in sustainable investment in Asia, tracing its evolution from philanthropy to impact investing and ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing. The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are noted as a key driver of developments in this field.

The book also looks at the critical role of government and private sector players in facilitating and financing sustainable investments. Successful examples of sustainable investment across Asia include Japan’s private sector investment innovations, the burgeoning Green Bonds market in Asia, blended social finance in China, impact investing in Sri Lanka, and regional developments in Southeast and South Asia. Read it here.

Philanthropy for Sustainable Development in China 2020

UNDP & China Foundation Center

This report examines how philanthropy in China is contributing to meet the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030 Agenda. Findings are underpinned by a quantitative analysis of the China Foundation Center’s database which contains nearly 100,000 charitable projects between 2015 and 2018. The report also showcases insights derived from in-depth interviews with philanthropic practitioners, and concludes with recommendations for policy advocacy, enhancing collaboration and boosting SDG financing. Read it here.

CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

13 May 2021 - 25 May 2021

Foreign donations continue to pour into India, but regulatory hurdles remain. Japan’s NTT pledged US$3 million; Thermo Fisher Scientific pledged US$10 million; and Silicon Valley tech leaders have organized relief, including Ethereum’s Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin who donated over US$1 billion in cryptocurrencies to the India Covid Crypto Relief Fund. The New York Times underscored ongoing concerns that India’s strict regulations on foreign funding are inhibiting donations at a time of dire need. Even crypto donations such as Buterin’s are facing legal hurdles under current FCRA regulations. While international support is critical, India Development Review’s Co-Founder and CEO Smarinita Shetty highlights how media attention on India’s lack of oxygen has skewed donor priorities, noting that humanitarian relief is still the need of the hour.

Domestic and international donors step in to aid Nepal as it battles a resurgence of Covid-19. The Chaudhary Foundation, affiliated with the Chaudhary Group, has pledged over US$1.5 million to help combat the second wave. The Foundation is also setting up an ICU ward and oxygen plant in the country’s largest government hospital, as well as importing and distributing oxygen concentrators. Gorkha Brewery joined hands with Singapore’s Lotus Life Foundation, MiRXES Pvt Ltd and Temasek Foundation to provide emergency medical supplies, including ventilators and oximeters, worth over रू200 million (approximately US$1.7 million). Temasek Foundation has also supplied 10,000 Covid-19 test kits.

HSBC commits US$100 million towards the Climate Solutions Partnership Initiative, half of which will fund projects in the Asia-Pacific region. In partnership with the World Resources Institute and WWF, the five-year initiative will focus on three areas: energy transition, habitat restoration and conservation, and carbon-cutting technologies. The initiative is part of HSBC’s climate strategy for a transition to net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner. Continue reading in Philanthropy News Digest →

Colin Huang, Founder of Pinduoduo, tops the Hurun China Philanthropy List 2020. The billionaire gave US$1.85 billion in donations last year, according to the Hurun Research Institute. The second-most generous business leader on the list was Midea Group’s Founder He Xiangjian, who gave US$970 million last year. Continue reading in South China Morning Post →

SK Group’s building subsidiary rebrands to “SK Ecoplant” as part of efforts to enhance ESG management. The company plans to invest ₩3 trillion (US$2.67 billion) by 2023 towards its vision of growing from a conventional construction business into a leading environmental enterprise. The company will focus on expanding its use of eco-friendly building materials, embracing green technology, and transitioning towards a circular economy. Continue reading in The Korea Herald →

The Development Bank of Japan will increase ESG funding to ¥5.5 trillion (US$50.4 billion) over the next five years. The funding will support developments in hydrogen-based energy, electric vehicles and other emissions-cutting technology. It will also back companies adapting their business models to changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Continue reading in Nikkei Asia →

Governance failings impede Asian companies ESG efforts, according to latest Corporate Governance Watch Report. The 10th biennial report, “Future Promise,” by the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA) and CLSA provides an analysis of corporate governance in 12 markets. Despite recent progress on ESG (environmental, social and governance) standards in Asia, the report finds that the link between corporate governance and ESG policies lacks clarity, limiting meaningful sustainability efforts. While environmental issues remain high on the agenda for Asian governments, this report offers recommendations for improving corporate governance factors across the region. Continue reading in Reuters →

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CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

26 May 2021 - 8 June 2021

Wang Xing, Founder of Meituan, gives big. Wang recently donated over US$2 billion worth of shares in the food-delivery giant to his philanthropic foundation. Meituan said the funds will go towards education and scientific research. Wang’s donation is in line with the recent trend of Chinese tech billionaires substantially increasing their philanthropic giving. Continue reading in The Wall Street Journal →

Companies in Asia set up Covid-19 inoculation programs for employees and their families. In India, companies including HCLBajaj Auto and Samsung India have launched employee vaccination campaigns. Japanese companies are also stepping up and inoculating employees, which will help the government double the number of daily vaccinations to 1 million. Companies in Southeast Asia rolled out similar initiatives in the second quarter of this year.

Terry Gou, Founder of Foxconn, pledges US$228 million to purchase 5 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines as Taiwan sees a spike in Covid-19 infections. The donation is expected to also cover the cost of transportation, cold chain logistics and storage, distribution, and administration. Continue reading in Taiwan News 

92% of youth-led enterprises in the Asia Pacific negatively impacted by Covid-19, according to Youth Co:Lab. The organization—co-created by UNDP and Citi Foundation—recently launched their report, “How Young Entrepreneurs in Asia-Pacific Responded to COVID-19.” It discloses how lockdowns, shrinking demand, supply chain disruptions and a credit crunch challenged these enterprises. They responded by pivoting business strategy, launching new products and services, and transforming business models. The report also showcases over 40 innovative youth-led solutions aiding the region’s Covid-19 recovery.

Japan’s impact investing market has potential to grow to ¥2.64 trillion (approximately US$24 billion). The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG-NAB) Japan recently launched their report, “The Current State and Challenges of Impact Investing in Japan.” It highlights trends in impact investing—including growing interest from corporates and the issuance of Japan’s first sustainability-linked bond—and forecasts market size. This is encouraging news as there is much room for growth; according to CAPS’ study Business for Good, only 9% of social enterprises in Japan receive private investment.

Asian philanthropists pool US$1.5 million to contribute 600,000 doses towards COVAX global Covid-19 vaccine target. Singapore-based Asia Philanthropy Circle raised this funding from 10 philanthropists and philanthropic organizations. Their pooled donation will be matched by a public charity through Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, bringing total funding to US$3 million. Continue reading on Asia Philanthropy Circle’s website 

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CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

14 April 2021 - 27 April 2021

Amid an oxygen shortage in India, businesses and NGOs are stepping in to aid India’s Covid-19 fight. Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani is supplying oxygen from Reliance’s refineries in Jamnagar to Maharashtra at no cost. Indian tech startups Zomato and Paytm have launched donation drives on their platforms to help provide oxygen concentrators. NGOs Hemkunt Foundation and Khalsa Aid India are helping source and distribute oxygen cylinders. NGO Red Crescent Society is leading an initiative to distribute oxygen cylinders through mosques in the Mumbai metropolitan region. Other actors are also stepping in: Star Special Air Gases Private Limited, a gas plant in Manesar, is refilling oxygen cylinders for free. As cases and deaths surge across the country, the government recently announced that spending by corporates for setting up makeshift hospitals and temporary Covid-19 care facilities will qualify as CSR activities under the companies law.

Tencent’s Pony Ma pledges US$7.7 billion of the social-media giant’s money for social causes. This fresh bequest—19 times the company’s donations last year—will go to projects ranging from rural development to carbon neutrality. It will also go towards investing in startups, which aligns with President Xi’s blueprint for national development. Continue reading in Reuters →

Community pantries offer reprieve from Covid-19 hardships in the Philippines. What began as a humble cart with free food has grown into over 300 donation-driven pantries across the country. This multi-sector effort to provide food and essential items to those in need has become an important service as the country faces one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the region. However, unsubstantiated claims by local police and a government task force that these pantries are affiliated with insurgents, a practice called ‘red-tagging’, has led to concern about the safety of volunteers. Continue reading in The Washington Post →

Li Ka Shing Foundation donates HK$30 million (approximately US$4 million) to The Chinese University of Hong Kong. The donation will go towards the expansion of research facilities at the Institute of Health Sciences. The institute was officially opened 14 years ago with support from Li’s foundation, and has developed into the flagship translational biomedical research center in the region. Continue reading in The Standard →

Ride hailing company Uber and NGO HelpAge India help aid vaccination efforts with free rides. Uber’s partnership with NGO HelpAge India will provide 25,000 free rides over the coming months to facilitate the vaccination of the vulnerable and disadvantaged elderly in 19 cities. This follows an earlier initiative where Uber provided 60,000 free rides to aid India’s vaccination drive. Continue reading in The Times of India →

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DECODED

Asia's social sector takes on Covid-19

Our DECODED series unpacks, explains and crystallizes issues critical for social investment in Asia. DECODED draws upon CAPS’ expertise in research, and access to an extensive network of sector experts and philanthropists in 18 Asian economies. This enables us to identify emerging trends in the region. Through DECODED, we translate these concepts into bite-sized, easy-to-understand insights.

This inaugural DECODED synthesizes how the social sector across Asia has risen to the occasion in responding to Covid-19, and what comes next. We end with recommendations for philanthropists, corporates and policymakers who want to invest in helping Asia’s social sectors thrive.

Global Philanthropy Report: Perspectives on the global foundation sector

John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

This report seeks to create a knowledge base for institutional philanthropy. Wealthy individuals, families and corporations are looking to invest more strategically and maximize impact. The report highlights how financial resources are being deployed to do good, identifies priority areas for investment and operational approaches of grant makers. Insights from Asian research partners in China, Hong Kong and India are provided. Read it here.