CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

13 October 2021 – 26 October 2021

Fortune releases 2021 Change the World List. The list honors companies that have made measurable progress in addressing pressing social problems as part of their core business strategy. Honorees from Asia include China’s Envision Group, Kuaishou and Pinduoduo, and India’s ReNew Energy Group. Continue reading in Fortune →

Indian agricultural waste recycling project wins Prince William’s Earthshot Prize. Takachar is one of five recipients of the £1 million (approximately US$1.38 million) prize awarded to groundbreaking solutions to the world’s greatest environmental challenges. The organization won in the “Clean Our Air” category for its technology that converts agricultural waste into useable fuel and fertilizer. Continue reading in The Hindu →

Funding schemes provide boost to Covid-19 relief and recovery in the region. In India, HDFC Bank, MasterCard, the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and USAID have launched a US$100 million credit facility to extend lending to micro, small and medium size enterprises. The facility aims to encourage digitization and support businesses—particularly women-owned businesses—recover from the impact of the pandemic. In Vietnam, the Southeast Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SeABank) has pledged a relief package of nearly US$8.79 million to customers and communities affected by the pandemic.

Green and sustainable finance is on the rise in Asia. In Hong Kong, the government plans to issue US$22.5 billion worth of green bonds over the next five years in a bid to make the city a hub for sustainable finance. UOB Asset Management has launched the United Smart Sustainable Singapore Bond Fund to attract investors looking to invest in Singapore’s sustainability efforts. The fund will invest assets in high-quality, green, social and sustainability-linked bonds with a strong ESG mandate.

Singapore launches network to support family offices. Spearheaded by the Wealth Management Institute (WMI), the Global-Asia Family Office Circle (GFO Circle) will provide a platform for industry players to collaborate, share best practices and build new capabilities. In addition, WMI is set to launch new programs to help build investment capabilities in the sector in partnership with Dalio Philanthropies, and work with the Gates Foundation on a philanthropy masterclass, reports The Business TimesContinue reading in The Business Times →

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How Covid-19 is shifting the Global North-South Philanthropic Power Dynamic

Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR)

This article argues that the locus of knowledge and power has shifted to grantees during Covid-19, who is most cognizant of the pressing needs of their communities. The immediacy and devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic is upending traditional grant-giving practices. It cites a recent study of 40 grantmakers and grantees that indicate a desire to continue recalibrating industry practices to allow efficient responses to locally-defined needs, such as less-restricted funding and less cumbersome reporting requirements. The authors offer recommendations on how to build off a new dynamic relationship between Global North and Global South philanthropic organizations—one that allows for more local capacity development and the effective use of local knowledge. Read it here.

The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind

Raghuram Rajan (Penguin Random House)

This book provides a big picture analysis of the three pillars that support societies—markets, the state, and communities—and how they interact. It pinpoints the neglect of communities as the cause of modern discontent. This is illustrated through examples in history where shifts in technology, economic and political forces have further alienated communities, leading to wealth inequalities, and spurring the rise of populism and political radicalization. The book argues for a rethinking of the relationship between markets and civil society, and advocates for strengthening local communities to remedy the imbalance in society’s pillars. Read it here.

The Intellecap Lighthouse: An Anthology of Ideas & Insights

Aavishkaar Group & Intellecap

This report is an anthology of thought pieces by stakeholders from the agriculture, energy, financial services, sanitation and healthcare sectors. It includes pieces on the significance of gender lens investing and impact investing, ways to strengthen India’s overburdened healthcare system, in addition to the emergence of circularity in the textiles and apparel industry. This compilation looks to drive sustainable solutions to bring us closer to achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. This is the second edition of Intellecap’s Lighthouse report. Read it here.

The Legatum Prosperity Index 2020

Legatum Institute

This report quantifies prosperity in 167 countries and identifies specific actions that can contribute to strengthening the pathways from poverty to prosperity globally. The 14th edition in this series reviews progress over the past decade, with Asia-Pacific region having the greatest improvement in prosperity, accounting for the largest portion of global increase. Read it here.

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  

Have a story to share? Contact us at research@caps.org.

CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

9 June 2021 - 22 June 2021

Hong Kong companies offer HK$130 million (approximately US$16.7 million) worth of incentives to encourage Covid-19 vaccinations. New World Development is partnering with local NGOs to offer a HK$1,000 allowance to 500 underprivileged individuals. Other Hong Kong companies, including Sino Group, Hang Lung Properties, The Airport Authority Hong Kong, are offering lucky draw and discount prizes, ranging from shopping coupons to a HK$10 million (approximately US$1.3 million) apartment.

In the latest Philanthropy Impact magazine, CAPS explains how blended finance can pave the way to achieving the SDGs. Asia faces a significant financing shortfall in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, especially in the wake of the pandemic. CAPS’ Director of Research Mehvesh Mumtaz Ahmed describes how blended finance, which uses catalytic capital from government or philanthropists to attract private capital, can help. She also showcases different blended finance strategies from across Asia. Continue reading on page 26 of Philanthropy Impact 

Companies are partnering with nonprofits and government to boost Covid relief in India. Microsoft, Hitachi, and Honeywell are working with various charities to manufacture and provide essential equipment to Indian hospitals. The foundations of Vodafone and NASSCOM are partnering with Childline India Foundation to launch a helpline for children in distress.

Additionally, Dasra launched the campaign #BacktheFrontline to raise US$10 million for over 100 NGO first responders as the country shifts from relief to rebuilding. Some of US philanthropist Mackenzie Scott’s recent bequest of US$2.7 billion is going to Indian nonprofits working in pandemic relief, such as GiveIndia, The/Nudge Foundation and Mann Deshi.

With private sector support, Covid-19 vaccination rates gain pace in Japan and Taiwan. Rakuten is preparing a nationwide vaccination rollout, collaborating with industry, academia and government to establish additional vaccination centers and administer over 30,000 daily doses. Japan’s largest companies, including Toyota Motor, Softbank and Nomura, are setting up employee inoculation facilities. In Taiwan, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. will purchase 5 million vaccine doses on behalf of the government. This follows recent news of Foxconn’s pledge to purchase 5 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

Korea will introduce ESG guidelines by the end of this year. The Korean Government plans to establish infrastructure and incentives to help companies embed environmental, social and governance (ESG) values in corporate strategies. It is also considering a revision of the stewardship code towards responsible investing, which would affect Korea’s National Pension Fund, currently the world’s third largest. These developments will help Korea keep pace with other Asian economies. Continue reading in The Korean Times 

Kakao’s founder Kim Beom-su (Brian) establishes new eponymous foundation. We reported in February 2021 about Kim’s pledge to donate more than half his wealth. He recently sold ₩500 billion (approximately US$440 million) worth of company shares, part of which will be put towards the newly formed Brian Impact Foundation. The foundation will support social impact projects’ research and development, and businesses developing artificial intelligence and other future-leading tech. Continue reading in The Korea Herald 

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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.

CAF World Giving Index 10th Edition

Charities Aid Foundation

This special 10th edition of the Index looks at trends in charitable giving based on aggregated data over 10 years. It is based on surveys of 1.3 million people on three aspects of giving behavior: helping strangers, donating to charities and volunteering.

While the World Giving Index measures how likely an individual would be to donate or assist a stranger on an ad hoc basis, it contrasts with CAPS’ Doing Good Index, which considers the enabling infrastructure for making large-scale philanthropy in Asia. Read it here.

Who’s Doing Good?

8 June 2020 - 21 June 2020

THE GIVERS

Singaporeans donated SG$90 million in first five months of 2020, equal to whole of last year’s donations. From January to May of this year, SG$90 million (approximately US$64 million) was donated to the Community Chest, the Community Foundation of Singapore’s Sayang Sayang Fund, and through the online donation platform Giving.sg. This amount was around the same as the total donations received by the Community Chest and Giving.sg in the entire year of 2019, according to a joint statement by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and Ministry of Social and Family Development.

17th China Philanthropy Ranking released. The 17th edition of the annual China Philanthropy Ranking, supported by China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs and the China Charity Times, was released on June 16. This year’s ranking includes 118 philanthropists with a total of ¥5.45036 billion (approximately US$771 million) in donations, and 605 companies with a total of ¥1.245 trillion (approximately US$176 billion) in donations.

THE THINKERS

GIIN’s 2020 Annual Impact Investor Survey released. The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) released the 10th edition of its flagship report, which provides an overview of the global impact investing market. This report includes an updated market sizing analysis—estimating the current market size at US$715 billion—trends analysis, and insights on topics such as climate investing, the evolution of impact measurement, and policy developments over the past decade. CAPS’ recent study, Business for Good: maximizing the value of social enterprises in Asia, points out that impact investment in Asia is not yet living up to its full potential. While Asia accounts for nearly 50% of global GDP, GIIN’s latest report finds that only 14% of global impact investment is allocated to the region.

CEO of Singapore’s NVPC argues corporate giving during Covid-19 more than just a PR exercise. Melissa Kwee, CEO of the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), highlights examples of corporate efforts amidst Covid-19 that aligned a company’s purpose and expertise to enable more strategic giving. She cites Temasek, which leveraged its supply chain networks to provide hand sanitizers to all Singaporean households, and the Singapore Metal & Machinery Association, which mobilized a donation of 3,800 sets of PPEs. Kwee states that this is a step up from past CSR efforts that can sometimes be peripheral to the business or more reactive activities that lack a larger strategic intent.

THE BUSINESSES

Covid-19 covers 80% of CSR budget for India Inc., according to Crisil Foundation. According to the Foundation, CSR spending thus far has been in the form of contributions to the PM CARES Fund and other relief funds, as well as distribution of food, PPE, and other relief supplies to the needy. The Foundation’s chief operating officer stated, “Interestingly, the 130 companies analyzed by Crisil accounted for nearly 80% of the total CSR spend by all listed companies in fiscal 2019. Assuming other companies would have followed a similar path, India Inc. has already allocated over 80% of the annual CSR budget to address the pandemic. This could impact spending on other areas this fiscal year.”

ASEAN and The Asia Foundation, with support from Google.org, collaborate to equip 200,000 micro and small enterprises with digital skills and tools amidst the Covid-19 crisis. The ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and The Asia Foundation have jointly launched ‘Go Digital ASEAN,’ supported by a US$3.3 million grant from Google’s philanthropic arm. The initiative will focus on expanding economic opportunities across ASEAN member states and mitigating the negative impact from the Covid-19 crisis. It aims to close the digital divide by equipping micro and small enterprises, as well as underemployed youth in rural and isolated areas, with crucial digital skills and tools.

Largest donation for Philippines’ fight against Covid-19 came from Project Ugnayan of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) at US$29.1 million. PDRF, the Philippines’ major private sector vehicle and coordinator for disaster management, has made the largest contribution to the government’s Covid-19 response to date: US$29.1 million. The next biggest donors to the government’s relief efforts are USAID, San Miguel Corporate, and Unilab. Ayala Group, which took an active part in Project Ugnayan, has set forth an array of other relief efforts to tackle Covid-19 in the Philippines. Recently, Ayala Group donated an automated RNA Extraction machine and two RT-PCR machines to Southern Philippines Medical Center and other institutions, which will help Davao boost its testing capacity to a maximum of 1,000 tests per day.

Tzu Chi Foundation Indonesia raised Rupiah 500 billion (approximately US$36 million) towards fighting Covid-19. The six biggest donors to the Foundation’s Covid-19 initiative were Sinarmas, Djarum, Indofood, Astra, Agung Sedayu Group, and Artha Graha Peduli. The funds will be used to purchase various equipment needed to help handle the outbreak in Indonesia.

Excelerate Energy has become the key sponsor of the HOPE Foundation for Women and Children of Bangladesh to support the organization’s Covid-19 relief efforts at the Rohingya camp outside Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh—home to more than a million refugees. The US company’s donation will provide up to 10,000 patients a year with outpatient and in-patient services, diagnostics, critical care, emergency transportation. It will also fund PPE for staff and surrounding community, staff training, and awareness programs.

Mastercard builds on Covid-19 response with commitment to expand financial inclusion initiative. The new commitment—an extension of Mastercard’s 2015 pledge to bring 500 million excluded people into the financial system—will bring a total of 1 billion people and 50 million micro- and small- businesses worldwide into the digital economy by 2025. This article shares examples of Mastercard’s financial inclusion initiatives in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

American Express India has pledged INR 9 crores (approximately US$1.2 million) towards Covid-19 relief efforts. This includes contributions to the PM CARES Fund and nonprofits working in Covid-19 relief areas—such as mobilizing essential supplies, providing medical kits, feeding healthcare professionals, and developing and providing PPE to vulnerable communities. American Express India has also partnered in an initiative called ‘Hunger Heroes’ that will help distribute dry rations and essential supplies to the families of 10,000 food delivery riders impacted by the pandemic.

PwC Singapore launches new initiatives to support the community amidst Covid-19. The company is releasing “Digital Fitness for the World,” a learning app aimed at increasing digital acumen and upskilling, to the public for free from June 8 onwards. PwC is also working to help small and medium enterprises accelerate digitization with dedicated digital advisory services, solutions, and upskilling programs. Other Covid-19 initiatives from PwC include purchasing and distributing food to vulnerable communities.

THE INNOVATORS

Indonesia-based e-sports company helping fight Covid-19 through streaming, direct action. EVOS Sports, which operates across Southeast Asia, has initiated a number of efforts, including streaming matches and collaborating with influencers and social delivery organizations, to give back. For example, in Malaysia, EVOS Sports’ PUBG Mobile team played matches among themselves over a livestream and encouraged viewers to contribute to the “Give with Ikhlas” charity initiative, which has raised RM1 million (approximately US$230,000) so far. In Thailand and Indonesia, EVOS Sports’ athletes have also stepped on the ground to cook 3,000 meals for the underprivileged and donate 50,000 masks and surgical gloves.

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