CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

01 September 2021 - 14 September 2021

Alibaba commits ¥100 billion (US$15.5 billion) to “common prosperity” vision. China Daily reports that the funding will go towards supporting technological innovation, economic development, developing a high-quality workforce, caring for vulnerable groups, and setting up a ¥20 billion (approximately US$3.1 billion) common prosperity development fund. Continue reading in China Daily →

The family of CAPS’ Chairman Ronnie Chan has been active on both sides of the Pacific. In Hong Kong and mainland China, their Hang Lung Properties group hosted a sustainability-themed volunteer day where 800 corporate volunteers in 10 cities dedicated their time to promoting low carbon living and delivering care to over 5,000 people in need. And in the US, the Chans’ Morningside Foundation has donated US$175 million from their philanthropic organization to the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Hyundai Motor Group’s honorary chairman Chung Mong-koo pledges ₩10 billion (US$8.63 million) for vaccine research. The funds will be donated to the Korea University Medical Center for establishing a vaccine research center to expand the infrastructure needed to develop homegrown vaccines for infectious diseases. Continue reading in The Korea Herald →

WWF India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) launch the India Plastics Pact. India generates 9.46 million tonnes of plastic waste annually. Almost half (43%) of all plastics produced are used for packaging, with the majority being single-use. The Pact brings together businesses, government, and NGOs to resolve these issues by promoting a circular system for plastics. India is the first Asian economy to launch a Plastics Pact. Continue reading in Business Line →

Cambodia’s Prince Holding Group signs MoU with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) to launch the Chen Zhi Scholarship. The company has pledged US$2 million over seven years to support 400 students attending top Cambodian universities. Prince Group will work with MoEYS to ensure the students receive financial support, training, mentoring and employment opportunities. Continue reading in the Khmer Times →

India’s water quality and scarcity issues require solutions that offer speed, scale, and sustainability. Arghyam’s Jayamala Subramaniam and Amrtha Kasturi Rangan share how a people-centric, participatory and digital driven approach can help India manage its water more effectively. CAPS’ report, Public-Private Partnerships for Social Good, highlights the strategies successful PPPs such as Arghyam use to achieve sustainable social impact. Continue reading in India Development Review →

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CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

21 July 2021 - 3 August 2021

Philanthropists, corporates and the social sector donate to flood relief in Henan Province. China’s largest tech companies, including Tencent Holdings, Alibaba Group Holdings, Meituan, ByteDance and others, announced donations amounting to nearly ¥1 billion (US$154 million). State owned enterprises donated ¥686 million (approximately US$106 million).

Foundations and nonprofits also stepped up, including the Chinese Red Cross FoundationChina Siyuan Foundation for Poverty AlleviationLi Ka Shing Foundation and AmCham ChinaReuters reported that donations nearing US$300 million flowed to the flood-hit region.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma tops the 2021 Forbes China Philanthropy List. Ma and Hangzhou-based Alibaba made combined cash donations of ¥3.2 billion (approximately US$493.4 million) in 2020. The top 100 philanthropists donated a total of ¥24.5 billion (approximately US$3.79 billion)—a 37% increase from the preceding year. Continue reading in the South China Morning Post 

Sasakawa Peace Foundation commits US$5 million to supporting female entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia. The capital will be invested in Beacon Fund, an investment firm working with women-owned and women-focused enterprises. It will add momentum and help build the gender lens investing ecosystem in the region. Continue reading on Sasakawa Peace Foundation’s website 

Google.org commits US$7.5 million in grants and other support to help alleviate the current pandemic crisis in six Asian economies. US$1.5 million will go to UNICEF and support urgent needs in Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. US$1 million will go to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to address needs in Indonesia. US$5 million worth of Ad Grants will go to local government agencies and organizations across Southeast Asia to run public health information campaigns for free. Continue reading on UNICEF’s website →

United In Diversity (UID) Foundation and Gajah Tunggal Group donate 2,000 tons of liquid oxygen to fight Indonesia’s surge in Covid-19 cases. The donation was made to the Ministry of Health and will be distributed to hospitals experiencing oxygen shortages. Continue reading in Antara News →

LGT Private Banking launches first impact fund. US$900 million worth of investments will be made in rapidly growing, innovative and sustainable businesses in India, Europe and Latin America. Most of the investments will be in sectors such as education, healthcare, sustainable food and agriculture, renewable energy, fintech and others. Continue reading on LGT’s website →

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

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 

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

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 →

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

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.

CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

16 March 2021 - 31 March 2021

After recent outbreak of Covid-19 cases, Cambodian government calls upon private sector for further assistance. One of Cambodia’s largest conglomerates, Prince Holding Group, and its chairman Neak Oknha Chen Zhi, answered the call with a fresh bequest of US$3 million. Cambodian tycoon Kith Meng and his family also contributed US$3 million, with an additional US$2 million to purchase Nokor Tep Hospital. Both Kith Meng and Chen Zhi are among a list of prominent business leaders who had already donated to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s vaccine efforts last December, contributing US$3 million each at that time.

Private equity fund ABC World Asia launches inaugural report detailing investment activities and impact performance. The report, “Journey to Impact in Asia,” showcases the performance of SG$98 million (approximately US$73 million) invested in five companies addressing challenges in climate, financial inclusion, healthcare, and sustainable agriculture in 2020. The fund aims to encourage more dialogue around impact investing in Asia by publicly sharing its framework for impact evaluation and its learning and experiences. In CAPS’ Business for Good, we highlight how impact investors can help incentivize other investors by publishing reports like this that showcase different approaches to investment and celebrate success stories. Continue reading in PR Newswire →

Swire Group reaffirms commitment to Hong Kong community with new HK$150 million (approximately US$20 million) charitable pledge. The new round of funding will go to TrustTomorrow, an initiative launched in early 2020 by the Group’s philanthropic arm Swire Trust. It will support around 30 projects, primarily in education, marine conservation and the arts, over the next three years. Continue reading in the South China Morning Post →

Survey of Indian bureaucrats highlights critical role of NGOs in pandemic response. The Centre for Policy Research survey, conducted in August-September 2020, polled over 500 officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). The findings show that three out of five officers considered NGOs and civil society as critical partners in the pandemic response. Officers in more developed states, however, were less likely to consider NGOs as critical partners, suggesting they may be less dependent on them for meeting gaps in services. Continue reading in Live Mint →

Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan, eldest daughter of the King of Malaysia, launches social enterprise on mental health. The 28-year-old royal has launched Green Ribbon Group, a social enterprise that aims to combat mental health issues in Malaysia. It will seek to empower stakeholders involved in raising awareness around mental health, through advocacy, fundraising, and collaboration initiatives. Continue reading in CNA Luxury →

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

The State of Social Enterprise in South East Asia

British Council and UNESCAP

This report combines economy-specific analyses of social enterprises across South East Asia, including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. An estimated one million social enterprises exist across these economies. This report highlights the activities that social enterprises are engaged in, the range of beneficiaries, as well as their size and reach. The diverse types and sources of support social enterprises receive are also discussed. Read it here.

Individual reports can be accessed here:

Charity Law Reform in Hong Kong: Taming the Asian Dragon?

Damian Bethke (International Journal of Not-for-profit Law (Vol. 18, No. 1))

This article examines the historical development of charity organizations in Hong Kong and reviews laws governing them.

Hong Kong has seen a rise in the number of charitable organizations despite a lack of clear regulations. To address this, in 2007 the Law Reform Commission initiated a review of the charity law and recommended 18 changes. This article discusses where these recommendations fall short and proposes an alternative model: the creation of independent charity watchdog organizations to monitor the sector. Read it here.

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.