CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

10 November – 23 November 2021

Cross-sector collaborations target climate action. The Asian Development Bank is aiming to mobilize US$100 million in catalytic capital from public and private sources to incentivize climate investments and help Asian economies transition towards net-zero emissions. Michael Bloomberg says India is a model for public-private collaboration for the climate: “Success will only come by making full partners of the private sector – and India is showing how it can be done.”

Regional and international companies pledge to address social needs across Asia. Corporate philanthropy across the region can benefit communities and address needs, helping to supplement government or social sector support. Ayala Corporation launches Alagang AyalaLand Center for social enterprises in Quezon City, Philippines, one of 32 similar centers that can support a potential 4,000 jobs for the community. Supermarket giant Wellcome aims to raise HK$5 million (approximately US$641,000) in Hong Kong and Macau through a rice donation program amid rising poverty. In Singapore, UBS pledges S$2 million (approximately US$1.47 million) funding for mangrove conservation across Asia. And Google makes a US$1 million donation to Taiwan FactCheck Centre for fighting disinformation, as well as pledging US$2.5 million for women’s empowerment in India.

Pakistan Petroleum Limited largest corporate giver. Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP) awarded the company the Corporate Philanthropy Award for its giving in 2019-20. PCP–CAPS’ partner for the Doing Good Index—has also released the findings of its latest survey on corporate philanthropy in Pakistan. Continue reading in The News International→

Kamath brothers launch Young India Philanthropic Pledge. Zerodha co-founders Nikhil and Nithin Kamath pledge a quarter of their wealth to philanthropy. The Young India Philanthropic Pledge will see signatories (aged 45 and younger) pledging 25% of their wealth with a minimum annual spend of ₹1 crore (approximately US$134,000). Continue reading in The CSR Journal→

Collaboration between business and civil society. Recognizing each other’s strengths and expertise can be a good starting point for effective partnerships. NGOs often possess a nuanced understanding of the risk landscape as it relates to underrepresented groups. They are well placed to provide contextual knowledge in areas where corporations may lack. This resonates with our Doing Good Index 2020, which found that 11 economies in Asia are witnessing a rise in corporate social responsibility and public-private partnerships for social good. Continue reading in Nikkei Asia→

How has Covid-19 impacted NGOs in the Philippines? As part of CAPS’ biennial survey for the Doing Good Index, the Association of Foundations surveyed 150 NGOs to understand how they have adjusted and sustained their work during the pandemic. Findings from the survey show nine out of 10 NGOs are directly supporting Covid-19 relief efforts, many of which have formed new collaborations with government, corporates and other NGOs as a result. Meanwhile, efforts to safeguard communities against Covid-19 continues as the Aboitiz Group fully vaccinates over 9,000 in Davao, Philippines.

Sri Lanka’s wheelchair tennis receives donations. The US$30,000 donation came from Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) and China Merchants Foundation (CMF). This latest donation brings the cumulative value of CICT’s and CMF’s financial support to Sri Lanka’s wheelchair tennis program over the past six years to approximately US$203,700. Continue reading in the Sunday Observer→

Malaysian investors can now donate their unit trust funds to charity. Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd (ASNB) launches new Wakaf ASNB service, allowing investors to contribute to charity through their investing. Continue reading in the Malay Mail→

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

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 →

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

CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

29 September 2021 – 12 October 2021

Corporates donate big to flood relief efforts in Shanxi Province, China. Companies including tech giants Tencent, Alibaba and Pinduoduo, and smartphone makers Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, have pledged US$46 million to aid over 1.75 million people affected by severe rainstorms and floods. The giving comes amid a nationwide call of common prosperity, the concept championed by President Xi Jinping that companies should focus on stakeholder value and contribute to overall societal wellbeing. Continue reading in the South China Morning Post →

Sustainable infrastructure platform launched in Singapore. Temasek has partnered with HSBC Bank to set up a US$150 million platform dedicated to sustainable infrastructure projects. Initially focusing on Southeast Asia, the aim is to scale the platform to US$1 billion in loans within 5 years. The platform will target projects in renewable energy and storage, water and waste treatment, and sustainable transport to offset the impact of climate change. Continue reading on HSBC’s website →

India’s social sector gets a boost. The country is set to establish its first social stock exchange, paving the way for nonprofit organizations and for-profit social enterprises to access capital markets. Organizations will be able to raise funds through equity, impact bonds, and other market instruments. Also, India just celebrated DaanUtsav, a week-long festival of giving and the fifth year of GivingTuesday India, led by nonprofit and CAPS partner GuideStar India. This year’s events focused on impacting millions of lives through donations and volunteering.

India’s richest are investing big in clean energy. Mukesh Ambani tops the Forbes and Hurun India’s respective rich lists, followed by Gautam Adani in second spot. Both are making significant investments in clean energy, with Reliance spending US$10.1 billion over 3 years, and the Adani Group investing US$50-70 billion over the next 10 years. These investments show Asian energy companies recognize the need to focus on renewable and clean energy sources.

Corporates and foundations seek to address social issues in Hong Kong. New World Development launches a nonprofit social housing enterprise, New World Build for Good, to research and pilot programs in pursuit of solutions for the city’s housing issues. The Wofoo Foundation donates to Hong Kong’s Lingnan University with funding to establish a laboratory in support of adolescent wellbeing. This adds to a previous donation from the foundation in 2019.

Nobel Peace Prize honors an investigative journalist in the Philippines. This year’s prize acknowledges Maria Ressa for her courage and commitment towards independent and fact-based journalism, according to the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Continue reading on the Nobel Peace Prize’s website →

Accolades for environmental justice organization in India. The nonprofit Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE) is one of four global awardees of the 2021 Rights Livelihood Award, recognizing the organization’s contribution in providing access to justice for those protecting the country’s forests and biodiversity. Continue reading in the Hindustan Times →

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

CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

15 September 2021 – 28 September 2021

Hong Kong-based Yidan Prize Foundation unveils 2021 award winners. Regarded as one of the world’s highest education accolades, the Yidan Prize recognizes individuals and teams with significant contributions to education research and education development. This year’s Yidan Prize for Education Research laureate is Stanford University’s Professor Eric Hanushek, and the Yidan Prize for Education Development laureate is Dr. Rukmini Banerji of the Pratham Education Foundation. Each laureate will be awarded HK$30 million (approximately US$3.9 million). Continue reading on Yidan Prize’s website →

Pakistan’s local startups see record investment. Maqsad raised the nation’s largest edtech funding to date of US$2.1 million, marking the latest milestone among the nation’s startup industry, reports Bloomberg. In total, the country’s startups have raised over US$244 million in 2021—more than the previous six years combined, according to venture capital fund, Invest2Innovate. There is even more room for growth; according to CAPS’ study Business for Good, only 26% of social enterprises in Pakistan receive private investment. Continue reading in Bloomberg →

Tencent’s “99 Giving Day” 2021 raises ¥4.2 billion (approximately US$649.5 million). This year’s event spanned 10 days and saw over 68.7 million donors contribute ¥3.6 billion (approximately US$557 million), while Tencent Charity Foundation pledged to give ¥600 million (approximately US$92.5 million). Continue reading on Tencent’s website →

Bloomberg Philanthropies and Goldman Sachs pledge US$25 million to advancing clean energy solutions in South and Southeast Asia. The new Climate Innovation Fund, to be managed by the Asian Development Bank, will focus on clean energy solutions in India and Vietnam to begin with. This initial philanthropic funding has the potential to unlock up to US$500 million in private and government investments. Continue reading on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ website →

Corporates, governments and foundations continue contributing to Covid-19 relief and aid efforts in the region. BRAC Bank and SME Foundation signed an agreement to provide loans to help small businesses in Bangladesh recover from the impact of the pandemic. The Philippines’ SM Group intensifies vaccination of employees and stakeholders. The Macquarie Group Foundation allocated AU$20 million (approximately US$14.5 million) to 40 community organizations around the world working to combat Covid-19. This included helping seed two Gender Lens Funds in the Philippines. In Vietnam, the American Chamber of Commerce donated over VND5.2 billion (US$227,000) for the purchase of essential medical equipment. Intel Malaysia earmarked a second round of funding amounting to RM2 million (approximately US$477,000) towards relief efforts.

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

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 →

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

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.