CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

9 December – 22 December 2021

Dear Friends,

In the blink of an eye 2021 is drawing to a close. This year, Asia’s social sector has shown enormous resilience in the face of challenges on multiple fronts and has demonstrated the ability to adapt to the long-term impacts of pandemic disruption.

We’ve seen the morphing of the boundaries that lie between profit and purpose: NGOs have found second income streams, governments have procured the services of social enterprises, and public-private partnerships have emerged in new areas in an effort to address community and social needs.

The increasing willingness of stakeholders to experiment with market mechanisms to attract private capital has seen innovation in the area of blended finance. As always, CAPS is committed to keeping you abreast of these emerging trends in the social sector. In the new year, we will be releasing a briefing on the topic of blended finance, covering themes such as social impact bonds, public-private partnerships and social stock exchanges.

2021 was also a year in which we saw ESG considerations shift from a “nice to have” to an almost essential part of any credible business model. Corporations can no longer position themselves as separate from social and environmental issues, and investors are turning up the heat on those who have been slow to demonstrate a commitment to a more sustainable and socially responsible future.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season,

Ruth A. Shapiro
Co-Founder and Chief Executive

Forbes Asia’s 2021 Heroes of Philanthropy. 15 prominent givers are on the list, including CAPS’ Chair Ronnie C. Chan, who, along with his brother Gerald, has been a key figure in education philanthropy. Cho Tak Wong (Fuyao Glass Industry Group), Rina Lopez Bautista (Knowledge Channel Foundation), Azim Premji (Wipro), Jeffrey Cheah (Sunway Group), Lin Chen-Hai (Pau Jar Group), Takemitsu Takizaki (Keyence), Michael Kim (MBK Partners) and Joseph Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai have been recognized for their contributions to learning and education. Kin Jung-Ju (Nexon) and Anil Agarwal (Vendata Resources) are lauded for their efforts in the areas of healthcare, Pham Nhat Vuong (Vingroup) and Teresita Sy-Coson (SM Investments) for pandemic recovery donations, and Wee Wei Ling (Pan Pacific Hotels Group) for her commitment to disability inclusion. Continue reading in Forbes Asia →

Donations for schools, universities across the region. Robin Zeng, founder and Chairman of Chinese battery producer CATL, pledges US$206 million to his alma mater, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Philanthropists Mahmudul Huq and Monisha Anwar Huq donate ৳38 million (approximately US$440,534) to Independent University, Bangladesh, through their endowment trust. And BASF Vietnam joins forces with partner companies to break ground on its sixth school renovation project in rural areas.

Boosting support for small businesses, entrepreneurs. In India, tech corporations including Microsoft and Accenture look at ways to go beyond “chequebook philanthropy”, offering technical support and mentorships to startups looking to scale solutions to social problems. In Cambodia, state-owned Khmer Enterprise is working with Oxfam and Platform Impact Co to accelerate and grow SMEs, while at the same time educating entrepreneurs about social and environmental considerations for businesses that plan to reach international markets.

Companies in Asia make bold commitments in sustainability push. Malaysia’s CIMB Group pledges RM30 billion (approximately US$7.133 billion) for sustainable financing as part of its mission to become a regional leader for sustainability. CMFL Hong Kong signs its first sustainability-linked term loan worth US$445.7 million, a reflection of the increasing urgency for the shipping sector to implement ESG practices. HSBC Indonesia’s president director says partnership is key to meeting the climate change financing gap. The company is planning US$1 trillion in sustainable finance and investments globally by 2030. The Philippines’ Aboitiz Foundation partners with national and local government to innovate around community disaster and climate change adaptation. India Climate Collaborative, writing for The Times of India, highlights the role of private funds in meeting environmental challenges: “Philanthropic capital has an indispensable role to play in the crisis, given its intrinsic ability to be patient, flexible, compassionate, and ambitious.”

New reports on the state of the social sector, philanthropy. The US Agency for International Development releases its 2020 Civil Society Organization Sustainability Index for Asia, covering key issues in eight economies across the region. Unsurprisingly, the ongoing pandemic emerges as a key challenge facing civil society organizations, as are political tensions, movement of refugees and the tightening of regulations by governments. And Mercer’s latest report looks at the top considerations for endowments and foundations in 2022, highlighting how growing Chinese wealth, sustainability and impact investing will likely affect the business of doing good in the coming year.

Communities come together to do good. Shanghai’s charity month goes digital, with a new online donation platform launched via the city’s public service app. It is hoped that the greater ease of donation will encourage more people to give, directing funds towards supporting at-need households in Shanghai. And rural Cambodian district Tboung Khmum constructs 667 wells thanks to philanthropic donations from Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

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

Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Snapshot: Climate & Environmental Entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia

ANDE, Australian Aid & Stockholm Environment Institute

This report examines the support ecosystem for climate and environmental entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia and identifies challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurship to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy in the region. The findings are based on a survey of 221 support organizations, conducted in six Southeast Asian economies that are significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and/or are the most vulnerable to climate disasters: Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The report offers insights on the set of organizations supporting entrepreneurs and gives specific recommendations on ways that support organizations, the private sector and governments can help boost the ecosystem for climate and environmental entrepreneurs.

The publication is part of ANDE’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Snapshots, which provide practitioner-focused information to small and growing businesses. Read it here.

CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

27 October 2021 – 09 November 2021

COP26 spurs increase in partnerships for climate action. The Climate Finance Leadership Initiative India announced its nine founding members ahead of the climate conference, which include Tata Sons, State Bank of India, Larsen & Toubro, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HSBC and Singapore’s GIC Private Limited. The initiative will focus efforts on accelerating the flow of private finance to climate actions in India.

In addition, the Bezos Earth Fund pledged US$500 million in seed capital to The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, to bring renewable energy to 1 billion of the world’s poorest. The alliance aims to increase this to US$100 billion within a decade by leveraging both multilateral and private capital, reports the Financial Times. Initial projects will target economies in Asia (India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Pakistan), as well as Africa and Latin America. And Bill Gates reflects on the significance of COP26 and the shifts in the role that the private sector can play in combating environmental challenges.

Azim Premji tops the 2021 EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List. Premji’s family increased their giving by 27% compared to last year, reports India Today. Nine women were featured on the list, including nonprofit founder Rohini Nilekani, who was named India’s “most generous woman philanthropist”. CAPS spoke with Rohini earlier in the year about her push for water and education philanthropy in India. Continue reading in India Today →

Asian billionaires are donating big to support higher education. Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, the founder of Vietjet and Vietnam’s wealthiest woman, donates £155 million (approximately US$211 million) to Oxford college. Her donation, the largest received by Oxford in at least 500 years, will see Linacre College renamed “Thao College”, reports The Guardian. Indonesian entrepreneur Tandean Rustandy makes a US$1.25 million donation to the University of Colorado, Boulder. The major gift from the founder of ceramic tiles business PT Arwana Citramulia Tbk will support scholarships that link business and engineering studies.

India’s first Skills Impact Bond launches, set to benefit 50,000 youths over the next four years. The US$14.4 million fund is a collaboration between the National Skill Development Corporation and a coalition of global philanthropic, corporate and government partners. Partners will work to promote effective interventions, support research and enhance the impact of the skill development program. Women and girls, who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, will constitute 60% of the target group, reports The Times of IndiaContinue reading in The Times of India →

Green and sustainable finance continues to gain traction in Asia. Singapore-headquartered Tembusu Partners and Eco Business launch the Sustainable Future Fund. The targeted US$100 million, Asia-focused fund will invest in climate opportunity areas including energy, sustainable cities and the circular economy. Thailand’s Indorama Ventures issues a US$300 million sustainability-linked bond. The bond will be the largest of its kind issued in Thailand, according to The Asset. Indorama says the bond is aligned with international standards and will be made available to both institutional and high-net worth individual investors.

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

The Advance of Impact Investing in South East Asia

Investing in Women

This report identifies trends in impact investing and gender lens investing in Southeast Asia. It builds on the 2018 report, The Landscape for Impact Investing in Southeast Asia, with updated data on impact investing deals and capital for the period 2017-2019. Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam together possess over half of the region’s impact investing deals. Despite growing markedly during the study period, challenges remain in scaling up gender lens investments. Covid-19 brings additional uncertainty, although it could drive an increase in in-country partnerships and co-investments. Read it here.

Bridging the Talent Gap: A Study on Talent Development in the Philanthropy and Non-Profit Sector

Asia Philanthropy Circle (APC)

This report shines a spotlight on the talent deficit in philanthropy and social sector leadership in Asia. The dearth in talent can limit the ability of the sector to grow when there is insufficient leadership behind it. Recommendations for how challenges in recruitment, integration and retention of talent can be mitigated are discussed. The report draws from 20 interviews conducted in five Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Read it here.

Overview of Social Finance in Indonesia

AlliedCrowds & UNDP

This report analyzes the growing social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Indonesia. It details various factors that drive the social enterprise movement, from its startup-friendly culture to a supportive ecosystem, while noting the funding and market access challenges that young social enterprises face. The report also highlights the sectors where social enterprises are needed most, and gives preliminary recommendations on how to grow the country’s social entrepreneurship landscape. Read it here.

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

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 →

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

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.

 

Social innovation and higher education landscape in East Asia

British Council & University of Northamption Institute for Social Innovation and Impact

This report consolidates findings and maps the current social innovations landscape in higher education institutions across several East Asia economies, including Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and South Korea. Higher education institutions are seen as critical incubators of social innovation and can help develop solutions to complex local problems. The study employs a mixed methods approach in gathering data: using desktop research, an online survey, interviews and focus groups with stakeholders from the higher education ecosystem. The report concludes with recommendations at the practice, institutional and systemic levels for all economies examined. Read it here.