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→

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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.

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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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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 →

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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.

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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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

28 April 2021 - 12 May 2021

As cases continue to surge in India, ordinary citizens, charities and companies are working to mitigate the crisis. In many places, volunteers are filling the gaps by organizing charity drives and sourcing supplies. India’s younger generation is fighting the pandemic by setting up crowdsourcing apps and building online databases with real-time information on medical resources and oxygen availability across the country. Companies are continuing to aid the fight: Bajaj Group pledged an additional ₹200 crore (US$27 million); Accenture pledged US$25 million; Reliance Foundation is setting up an additional 1,000 bed facility in Jamnagar; tech companies from CRED to Google are also providing aid. While companies, charities, and ordinary citizens are stepping up, India’s ultra-rich are facing criticism for not giving more during this second wave.

Prime Minister Modi has asked NGOs and civil society groups to provide further help to medical professionals. However, nonprofits are saying that the FCRA amendments the government introduced last September have crippled the sector and limited their ability to access and distribute crucial foreign aid at this time. They are asking for FCRA requirements to be put in abeyance as the country battles the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thailand’s social sector is facing potential restrictions on foreign funding. In February, the Thai Cabinet approved a draft law in the name of creating more transparency in the social sector. The law has since drawn criticism from those in the sector, including human rights groups, and three United Nations Special Rapporteurs, who are concerned it would bring to heel the country’s NGOs. Section 6 of the draft law would place restrictions on organizations that receive foreign funding. This could have ramifications for the sector, as CAPS’ Doing Good Index 2020 found that 52% of social delivery organizations in Thailand receive foreign funding.

Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) and the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) begin construction of disaster, pandemic facility. The BPI Bayanihan Center will be a two-story, multi-purpose facility in Batangas City for people burdened by disasters and pandemics. The facility was intended to serve those severely affected by the Taal Volcano eruption in 2020, but its design has since been modified so that it can also function as a health care facility. The center will also be open for community programs and activities on occasion. Continue reading in The Manila Times →

NGO Rise Against Hunger and corporate partners join hands to end hunger in the Philippines. The number of people going hungry in the Philippines reached a record high during the pandemic, according to a Social Weather Stations survey. Rise Against Hunger stepped up to mobilize its staff and corporate volunteers to deliver food to various communities nationwide. With an ambitious goal to end hunger by 2030, the nonprofit’s corporate and government partnerships have been a key pillar in effectively reaching the poorest communities. Continue reading in The Manila Standard →

DBS Foundation doubles its grant program for social entrepreneurs to SG$3 million (approximately US$2.3 million). The philanthropic arm of DBS Bank has increased the funding pool of its grant program to support more social enterprises in the region as the pandemic persists. Social enterprises from Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, India, and Indonesia are eligible to apply. Continue reading in the Singapore Business Review →

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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.