CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

1 January - 12 January 2022
Dear Friends,

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2022!

What does the year have in store for Asia’s social sector?

Devex is looking towards the “growing scale of private philanthropy” and the push to maximize the impact of social investments, predicting greater collaborations between private funders and grassroots organizations.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy is optimistic, looking to economic recovery from Covid as a positive indicator for the growth of philanthropy in 2022.

Sustainability is firmly on the global agenda in 2022 as the world reflects on COP26 and a month of major natural disasters in Asia. Our thoughts are with our colleagues across the region dealing with floods, storms and other extreme weather events.

Best,

Ruth A. Shapiro
Co-Founder and Chief Executive

Philanthropy responds to natural disasters. Relief efforts are ongoing in the Philippines following Super Typhoon Odette. The Filipino-Chinese Community Calamity Fund, a coalition of 11 major Filipino-Chinese business and organizations, have thus far raised ₱75 million (approximately US$1.46 million) for typhoon victims. The Aboitiz Group donated almost ₱15 million (approximately US$293,000) to Odette relief, with more than a third collected through the Group’s crowdfunding platform, Kinder. Yayasan Food Bank Malaysia has collaborated with the CIMB Foundation and Xiaomi Malaysia to support residents impacted by flooding in Kajang in late December. And the Gates Foundation, Tata Trusts and Chaudhary Foundation are among the members of Stronger Foundations for Nutrition, a coalition of philanthropies working together to galvanize efforts in overcoming hunger and malnutrition. The group aims to attract philanthropists and corporate foundations to fund country-level interventions, including in India and Nepal.

Covid relief targets communities in need. Chinese companies including Alibaba, Tencent and Xiaomi sent more than ¥100 million (US$15.74 million) in donations and supplies to Xi’an City, which remains under Covid-19 lockdown, reports The Global Times. Nepal received medical supplies from The Hong Kong Ex-Servicemen Association and Sean and Mary Jean Hotung. This includes the provision of oxygen concentrators to 139 health facilities across the country, reports República Nepal.

Asia’s philanthropists celebrated across the region. The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of major charitable gifts in 2021 includes Joe and Clara Tsai, who gave US$220 million to establish a medical research nonprofit, and Gerald and Ronnie C. Chan’s Morningside Foundation, which gave US$175 million to the University of Massachusetts’ Chan Medical School. Meanwhile, People Magazine Pakistan named Pakistani-American Danial Schon “Man of the Year” for his contributions to philanthropy and entrepreneurship. Schon has encouraged other philanthropists to create more models for sustainable, long-term development in Pakistan.

China’s companies respond to ESG push. Tencent Holdings plans to sell off 14.5 million shares in a tech company to raise US$3.1 billion for philanthropy and social initiatives. The move is seen as a response to a nation-wide push for “common prosperity”, or greater wealth distribution, according to Business Times. Meanwhile, Greenpeace China named Alibaba as the top e-commerce platform for climate-related commitments, as well as action on greenhouse gas emissions: “China’s net-zero pledge turned climate commitments into one of the major lenses for these companies’ social impact to be judged”. Alibaba has pledged to be carbon neutral across its operations by 2030.

Wealth, philanthropy growing in India. Fortune India has a round-up of key reports related to private wealth, including Bain & Company and Dasra’s Indian Philanthropy Report 2021, which found that private-sector funding increased by 23% compared to the previous fiscal year. In addition, 95% of family business owners have philanthropic interests and commitments, according to a report from Edelweiss. Continue reading in Fortune India→

Green and sustainable bonds in Asia. The Export-Import Bank of Korea (Kexim) has launched a 10-year green bond, the first issued under Kexim’s sustainable finance framework. The net proceeds from the green bond will fund renewable energy, sustainable transportation and resource management projects. The Airport Authority of Hong Kong is preparing its first-ever green bond, aimed at financing green projects such as green buildings. However, a proposed plan for a new runway raises concerns about what constitutes a “green” project, according to The Asset. And Stanford Social Innovation Review has an excerpt from a new book on Net Zero Finance, highlighting some of the transitional risks for a green finance system in Asia and the world.

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

CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

24 November – 8 December 2021
Dear Friends,

Asia’s wealth keeps growing. In fact, there are more wealthy Asians than wealthy Europeans, and they have great potential to do good. A recent SCMP article based on a Wealth-X report highlights how young our region’s wealthy are: their average age is 31 compared to 42 in Europe. For those passing on their wealth, mostly aged 70 to 80, philanthropy is one of their main interests. We know from our own research that education and healthcare are among the top targets of philanthropy in Asia, but we’re also seeing trends such as increasing interest in environment and sustainability-focused projects.

Best,

Ruth A. Shapiro
Co-Founder and Chief Executive

Philanthropy in Singapore is flowing to underprivileged groups that have been greatly affected by the pandemic. The families of Khoo Teck Puat and Ng Teng Fong are working with the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) Foundation, using a S$20 million (approximately US$14.6 million) donation from the businessmen’s estates to assist the migrant worker community. Philanthropic foundation Ngee Ann Kongsi is also providing financial assistance to more than 1,000 low-income students at the Institute of Technical Education.

Giving behavior in the city-state has also shifted during the pandemic. A 2021 report by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre finds an 11% increase in volunteerism and informal donations in the past 12 months, away from established organizations. The use of online giving channels has also increased, following a worldwide trend accelerated by the pandemic.

Yuexiu Group’s latest donation to The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The HK$100 million (approximately US$13 million) is the most recent of several annual donations and the start of a new partnership for research, innovation and capacity building. Continue reading on the HKUST website →

Japan’s banks to boost impact investing. The new Japan Impact-driven Financing Initiative boasts some of the country’s biggest names in finance, including MUFG Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust and Shinsei Bank. Signatories will work together to bolster Japan’s impact investing market, sharing action plans and best practices, as well as improving in-house strategy. The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment estimates Japan’s market has grown from US$300 million in 2016 to US$4.5 billion in 2020. Continue reading in Pioneers Post →

Finance companies call for ESG transparency. HSBC, HKEX and Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad are among the Asian financial institutions joining a global effort to corporate ESG disclosures. This continues the momentum garnered at COP26 and calls for increased green finance. Continue reading in Eco-Business →

Cambodia’s Prince Group Chairman sends pandemic support to Laos. Neak Oknha Chen Zhi, Chairman of Prince Holding Group, donates US$2 million to assist the government of Laos in its efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. This is in addition to the US$1 million he donated in September. Continue reading in Khmer Times →

Giving in India is becoming more inclusive and collaborative. Wealth management advisors are seeing more and more young, upwardly mobile, working professionals pledging to support nonprofit organizations addressing social causes or engaging in impact investing. GiveIndia’s Sumit Tayal points to Covid-19 as triggering “the rapid pooling of collective resources and a heightened sense of purpose and awareness of how philanthropy can bring about measurable social change.” And SSIR looks at the potential of blended finance to address social challenges in India, and key barriers to overcome if these strategies are to be effective.

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

Civil Society Support to Covid-19 Affected Families: Outreach and Resourcing in the Second Wave

Participatory Research in Asia

This report looks at the contribution of Indian civil society organizations (CSOs) during the pandemic period and the challenges they faced in the process. A survey of 577 respondents from CSOs in India’s 26 States and 4 Union Territories was conducted to uncover the types of Covid-related support CSOs provided, from medical supplies, blood donations to the provision of basic necessities. Beyond their support for communities, the research also assessed the difficulties for CSOs in mobilizing financial and other resources to support relief work. Read it here.

How Young Entrepreneurs in Asia-Pacific Responded to Covid-19

Youth Co:Lab

One year on from the start of the pandemic, this report looks at the impact that COVID-19 has had on youth-led enterprises in the Asia-Pacific. The report, conducted by Youth Co:lab in collaboration with UNDP and Citi Foundation, details how lockdowns, shrinking demand, supply chain disruptions and a credit crunch challenged these enterprises during the pandemic. It showcases a range of the innovative responses and solutions from young entrepreneurs, from pivoting business strategy, launching new products and services and transforming business models.

Findings are based on a survey conducted one-year on from the start of the crisis, which sought responses from 376 participants in 30 countries and territories in the region. Read it here.

CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

10 November – 23 November 2021

Dear Friends,

I recently had the privilege of speaking at our partner MSD Vietnam’s web conference, Responsible Business in the Context of Covid-19. As evidenced by early results from the Doing Good Index 2022, the social sector in Vietnam is poised to go through a number of changes. Vietnam’s elevation to a middle-income country has resulted in a decline in foreign aid, which historically social delivery organizations have largely relied on. Promisingly, some signs of adaption within the social sector are visible as local individual and corporate social investment is beginning to take a more expansive role.

Warm regards,
Ruth A. Shapiro
Co-Founder and Chief Executive

 

 

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

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.

Asia Development Outlook (ADO) 2021: Green and Inclusive Recovery

Asia Development Bank

This report, published annually, reflects on the fallout of Covid-19 and its impact on growth trajectories in Asian economies. It pinpoints new virus outbreaks and vaccine delays as key short-term risks to the region’s economic outlook, with long-term risks being consequences of prolonged unemployment and disrupted education. A thematic chapter explores the drivers and impacts of green and social finance. The infusion of private capital will be critical in boosting the funding necessary for a resilient and inclusive recovery in Asia. Read it here.

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

Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR)

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

CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

04 August 2021 – 17 August 2021

Huawei announces a US$100 million investment in the Asia Pacific startup ecosystem over the next three years. The investment will go towards the company’s Spark Program, a startup accelerator which has been helping Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong build their startup hubs. The program will focus on developing additional hubs in Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Continue reading on Huawei’s website →

9 private banks partner with BRAC to strengthen its public awareness and emergency support campaigns as Covid-19 surges in Bangladesh. Donations amounting to TK15.95 crore (approximately US$1.88 million) will be used to deliver cash support, masks and preventative services in 20 high-risk districts across the country. Continue reading in the Dhaka Tribune →

Communities, nonprofits and social enterprises support pandemic relief in Asia. In Thailand, volunteers help the elderly and vulnerable who have become isolated as a result of the pandemic. In Vietnam, an estimated 90 community groups and organizations provide emergency donations, free counseling services and online learning courses for children. The World Economic Forum releases a list of the top 50 social enterprises providing critical support on the frontlines in India.

Khazanah Nasional Berhad—Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund—announces RM6 billion (US$1.4 billion) fund to increase its high-impact, commercially viable investments over the next 5 years. The funds are expected to focus on investments that create impactful economic and social benefits as well as environmental, social and governance (ESG) areas. Continue reading in Reuters →

Founder and chairman of MBK Partners Michael ByungJu Kim pledges KRW30 billion (US$26.5 million) to the Seoul Metropolitan Government. To be used for the construction of a public library opening in 2025. Continue reading in Business Korea →

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