Who’s Doing Good

22 June 2020 - 05 July 2020

THE GIVERS

Uniqlo chief pledges US$93 million for coronavirus research. <>Tadashi Yanai, chairman and president of Fast Retailing—the Japanese company behind Uniqlo—pledged ¥10 billion (US$93 million) to Kyoto University for research into treatments for the new coronavirus and other communicable diseases. The donation will be split, with ¥5 billion each going to Shinya Yamanaka and Tasuku Honjo, two Nobel Prize winners in medicine.

THE THINKERS

Doing Good Index 2020 shows how Asia can maximize doing good in a post-Covid world. <>CAPS’ Chief Executive Ruth Shapiro shares insights from our recently launched Doing Good Index 2020 for Alliance Magazine. Shapiro highlights developments across the region since the 2018 edition of the Index, and she underscores that with the right policies coupled with private and social sector initiatives, we in Asia will be able to bring about the maximum good for our communities as we rebuild from the Covid-19 crisis.

THE NONPROFITS

Singapore charity sets up SG$5 million fund to help vulnerable seniors. <>The Asian Medical Foundation (AMF), a charity affiliated with Raffles Medical Group, set up the SG$5 million (approximately US$3.6 million) AMF Silver Care Fund. The fund will support two causes: the AMF Elder Voucher scheme to help 30,000 seniors purchase food and household items, and the AMF Elder Health scheme to support pilot projects aimed at improving seniors’ access to healthcare and enhancing their well-being. 

THE BUSINESSES

As Covid-19 saps Vietnam’s economy, private charity is blossoming.<> The Economist covers how a prototype of an ATM that dispenses rice, built by a local entrepreneur to support Hanoi’s poorest during the Covid-19 crisis, has been scaled nationwide by the private sector. Each ATM distributes enough rice to feed a small family for three days, and some machines have been serving up to 2,000 people a day. Corporates, such as Cen Group, have stepped in to produce these rice ATMs, supplying tens of locations in cities across Vietnam. Danielle Labbe of the University of Montreal points out that while large-scale philanthropy is rare in Vietnam, it is a country where “good ideas replicate quickly.” This rise of private charity during Covid-19 has also been embraced by the government, exemplified by generous press coverage in state-controlled media. 

Gilead commits US$500,000 worth of support across Asia.<> As part of its first Asia-wide corporate social responsibility program, “Creating Possible For Our Communities,” US-based Gilead Sciences will support hard-hit communities in Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan. The donation will be used to provide basic necessities to lower-income families, education resources to underprivileged children, public health education related to Covid-19, and cash donations to community-based organizations to allow them to continue to provide vital care services to HIV and hepatitis patients.

THE INNOVATORS

Thailand’s tourism social enterprises help locals hit by coronavirus.<> When Local Alike, a travel consultancy that promotes sustainable tourism in 200 villages, saw its revenue drop to zero during Covid-19, the social enterprise pivoted to selling products from villages through social media. This article by the Thomson Reuters Foundation highlights how similar social enterprises in Thailand have adapted through the crisis, while concomitantly finding solutions for community needs. 

Helping youth enterprises take off will bring sustainable returns, say UN economists.<> The 2020 World Youth Report was recently published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. This edition of the biennial report focuses on how youth social entrepreneurship can both support youth development and help accelerate progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The report highlights key characteristics of an effective entrepreneurship ecosystem, including the importance of tailored support. A recent CAPS report, Business for Good: maximizing the value of social enterprises in Asia, also explores the key ecosystem aspects that can enable social enterprises in Asia to reach their potential.

Climate fund targets USD$2.5 billion in clean energy investment for Southeast Asia.<> The new South East Asia Clean Energy Facility (SEACEF) fund backed by philanthropic donors is aiming to aid the region’s green recovery after coronavirus. Managed by Singapore-based Clime Capital, the fund has an initial investment of US$10 million and a focus on getting new projects underway in Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. SEACEF describes itself as a first-of-its-kind philanthropic initiative to tackle climate change, focused on the high-risk funding needed to get new clean energy projects up and running. 

ESG investing gaining traction in Korea.<> Financial firms are rushing to issue sustainable bonds amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as ESG-themed bonds witness burgeoning growth and popularity in Korea. This Korea Times article highlights examples of banks who have recently embraced ESG factors and have issued ESG-principled social bonds.

<>IN OTHER NEWS…

Is PM-CARES diverting money away from nonprofits?<> While the PM National Relief Fund in India has historically received INR 200 crore (approximately US$27 million) annually from CSR contributions, the PM-CARES Fund, which was established to fund Covid-19 relief efforts, has received 25 times this amount in a shorter amount of time. India Development Review (IDR) offers a breakdown of CSR spending during Covid-19 and explores how PM-CARES has diverted a large amount of capital away from nonprofits.

<>We’d also like to hear from you. How is your organization responding to Covid-19? Email us your stories at <>research@caps.org<>. 

Business for Good goes digital!

Maximizing the Value of Social Enterprises in Asia

Through the Business for Good microsite, you can interact with our latest study, Business for Good: maximizing the value of social enterprises in Asia. Featuring a data dashboard, our microsite lets you filter and explore data from our survey of 584 social enterprises and interviews of 140 stakeholders across 6 Asian economies: Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, and Thailand. Click here to access the microsite.

Muhammad Yunus & Ruth Shapiro: Doing Good in an Uncertain World

As a significant portion of global wealth shifts into the hands of a few, Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus discusses the transformative power of social businesses in helping people escape poverty and fix, what he believes is a ‘broken economic system’. This discussion was hosted at the Commonwealth Club of California and moderated by CAPS’ Founder and Chief Executive, Ruth Shapiro.

The Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Vietnam

Management and Sustainable Development Institute (MSD)

This report provides an overview of the impact of Covid-19 on the social sector in Vietnam. It is based on a survey of 101 civil society organizations (CSO) conducted between 31 March and 10 April 2020. Almost all (96%) of CSOs report their operations are impacted as a result of the outbreak. Mobilizing funds and coordinating with others in the social sector has become more difficult. Some CSOs are adapting to be able to continue supporting their beneficiaries. Recommendations for how stakeholders can support CSOs during and after this outbreak are also discussed. Read it here: English, Vietnamese.

The state of social enterprise in Bangladesh, Ghana, India and Pakistan

British Council

This study spotlights the social enterprise sectors in Bangladesh, Ghana, India and Pakistan and quantifies their composition, social enterprises’ areas of operation, and prospects for growth. Insights are drawn from surveying 648 social enterprises across these four countries.

Read it here:

Venture Philanthropy Practices in Asia: A Guide to Effective Capacity Building

Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN)

This report discusses best practices in social investing and venture philanthropy, and stresses the importance of both financial and non-financial support in making social purpose organizations investment- and impact-ready. It highlights 10 case studies of intermediaries from Asia and the strategies they employ in creating and delivering capacity building programs for budding social purpose organizations. Read it here.

Business for Good in East Asia

Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) & Leping Social Entrepreneur Foundation

This collection of articles examines the cross-sector collaborations driving social development and innovation in East Asia. Collaborative models deployed in China, Japan, Korea and Singapore are also discussed. Read it here.

The Landscape for Impact Investing in Southeast Asia

Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) & Intellecap Advisory Services

Southeast Asia is undergoing rapid development, but the region continues to face challenges. Impact investing is a growing practice and is seen as a means to generate positive social and environmental impact along with financial returns. This study examines the trends and landscape of impact investing in Southeast Asia. It outlines challenges and opportunities for impact investors and the political and economic factors that can inform investment decisions. The report provides an in-depth analysis of the three most active markets in the region–Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines–and a broader regional overview of Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Thailand. Read it here.

Scaling Social Innovation in South Asia

Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), BRAC & The Rockefeller Foundation

This collection of articles examines the lessons that BRAC and other leading social organizations have learned about successfully scaling social innovation in South Asia. The financial, political and organizational barriers that inhibit scaling are also discussed. Read it here.

Responding to Covid-19: Who’s Doing Good?

06 April 2020 - 13 April 2020

THE GIVERS
Individuals and foundations are donating supplies and funding initiatives supporting hard-hit communities.

Tanoto Foundation, founded by Indonesia’s Sukanto Tanoto, donated over 1 million gloves, 1 million masks, 100,000 coveralls, and 3,000 goggles to the national Covid-19 taskforce. The equipment will be distributed to hospitals in Jakarta, Medan in North Sumatera, and Pekanbaru in Riau.

Chaudhary Foundation has handed over 1,000 PCR testing kits to Nepal’s government to help accelerate the country’s efforts to mitigate Covid-19. The Foundation’s chairman, Binod Chaudhary, underscored the importance of collaboration with the government to contain the pandemic. The Foundation has also provided PPE and medical equipment to 48 health posts of seven provinces in Nepal. 

Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Google, donated Rs5 crore (approximately US$700,000) to nonprofit GiveIndia, matching an earlier donation from Google to GiveIndia. Google has set aside a total of US$800 million to help fight Covid-19 globally.

Kim Beom-su, founder and chairman of online company Kakao, donated his stocks worth ₩2 billion (approximately US$2 million) to help combat Covid-19 in Korea, and the company is matching the donation. Kakao has also been aiding Covid-19 relief efforts through its platform Together, and has raised approximately US$4 million as of April 7th.

In Korea, around 200 celebrities have contributed a total of over US$8 million in donations. K-pop groups are also spurring more donations to relief efforts. After K-pop group BTS singer SUGA donated ₩100 million (US$80,600) to Hope Bridge Korea Disaster Relief Association, 11,000 fans followed suit and donated a total of around US$500,000.

Government-led Covid-19 Funds in South Asia continue to see donations from local and foreign donors. Pakistani expats answer Prime Minister Imran Khan’s appeal for donations, with 900 expats donating a total of Rs45 million (approximately US$300,000) to the Prime Minister’s Covid-19 Relief Fund via the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development’s online donation portal. Sri Lanka’s Covid-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund established by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has now reached Rs517 million (approximately US$3 million). India’s PM Cares Fund saw donations of US$13.2 billion from Prosus and US$13.2 million from JSW Group.

THE NONPROFITS
Charities are stepping up their operations and joining forces to serve communities affected by Covid-19.

Covid-19 and Chinese Civil Society’s Response. Stanford Social Innovation Review gives insight into the response from nonprofits, foundations, and businesses in China to Covid-19 and how civil society organizations from other regions can replicate their success.

India’s nonprofits are working closely with government to reach the most vulnerable communities during Covid-19, including NGO SEEDS, Akshaya Patra Foundation, Wishes and Blessings, and NGO Fuel.

EMpower (Emerging Markets Foundation), a global philanthropic organization, is working with a number of organizations on Covid-19 responses, such as the Teach Unlimited Foundation in Hong Kong and YKB in Indonesia, as well as providing flexible support to their grantees. The organization is also running the series #storiesofresilience, in which it features its partners who are helping fight Covid-19, such as the Indian NGO Saath.

THE BUSINESSES
Companies are funding relief efforts, supporting innovative startups, and leveraging their own resources to contribute to the fight against Covid-19.

Funding relief and vaccination efforts.

China Evergrande Group has set up a US$115 million effort that will support more than 80 researchers at top universities in Boston, including Harvard and MIT, and local biotechnology companies, to support research related to mitigating Covid-19.

Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), a private sector disaster risk reduction and management network, raised around US$31 million in donations through its Project Ugnayan. This week PDRF announced that the project has reached over 7.6 million beneficiaries in Greater Metro Manila poor communities in just over three weeks.

TikTok, the Chinese video sharing platform, donated US$6.28 million for the government of Indonesia to buy protective equipment for front-line healthcare workers.

India’s Jaypee Group contributed Rs4.22 crore (over US$500,000) to the fight against Covid-19. This includes contributions to the PM Cares Fund, Uttar Pradesh CM CARE Fund, Madhya Pradesh CM CARE Fund, and Uttrakhand CM CARE Fund.

Supporting start-ups.

Singtel Group has set forth a Special Pandemic Support Grant as part of its Singtel Future Makers program. The cash support will go towards promising start-ups with innovative technological solutions that help the social sector tackle the challenges posed by Covid-19. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to join the main program with other Singtel Future Makers 2020 finalists addressing other themes and challenges in the latter half of 2020. 

Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) is launching its Emergency Financing Facility, a revolving fund to provide grants and working capital loans to select high-impact SMEs. IIX surveys indicate that over 74.4% of SMEs in its network will require additional capital in the coming months in order to stay on course with their growth and impact plans.

Leveraging and donating their own resources.

35 Indonesian manufacturers are ramping up capacity to produce more than 18 million pieces of Covid-19 protective gear by early May. Many are redeploying raw materials used for manufacturing other products towards making the gear. Examples include PT Pan Brothers, which has shifted its usual garment production to manufacture 10 million cloth masks every month; and garment manufacturer PT Sritex, which plans to increase its protective gear production to a monthly 1 million pieces from the current 150,000 units.

Vietnam’s Vingroup is producing ventilators through two of its subsidiaries. Vinfast, its automaker, and Vinsmart, its electronics arm, are shifting their production lines to produce 10,000 ventilators per month. Vingroup also committed US$4.3 million for medical equipment and testing through the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee. Its retail arm, Vincom, also allocated US$13 million to support its tenants during Covid-19.

Huawei Malaysia donated four technology solutions to the Ministry of Health to aid communication between public health experts, front-line healthcare workers, public hospitals, and government as the country fights Covid-19.

Philippines’ financial industry and NGO groups have partnered for faster Covid-19 subsidy delivery. The joint initiative between NGOs, rural banks, cooperatives, and companies aims to provide alternative options to quickly disburse the government’s over P200 billion (approximately US$4 billion) emergency subsidy to over 18 million families.

Singapore gaming company Razer announced that it will set up Singapore’s first fully automated mask production. Other Singaporean firms, Frasers Property, JustCo, and PBA Group are supporting Razer’s initiative.

Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group invested US$3 million to build a factory in Bangkok to produce 100,000 surgical face masks per day to donate to healthcare workers. The group is also providing free food delivery to patients and staff at more than 40 hospitals across Thailand.

Indonesian food group Mayora pledged to donate 1 million masks, 1 million water bottles, and 1 million biscuit packs to medical front-liners across Indonesia.

CJ Indonesia, the Indonesian arm of Korean CJ Corporation, donated test kits, hand sanitizer, and food and milk packages worth US$255,000 to healthcare facilities and motorcycle taxi drivers, who are impacted by the government’s social restrictions amidst Covid-19.

THE VOLUNTEERS

While Bangladeshi celebrities are helping with resources and awareness, student-led voluntary organizations are supporting communities on the ground. For example, at the beginning of the outbreak, voluntary organization Bidyanondo Foundation sprayed disinfectant in public transport vehicles and made arrangements to feed 200,000 people living in slums in and around Dhaka. Donations from Bangladeshis abroad are also being distributed by volunteer organizations on the ground, for example, through the nonprofit Resource Coordination Network.

THE TRUSTBREAKERS 

In this section, we usually share stories about scandals that are having negative repercussions for the social sector. With the fear and anxiety surrounding Covid-19, there are some trust-breaking stories circulating from price-gouging to faulty medical supplies. Fortunately, the stories of people being constructive during these times far outnumber them. We look forward to bringing more of these positive stories to you in the coming weeks.

We’d also like to hear from you. How is your organization responding to Covid-19? Email us your stories at research@caps.org