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Philanthropy Handbook - Giving Effectively from Singapore to Asia-Pacific

May 12, 2022

The purpose of this handbook is to: Offer guidance to current and new philanthropists on how to start or expand your giving journey from Singapore.Highlight joint areas for action that you can rally around with others to build the ecosystem and collectively address persistent needs.Motivate inclusive wealth management by providing access to a network in Singapore that can support you in achieving both financial goals and social impact.

Philanthropic Foundations In Asia: Insights from Singapore, Myanmar and China

February 1, 2018

This study looks at an emerging trend in which wealthy families, individuals, and corporations in Asia set up foundations to institutionalise their giving. This giving is motivated by a myriad of factors beyond prestige and status, including the desire to give back to society, religion, family and personal values, the desire to drive change, personal experience, and/or affiliations.This study finds that philanthropic foundations in Asia can be characterised by their operational model, governance structure, and philanthropic focus. In emerging economies in Asia like Myanmar and China, these foundations tend to give nationally and operate their own programmes. On the other hand, foundations in developed economies like Singapore and Hong Kong tend to give both regionally and nationally via grants to civil society organisations that operate programmes, as opposed to running programmes themselves. Further, families tend to retain significant control of foundations in Singapore and Hong Kong, while programme funding serves as the preferred funding mode.This study also discusses the various challenges and opportunities faced by the nascent philanthropic sector in Asia that can address some of the developmental and structural gaps left by the public, private, and people sectors. 

Asia-Pacific; Enabling environment and civic space; Family, HNWI, and independent philanthropy

Impact Investments by Foundations in Singapore and Hong Kong

January 1, 2018

The study reviews the current state of impact investments in Singapore and Hong Kong, particularly those that have engaged with foundations. It further looks at the trends and challenges of the impact investment sector before presenting a list of recommendations.Impact investment assets globally represent a mere 0.2 percent of global wealth as reported by the Global Impact Investing Network. By increasing this share to just two percent, the potential of impact investments can reach over US$2 trillion (UNDP, 2016). Impact investments can play a significant role in sustainable development in the Asia Pacific region, potentially providing socioeconomic progress for the billions of people living in the region. Foundations in the region can potentially play a significant role given the billions of assets they can deploy. 

Asia-Pacific; Family, HNWI, and independent philanthropy

Philanthropy on the Road to Nationhood in Singapore Philanthropy in Asia: Working Paper No. 1

January 1, 2015

This paper attempts to address the gap in knowledge on the contributions by philanthropic players to national development in Singapore. Using grounded research, it explores the evolution of giving by individuals, the community and the private sector in Singapore from the end of World War II in 1945 to today. It looks at how each group gives towards prevailing social needs, unexpected events and crises as well as government calls for community support across fve key phases in Singapore's journey to nationhood. To provide context to the giving, the political and socio-economic situation of each time frame and concurrent government social welfare provisions in each phase are also described.

Asia-Pacific; Philanthropy ecosystems and infrastructure

Creating the future for a better world

January 1, 2014

WFF is a grant-making foundation, based in Singapore, but for the world. It provides financial support to a number of organizations and programs related to environmental and social sustainability research. Through these programs, WFF hopes to bring forth a wide range of new technologies for the benefit of the current generation and generations to come. WFF is the first philanthropic foundation in Singapore funded by entrepreneurs from mainland China, and is professionally managed by an international team. This not only highlights globalization in the philanthropy sector, but also reflectsthe central status of Singapore in the global philanthropic domain. WFF is a private foundation. It does not raise funds from public, rather it invites public-spirited and influential Chinese entrepreneurs and professionals to join and lend their strengths to accomplish these great undertakings. WFF's motto, "For Our World, For Our Future", reflects its founders' ambitions and aspirations.This report relates to the 5th Anniversary of WFF, remembering and analyzing the most important projects and prizes organized by the foundation and how it has impacted positevely in society.

Grassroots and community philanthropy

Impact Investing: Trends and Outlook in Asia

May 1, 2013

Interest in impact investments is growing worldwide, with Asia in particular holding great promise for innovation. But who are impact investors and what causes do they support? Which organizations are working in this sector?

Impact investment, corporate, blended-finance

Innovation in Asian Philanthropy: Entrepreneurial Social Finance in Asia

April 25, 2013

This publication is the second in a series of ACSEP working papers concerned with what is termed 'entrepreneurial social finance' in Asia, which explores how philanthropy is responding to the financial and nonfinancial needs of the region's social entrepreneurs. The term philanthropy is most commonly associated with straightforward grant making, most usually making donations where all capital is lost and no return expected. In modern practice, philanthropy is more sophisticated and diverse than this, wanting to utilise as many tools as possible with the goal of creating sustained social change. Recognising this, philanthropy is defined in this study, as the deployment of financial and human capital for primarily social impact. For this reason, this paper investigates the growing interest in 'impact investing,' which seeks to use non-grant finance to maximise the social and financial outcomes by investing in social businesses. This study employs an essentially qualitative methodology. The researchers conducted 40 face-to-face and telephone interviews in Singapore, India, China, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand between March and November 2012. In-depth interviews were chosen as the central component of the study to gain insight into the personal motivations of lead individuals who had founded or who are managing philanthropy organisations.

Impact investment, corporate, blended-finance

Risk and Philanthropy

May 1, 2012

This paper examines how risks in international development philanthropy are defined, assessed and managed. It reports the conclusions from a series of 27 interviews conducted with development philanthropists, philanthropic intermediaries, grant makers from leading international foundations and sector academics in April 2012. Those interviewed are working in more than 10 different countries across five continents, including Singapore, Brazil, the Netherlands, USA, UK, India, Russia, Kenya and Indonesia. It recommends ways through which risk in the support of development initiatives might be optimised. Our findings will be of interest to philanthropists, grantmakers and those they seek to benefit.

Family, HNWI, and independent philanthropy

Philanthropy and Law in Asia: A Comparative Study of the Non-profit Legal Systems in Ten Asia Pacific Societies

January 1, 1999

A collection of reports from ten Asian nations (Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam), this publication provides a comparison of the laws and public policy regulating and influencing the nonprofit sectors in those countries. A helpful guide for governments, nonprofits, foundations, and international organizations who wish to understand the ways in which nonprofits are regulated and structured throughout the region.

Asia-Pacific; Enabling environment and civic space; Philanthropy ecosystems and infrastructure

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