APC Voices

Issue 13 // Apr 2023

APC is evolving to contribute much more to the development of the philanthropy ecosystem, with our members as anchor and base.

When we started APC eight years ago, our focus was on growing our membership, convening them so that we can learn from and inspire one another, and catalysing collaborative action. Our excellent team at APC has achieved a strong foundation for this.

Part of our intent was also to contribute to thought leadership and ecosystem-building. This has taken a while longer to grow, and I think we are seeing a bumper harvest this year!


Asia Community Foundation ready to (soft) launch!


A Philanthropist’s Guide to Giving

This Guide is the first-of-its-kind how-to handbook for philanthropists from all stages of their giving journey who have the desire to practice strategic, impactful philanthropy in Asia. A Philanthropist’s Guide to Giving, published by World Scientific, features insights from philanthropy practitioners, and notably, 31 case studies of philanthropists from 8 countries across the region

Disrupt yourself! The path to a new era of Asian philanthropy



Protecting our Climate Frontiers: Oceans of Southeast Asia


Welcome to new APC team members

Join us in welcoming our new team members Carol Tan (Chief Strategy Officer), Aine Wong (Head of Administration), Lucy Tan (Deputy Director, Finance), and Rafid Shidqi (Senior Executive).  MEET THE TEAM


Issue 12 // Sep 2022

In July, APC welcomed our newest Board Member in Rina Lopez, who is President and Executive Director of the Knowledge Channel Foundation, a powerhouse providing quality educational materials for pre-school and K-12 levels for the most disadvantaged sector of the Philippine economy—school children enrolled in the public education system.

She has been a member of Asia Philanthropy Circle (APC) since 2019, and recently joined the Board in July 2022. She was recently named as one of Forbes Asia’s “2021 Heroes of Philanthropy” for her tireless work to ensure continuing access to quality education for children, especially during COVID-19. We invited her to share some of her thoughts on her philanthropy, as well has her own hopes for the future of her own advocacies.



Mapping the philanthropy ecosystem in Vietnam


Bridging the digital divide


Doing Good Index 2022


Issue 11 // Feb 2022

Collaboration has also been facilitated by the pandemic. How so? People can now see a greater urgency to tackle bigger issues, like the climate crisis. How big issues cannot be tackled properly alone, and how going online can help us bring together partners more quickly and forge quicker and stronger partnerships across borders.


Philanthropy can adapt to a new climate normal



Strengthening the Third Sector in Malaysia


Issue 10 // July 2021

July represents a series of milestones for us. APC had its sixth birthday, welcomed our new CEO Mafruza Khan, while our Founding CEO Laurence Lien moved on to becoming the non-executive Chairman at APC. We at APC continue to be deeply humbled to have opportunity to explore, discover, learn and work together to create a better Asia, together.

So much has changed since the last issue of APC Voices in February 2021. Just when vaccines brought us a ray of hope, the situation in many parts of the world and in our own region has again become dire. How will philanthropy pivot to combine the best principles and practices, and innovate towards allowing all of us to live with dignity?



A new chapter begins, a journey continues



Parting Words: Not a Goodbye!



What We’ve been Reading: The value of networks


Issue 9 // February 2021

A year ago, it was easy to make plans, but difficult to carry them out. This year, I found it difficult to make plans, but yet a lot still seems to get done. What has replaced long term plans, are rolling short term ones, where the nimble, resilient and dynamic amongst us have thrived.  While general outlook is more optimistic than six months ago, as we look deeper, the situation is a lot more concerning. Vaccine nationalism has reared its ugly head. Most SDGs face considerable setback, with decades of work undone in less than a year. And of great concern are the mental health challenges that many are facing. Hence, philanthropy is more critical now than ever.

Reflections from Laurence:

What is the world we are re-creating post-COVID?


Issue 8 // July 2020

Our past half year, as you can imagine, has been dominated by COVID. Beyond the short-term emergency response, we have to brace ourselves for the longer-term impact. It could be an opportunity for philanthropists to demonstrate the important role they can play in society, particularly in a crisis. Or it could be a slide towards irrelevance, as big government takes over. Nobody can be sure what how the covid situation will evolve and end. But we can still work from a reasonable base case. Here is how APC has been adjusting.

Reflections from Laurence:

How Philanthropy can respond to the COVID crisis


December 2019

As we reflect on the past year and usher into the new decade, one cannot help but feel despair with all the complex challenges we currently face. Despite that, members are still keen to continue learning through connecting with different experts, and with one another at our multiple convenings, to help solve the problems of today’s society. Read on to find out what APC and APC members have been focused on.
Reflections from Laurence: Gliding into 2020 with Optimism for Good News!
venn2019: Asian Philanthropists Gather to Invest in their Giving “Health”
Inspiring Thailand to Give: The Giver’s Network
Visiting Vietnam: Learning from Best Models on the Ground
Exploring a Mid-Career Switch to the Social Sector
APC co-hosts Effective Giving Seminar in Singapore: “Live Modestly, Give Generously, and Think Vigorously”
Fireside Chat with Henriette Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF
Water as a Resource: Site Visit to NEWRI
Growth Through Fellowship: How can a fellowship programme help you to achieve more impact?
Advocating for our Planet: Turn the Tide
Funding Collaboratives: What Makes it a Success?

June 2019

The first half of 2019 have been a period of learning for APC and our members. Through our various learning journeys and member interest groups, our members have been able to exchange ideas and collaborate on projects to create learning models. Here’s a look at various events our members attended to begin their journey into expanding the collaborative philanthropy landscape.
Reflections from Laurence: AOC’s Maturation and Growth requires Cross-Infection!
Developing the new generation of talent for the future of global trade
Bringing youths out of poverty through sports development with Magic Bus!
Bringing Vietnam together for more collaboration towards social impact
9 Lessons from Cambodia: Social Entrepreneurship Learning Journey Insights
Perspectives from the United States: Global to Grassroots Philanthropy the West Coast Way
Roundtable on School Leadership: Exploring Ideas for INSPIRASI
Roundtable with Jenny Bowen and OneSky: Lessons from a successful ECD model
Hosting China’s Next-generation Philanthropists
APC members in the Philippines discuss an early childhood development collaborative
Conversation with Hazel Paragua-Zuellig: The Epilepsy Manager Programme
School leaders share why our leadership training is really making a difference to their work
The Future of Philanthropy & Social Investment Infrastructure in Asia

December 2018

Through our members’ collective voices, we hope the wider impact community understands better what strategic and collaborative philanthropy can do for Asia.  We showcase our members’ projects, advocate for more innovative philanthropy and solutions, and call out for others who share our vision and eager to go on this journey with us.

Nearing the end of a year provides for a good opportunity to reflect on a period that is about to end.  Almost two years have passed since I joined the board of APC and it has been a truly rewarding experience to be part of this Group at a broader and deeper level.

Reflections on venn2018
New Member Interest Group: Early Childhood Development taking a front seat
APC promotes Social Entrepreneurship with Ashoka
Learning Through APC: Four things I learnt making a mid-career switch into the development sector
Launch of The Givers Network in Bangkok
Sharing on Philanthropy amongst like-minded peers in the heart of the Philippines
The Path of Asian Philanthropy on the Belt and Road
APC Funders Roundtable in KL: Culture and Faith: Why we need more Inclusivity
Does Collective Impact really work?  Results from 25 case studies

April 2018

APC recognises the leaders in social impact in Southeast Asia with our ASEAN Social Impact Awards.  Growing impact in the region requires collaboration across sectors and scaling it up, which is why we also organised the ASEAN Philanthropy Dialogue with ministers and our members.

Growing the philanthropic engagement in Indonesia: one member at a time!
Indonesian social entrepreneur on micro-hydropower wins inaugural ASEAN Social Impact Awards
ASEAN Philanthropy Dialogue: How can Government and Philanthropy collaborate more effectively?
Why a Green Paper on Effective Public-Philanthropic Collaboration in ASEAN?
25 Impactful ASEAN Philanthropists: What can we learn from them?
The Global Landscape of Philanthropy report by WINGS
School Visits to Djarum Foundation’s Supported Vocational Schools: Collaborative Learning for Catalytic Impact
Field Visit to PAUD SuryaKasih at Rusun Komarudin, Cakung

January 2018

We kickstart the year with several exciting projects in the pipeline, including the ASEAN Social Impact Awards and ASEAN Philanthropy Dialogue!  We’re excited to have a full year but before that, here’s a look back at 2017.

1000 Days Fund: Through the eyes of our anchor donor
The Indonesia Education Giving Guide now moves to the Philippines!
What should we do about the talent gap in the social sector?
The SDGs: A call to collective action
1st Singapore Roundtable 2018: Collaboration will be key in doing good better.
Myanmar: Working with the Community, One Step at a Time/td>
APC Roundtable on Rohingya Refugee Crisis
Launch of APC’s First Project in Malaysia: Catalysing School Leadership

May 2017


APC is now two years old and ready to move to our next phase of growth!  Our community of philanthropists has grown and engagement deepened.  Nonetheless, we are still in start-up mode, and continue to experiment and notch a number of firsts this year!

Our most ambitious project to date is the ASEAN Community Impact Fund (“ASEAN Fund”) for collaborative philanthropy.  Still work-in-progress, this is our first pooled Fund to grow collective impact. We intend to focus in the fields of education, nutrition and community building in Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar, through leveraging size, neutrality, a long term focus and a holistic approach.

Insights from Visit to Shan State: Harnessing Myanmar’s Potential for Growth
APC supports launch of the ASEAN Social Impact Award with Ee Peng Liang Memorial Fund, Ashoka and NUS
Achieving the UN SDGs via Pyramid to Happiness
Inaugural ASEAN Community Impact Fund Workshop Series kicked off in Jakarta
Harvard Philanthropy in Singapore: Family Communication in Philanthropy &s; Legacy
Building up the next generation of Asian philanthropy professionals at APC
First APC Study Tour to Yunnan yields mutual learning, new projects and deeper understanding
Sharing how to do philanthropy in China effectively at APC roundtable

December 2016

Here at Asia Philanthropy Circle, we are a small but dedicated and hardworking team.  Even as the end of year festive season descends upon us, our team will still be around, working for a better Asia.  We hope that the new year will see more progress, impact and development in our ever-changing world!  Best wishes to you and your family!

Preventing Radicalism in the region
An Asian Philanthropist’s Journal – our journey with you
Civil sector and government leaders join APC members in Jakarta for philanthropy dialogue
By Instilling a Sense of Community, Gerakan Kepedulian Indonesia Gives Jakarta’s Poorest a New Look on Life
Field Report: Improving Rural Education in Sumatra
Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute: The Game-Changing Brain Research Initiative