Passing the baton of leadership at APC

It is with great pleasure that I am announcing the leadership succession plans at the Asia Philanthropy Circle (APC). APC’s new CEO is Mafruza Khan. She just started today as CEO (Designate), and will officially take over from me on 12 July 2021. At the same time, I will be Chairman, while Stanley, my co-conspirator, remains as a board member. Mafruza flew in from New York City a week ago, and is currently serving her Stay Home Notice (quarantine). She is Bangladeshi and American, and has had more than 20 years of experience in the social and philanthropy sector. Most…

Asian Philanthropists pool US $1.5 million to contribute 600,000 doses towards COVAX global COVID-19 vaccine target

PRESS RELEASE: Singapore, 31 May 2021 –The Asia Philanthropy Circle (APC) successfully coordinated US $1.5 million amongst its philanthropic members and community to enable access to much-needed COVID-19 vaccines in Asia through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) facility. The amount will be matched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance with funds provided by a public charity[1], bringing the total funding to US $3 million. APC’s contribution joins worldwide commitments from government and private sectors and will go towards securing and delivering around 600,000 vaccine doses for Asia, as well as towards helping the Gavi COVAX AMC reach its global…

The Belt and Road Initiative and Chinese Philanthropy

BY PROF ZHENYAO, DEAN OF CHINA PHILANTHROPY RESEARCH INSTITUTE, BEIJING NORMAL UNIVERSITY The response to the Coronavirus situation shows that the human race needs to make a joint effort and engage in collaborative action. In particular, during a time when the global economic development has reached a GDP level of US$10,000 per capita in 2011, followed by China in 2019 with the same, the challenge we all share is to have social values take the lead over economics, in spite of political, economic, cultural and social differences between countries and peoples. Global matters need to be jointly discussed. We need…

Role of philanthropy in the post-COVID era: Busting Boundaries to be Change Agents

BY LAURENCE LIEN FIVE YEARS AGO, when APC was first established, we began with a shared aspiration – that we need change agents to address Asia’s social challenges and that strategic and engaged philanthropists can be them. Today amidst the greatest health and humanitarian challenge of our generation, the urgency for philanthropists to step up is even more pressing. The study of boundaries is a critical one today. Problems are deeply interrelated. For example, COVID-19, a zoonotic disease, is a virus that jumped the boundary from nonhuman to human. And the impact of the disease spread has gone well beyond…

COVID-19 is changing the way the world does Philanthropy

BY BILL AND MELINDA GATES 2020 has been a hard year to be an optimist. Both of us have spent the past several months looking at alarming charts and datasets. COVID-19, in addition to claiming millions of lives and crashing the global economy, has reversed the progress the world has made in the fight against poverty and disease—a fight in which our foundation is deeply involved. Humankind now must contend with all sorts of numbers that are heading in the wrong direction: Vaccine coverage has dropped to levels not seen since the 1990s. The extreme poverty rate has shot up…

How APC Is Adjusting To COVID-19: Events And Projects

Dear fellow members, These are unprecedented times. We probably all hoped that the COVID-19 situation will be contained, but it is now a global pandemic that will continue to disrupt our lives for probably quite a while more. With this, APC has to review our plans for the year, and postpone/cancel a number of our activities. But we also recognise that philanthropy can make the biggest difference during a crisis. Hence, we very much want to be able to support any work that addresses COVID-19, either directly or indirectly.  Travel For your reference, APC will not be planning any travel until at…

Funding Collaboratives: What makes it a Success?

By Lam Sze Ching Collaboration is one of the founding pillars of how APC members conduct their philanthropy. A 2019 study of 25 funding collaboratives conducted by The Bridgespan Group and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation found that 10 were successful and 15 met with challenges. The report highlighted the benefits and disadvantages faced by funders and the hope is that the study will inspire funding collaborations to adopt an investment thesis, the common factor amongst all 10 successful collaborations. Through this insight, we hope to further our philanthropy reach by applying it in our projects. The Study Since…

Advocating for our Planet: Turn the Tide

By Bradley Wo and Kathlyn Tan One of the biggest hurdles for sharing information on environmental crises or solutions is a lack of awareness. As the severity of global environmental issues becomes clearer, more initiatives and innovations to make us better stewards of nature have been emerging. After watching the environmental films at the Turn the Tide Film Tour, APC left with a better understanding of some of the challenges we face – and ways that we can address them together. On September 14, APC attended an ocean film screening organised by Coastal Natives, an environmental conservation organisation founded by…

Bringing youths out of poverty through sports development with Magic Bus!

By Stacey Choe What is the best way to get a child engaged? Through play. Through sports. That is how Matthew Spacie through Magic Bus has reached out to over 900,000 children, in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar, and worked with them on their values, their aspirations and their communities to lift them out of poverty and to obtain jobs. On 7th March, APC hosted Matthew for a lunch roundtable with members in Singapore. The Magic Bus programme works with adolescents from age 12 over a 7-year period, providing them with mentors, working with industry partners to right-match them with…