Philanthropy can adapt to a new Climate Normal

Climate change will affect everyone—regardless of field, country or economic status—and requires collective action. Explore how to incorporate climate considerations into existing programmes.  BY LEE YANG The Earth is unequivocally warming. Unfortunately, the flurry of pledges and commitments made during the COP26 Climate Summit are insufficient to attain the 1.5-degree targets set out by the Paris Agreement. As one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change, Asia will be disproportionately affected by its devastating effects. At the annual APC gathering in November 2021, renowned climate expert Prof Saleemul Huq stressed that climate change will affect everyone’s lives—regardless of country or economic status….

Generating Vietnam’s changemakers through higher education partnerships

What are alternative ways philanthropists can partner higher education institutions towards creating sustainable, systemic change? BY NANCY CHANG In APC’s first hybrid event of the year, members and guests from Vietnam sought to highlight the goal of creating systemic change through strategic philanthropy through higher education. Education is the most common target for philanthropic giving in Asia, accounting for 62% of all charitable donations from Asian philanthropists in 2021. However, in the region, where a core education focus for many philanthropists might be on access to safe schools, improving curriculum or teacher training, strategic partnership with higher education institutions is…

Improving lives through sustainable global trade education

BY LARRY SHAW AND ALEX BOOME Mutually sustainable global trade improves life standards.  According to the Asian Development Bank, over the past 25 years, more than 950 million people in the region have been lifted out of extreme poverty, infant mortality rates have fallen, and marked improvements have been seen in terms of basic literacy, vocational training and university education. It is clear that the prosperity provided by cross-border trade has made a significant contribution to these outcomes.  “Global trade improves lives and strengthens relationships among nations,” said Merle A. Hinrich, APC member and Founder of the Hinrich Foundation, an…

Inspiring lives through stories of everyday heroes

BY CINDY HSIAO Who comes to mind when you think of the word hero? Was it superhero figures from movies? Or was it the healthcare workers serving on the frontlines of COVID-19? Or perhaps it’s someone closer to home – a family member or a friend who inspires you with their courage and the selfless way they serve others? More often than not, heroes are closer to us than we think. APC member, Lionel Li’s Li Foundation is therefore on a mission to share extraordinary stories of everyday heroes through their Inspiring Lives Impacting Asia short film series, in hopes…

Empowering refugees and displaced people to thrive: challenges, opportunities and priorities

BY CINDY HSIAO As the world approaches the 70th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention, the number of forcibly displaced people remains concerningly high. At the end of 2019, 79.5 million people were recorded to be forcibly displaced, almost double the 41.1 million recorded in 2010. It is therefore more urgent than ever that the world works together to enable refugees and displaced people to recover and flourish. In view of this, APC organised our first-ever dialogue focused on refugees and people of concern for APC members and guests engaged in philanthropic work with refugees. We invited Aurvasi Patel, United…

Building stronger institutions to develop Malaysia’s Third Sector

BY THERESA CUA Civil society in Malaysia is relatively young. Almost 80% of its 80,000 pool of non-profit and voluntary organisations are less than 20 years old. This ‘Third Sector”—comprising of organisations that fill needs not addressed by either State or Market—face a multitude of challenges: from lacking structural support from the state, to being highly fragmented, and having inadequate human capital equipped with necessary skills to effectively deliver impact. In such a sector where collaboration and partnerships are essential in working together to solve social challenges, what can philanthropists, foundations, and funders do to strengthen Malaysia’s Third Sector? In…

Uncovering China’s Philanthropic Potential

BY ALEXIS WONG Philanthropy in China is growing at a rapid and inspiring pace. In the past decade alone, the volume of Chinese philanthropy has quadrupled from US$ 44 million in 2007 to a new high of US$ 23.4 billion in 2017, allowing China to emerge as an important contributor to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. In light of China’s emergence as a rich ground for potential philanthropic activity, and with APC members having highly active impact projects in the country, APC organised the China Philanthropy Online Forum to spark greater interest in international collaboration, and to examine what meaningful…

Pushing Boundaries in Approaching Early Childhood Development

BY CINDY HSIAO Do you remember what your world was like when you were three? Perhaps it involves memories of your father teaching you to wait for the green light before you cross the road, your grandmother taking you and your friends to the local park, or waiting at the doctor’s office with your mother because you’re unwell?    Even from an early age, children’s development can already be impacted by interactions with a complex system of relationships, settings, and cultures. Adopting a holistic approach to early childhood development (ECD) is therefore crucial, if not essential. As such, the Asia Philanthropy…

Reflections of my time at APC: The Private Side of Philanthropy

BY VALENTINA KOH Valentina Ko first joined APC as an intern in 2018 and then as the Research and Communications Manager in 2019. In addition to managing APC’s communications, she also managed two of APC’s collaborative projects, the Thousand Days Fund and ASEAN Peace Initiatives. At the end of 2020, Valentina took on a position with the Singapore Economic Development Board. We asked her to share some of her reflections on her time with APC. For the majority of my working life, I have been in the non-profit space: from education programmes in East Palo Alto, California to criminal justice…

What We’ve Been Reading: The Value of Networks

BY MIRA NADARAJAH AND BRADLEY WO APC celebrated its sixth birthday in July 2021, which prompted some reflection on our role and place within the sector. As a network, we know that the relationships and interactions between our members forms the core of APC and sits at the heart of the work that we do. Recently, we came across Ilona Haslewood and the Carnegie UK Trust’s report, which offered a framework to understand how networks support policy and practice development to foster social change. This framework, known as Network Functional Analysis, was designed to assist humanitarian networks to strategically reflect…