Reopening borders, reopening minds

BY STACEY CHOECHIEF OPERATING OFFICER I hope things are going well for you as the world starts to open up. At APC, we are beginning to travel, too. In May, we will be visiting some of you in Vietnam, then Malaysia. We will also pop over to Thailand in June. It has been too long—yet none of you have felt very far away with the many online events that have brought us together.  Our in-person events are also increasing, with international leaders like Mark Suzman (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) traveling through Singapore and keen to meet with the APC community….

Regional Early Childhood Research kicks off

The study will map the current ECD landscape in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and China towards providing recommendations to improve outcomes in the region.  BY THERESA CUA Early Childhood Development (ECD) is a challenge faced by many countries in Asia—with local priorities, challenges, and models varying across the region. Outcomes vary. APC is coordinating a Regional ECD Research, which recently kicked off in March. The research will map the current ECD landscape for children aged 0-6 in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and China. In particular, the research will examine parenting and early learning programmes and policies, identify common measurement tools to…

Examining Philanthropy’s Role in Grantee Wellbeing

As burnout increases in the social change sector, what role can funders in Asia play in creating a culture of wellbeing for grantees? BY NANCY CHANG Leaders in the social change sector continuously advocate for important social issues and are drivers of progress in our world. However, in the pursuit of promoting wellbeing and improving the living quality of people in need, non-profit heroes oftentimes neglect their own. The pandemic has unveiled the widespread feeling of burnout in the social change sector, and along with it, a growing demand for wellbeing support. Thus, APC sought to examine the role of…

Navigating Education Recovery in Thailand

As COVID-19 disrupted learning globally on an unprecedented scale, what are some programmes that have achieved good results in addressing education loss? BY XIANG MIN LIM The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted learning on an unprecedented, global scale over the past two years. With widespread school closures, education loss has unevenly affected different socio-economic classes of students, with the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ bearing the biggest losses. Inspired by current projects in Thailand supported by APC Members from Firetree Philanthropy and Khon Thai Foundation, APC brought together experts to examine Thailand’s education landscape and present recommendations on education recovery. Exploring three…

Diving Deep into APC’s Philanthropy Guides

What were some of the lessons distilled from the recent APC Philanthropy Guide Workshops on Strategising, Executing, Structuring, and Family?  BY BRADLEY WO When APC launched the APC Philanthropy Guides at venn2021, members were asked which of the guides they would want to revisit through a dedicated workshop series. The response blew us away— members wanted to cover nearly every guide! The result is a 4-part workshop series to “deep dive” into the guides, where members can hear and engage directly with experts and one another on the topics. So far, APC is halfway through the workshop series after hosting two workshops…

Making Sense of Tax Incentives for Philanthropic Giving

The latest report by the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy (India) examines whether tax incentives induce or increase philanthropic giving in twelve economies.  BY BRADLEY WO One of the challenges that APC comes across in our work is finding comprehensive research on the social sector and philanthropy. Recently, the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy at Ashoka University, India published a Report on Tax Incentives for Philanthropic Giving. In this report, they assess whether tax incentives induce or increase philanthropic giving in twelve economies, including Singapore, by looking at numerous previously published studies. The report finds mixed results, but most interesting was that tax incentives do not…

Improving healthcare capabilities in Indonesia

Prof Yik-Ying Teo, Dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, shares his recommendations on how philanthropists can help improve public health systems capabilities in Indonesia and beyond. BY XIANG MIN LIM Every year, APC gathers members from Indonesia to catch up on each other’s work, and to explore potential avenues to collaborate on common issues of concern affecting the country. One year ago, members met to discuss reprioritising philanthropy areas due to COVID-19—this year, everyone convened to share the results of their work in 2021, and their upcoming plans. APC also kicked things off and invited Prof Yik-Ying…

Supporting the Third Sector in Malaysia

What concrete actions can philanthropists, funders, and organisations take to support Malaysia’s nascent sector of non-profit and voluntary organisations? BY XIANG MIN LIM Malaysia’s Third Sector, which comprises non-profit organisations, voluntary organisations and social enterprises, is a nascent sector with 20% of over 80,000 registered organisations being less than ten years old. The sector faces unique challenges—from fragmentation to a lack of sector capacity and structural support overall. APC organised a roundtable on 27 January 2022—the final in a series exploring the theme of capacity building—to further examine concrete ways for philanthropists, organisations, and funders to help strengthen the Third…

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…