BY LAURENCE LIEN
CO-FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN, ASIA PHILANTHROPY CIRCLE
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!
This year, we launched the Future of Asian Philanthropy to the public: online and globally with Alliance, and in-person in Jakarta, Singapore (co-hosted by Bloomberg) and KL (co-hosted by Yayasan Hasanah)— with more to come in the horizon.
Volume One of the report is the result of a scenario planning exercise, and examines three driving forces shaping society and maps out four scenarios of what society could look like in 2050. Volume Two answers the question of how can philanthropy grow as a positive and impactful force on Asian society. It is a treasure trove of ideas for philanthropists and foundations, serving as a thought starter, and not as a definitive strategy blueprint.
We are not competing with other regions to develop a model that is “better” than theirs. Instead, we are simply evolving something different for Asia as our larger environment context and values are unique.
At the end of February, we soft-launched the Asia Community Foundation (ACF). This was incubated at APC as a project to build a new giving infrastructure to promote more cross-border giving and purposeful philanthropy. ACF is a sister organisation to APC, helping donors develop their giving plans and establish Donor Advised Funds to match donor interests with funding opportunities. A full launch is planned for later this year.
This month, we also launched, “A Philanthropist’s Guide to Giving: Asia-Based Insights from Asia Philanthropy Circle” as a resource for philanthropists in the Asian context. Initially created as a toolkit for our members, we developed this public version for the wider philanthropy ecosystem (upon receiving many requests) to help build capacity in the sector. What is precious is not just the different approaches and best-in-class models written with Asian lens, but also the 31 case studies from 8 countries across the region, drawn from APC’s network of members, experts, and practitioners.
All these launches are leaving us at APC a little breathless! But we are only just getting started.
Looking to the future, we are committed to building infrastructure, developing capacity and overall, strengthen the philanthropy ecosystem in Asia. We want to do more to tackle the climate crisis to ensure we have a flourishing tomorrow. We are looking at better engaging the future generations of givers and doers. Overall, we want to enable Asians to have that voice and that sense of agency that we can, as citizens, make a real difference in solving whatever social or environmental problem, big or small, in our community.
We invite you to partner us.
17 April 2023