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The future of collaborative philanthropy in Asia

Friday, April 07, 2023

Written By

The future of collaborative philanthropy in Asia Ian Black
The future of collaborative philanthropy in Asia

ESG | Lifestyle | Motivational

If you’ve ever been frustrated by the limitations of traditional philanthropy, such as the lack of efficiency and transparency, you’re not alone. Not being able to accurately measure impact, or working in competition as opposed to sharing knowledge, is simply not good enough. But with a rapidly-changing technological environment and a rising focus on collaboration, there are new opportunities to redefine the way you give.

In recent years, the landscape of philanthropy has been steadily shifting, with Asia emerging as a significant player in global giving. High-net-worth individuals are now uniquely positioned to make a meaningful impact.

What is collaborative philanthropy?

As Asia continues to experience rapid economic growth and an expanding population of high-net-worth individuals, there is a growing demand for effective philanthropic strategies to tackle the region's pressing issues. However, a new focus on collaboration presents a novel way to approach this opportunity.

Collaborative philanthropy can take various forms, such as co-funding initiatives, establishing donor networks, and sharing your knowledge. It aims to amplify the impact of individual donors through synergy, which makes our efforts more impactful.

The reason why this is a new trend is that it relies on technology. The capacity for collaborative philanthropy has grown exponentially in the past decade, and it’s time to take notice.

Modernising philanthropy

You’re likely already aware of traditional philanthropy’s limitations - it’s sluggish and outdated. Cold calling, oversized cheques, and short-term relief are some examples of outdated philanthropy, though other inefficiencies are less visible.

These shortcomings have often resulted in suboptimal outcomes around the world. With the new opportunity that arises in Asia (and its sheer scale), this can be a way for you to tackle two problems at once.

By 2030, the crowdfunding market is estimated to reach $300 billion according to Statista. Whilst it’s true that the younger generations are more likely to engage in crowdfunding campaigns, the same age group are less likely to give through traditional methods. Through collaborative technology, it’s possible to use data analytics, blockchain technology, social media, and modern crowdfunding methods to engage a younger demographic in giving. Future-proofing projects should be a priority.

Platforms like Give2Asia show what’s made possible thanks to technology, as it digitally connects donors and nonprofits to foster a collective working environment and share information. This level of transparency makes it easier for you to facilitate cross-border giving and tackle complex issues.

Collaborative philanthropy in Asia

With growth slowing in China, the economic spotlight is now on its developing neighbouring nations. The projected growth of developing Asia is over 5%, and with a rising wealthy class, the capacity for philanthropy has never been greater. With a culture rich in giving, you, or anyone from around the world, have rife opportunities in connecting to like-minded individuals from Asia.

Give2Asia, in collaboration with King Baudouin Foundation, Asia Philanthropy Circle, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, shared a 100-page report of their findings on the barriers and opportunities of cross-border philanthropy in Asia. The number one barrier to foreign funding is information, whilst half of the respondents identified a need for more intermediary services. Again, it highlights the importance of utilising digital platforms to democratise information and increase the manoeuvrability of transactions.

Philanthropy best practices

A brief outline of best practices to consider for your philanthropic efforts to remain effective include:

  • Developing a clear vision and strategy: Identify core values, goals, and develop a plan

  • Collaborate: Pool resources and knowledge with other HNWIs and build innovative solutions
  • Measure impact: Efforts need results, so impact is important to accurately assess. Regular evaluations and measurable goals are necessary
  • Embrace learning: Identifying areas of improvement is important. Collaborative philanthropy should be a process of learning and adapting to emerging opportunities.
3 initiatives to look out for in 2023
  • AVPN - Asian Venture Philanthropy Network
    AVPN is a unique network of funders that focuses on building a vibrant and high-impact philanthropy and social investment community across Asia. Collaboration is at the heart of the non-profit Singaporean organisation, meaning you’re more than welcome to get involved. AVPN helps its members maximise their social impact through venture philanthropy, strategic grant-making, and impact investing.

  • Dasra
    Dasra is an India-based strategic philanthropy foundation that empowers philanthropists and social entrepreneurs to create large-scale social change. By utilising research, collaborative funding models, and capacity building, they seek to drive an impact in critical areas in India such as healthcare, education, and women’s empowerment. They also host webinars, workshops, and online events that can connect you with social entrepreneurs and experts to foster a unique networking environment.
  • Philippines Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF)
    If natural disasters are something of a focus for you, PDRF employs technology to enhance disaster management and risk reduction efforts in the Philippines. They have developed a Disaster Operations Center, which uses data analytics and real-time monitoring to inform decision-making during emergencies. PDRF also facilitates collaboration by working closely with businesses, government agencies, and civil society organisations to develop and implement disaster risk reduction strategies.

Asia's expanding role in global philanthropy presents an incredible opportunity for you to make a lasting impact on the world. By embracing collaborative philanthropy and harnessing technology, it’s possible to drive change in a truly measurable and life-changing way.

We perceive philanthropy as a method of addressing social and environmental challenges and, therefore, adopt a systematic, planned, patient, and collaborative approach while advising our clients. If you are seeking guidance from experts to ensure you create positive change, speak with one of our advisers to learn how we can help.

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