The State of Philanthropy in Asia

Philanthropy in East Asia is growing at pace, with a new report finding that high net worth individuals in the region are giving to charities more strategically.

There are now 3.3 million high net worth individuals in Asia, and a study commissioned by HSBC Private Bank found while the level of philanthropy is probably under-reported, many of those engaged in giving are doing so with ever more mind to making the greatest possible impact.

Innovation, impact and scale are becoming increasingly high priorities for major donors from the East Asian countries studied in the report, which covered China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The report, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit,  conceded that level of giving among the rich in the region still lags behind philanthropy in the West, but it is rising. In China alone the worth of private foundations doubled in the year between 2009 and 2010, from $4.96bn to $10.3bn. In Singapore, where philanthropists can subtract 250 per cent of the value of their gift from their taxable income, giving has more than doubled over the past decade. These kinds of tax incentives, the report suggests, have had a significant impact on encouraging Asians to give more.

Russell Prior, head of philanthropy at HSBC Private Bank UK, said: “Asians are becoming increasingly affluent and international and, as a result, philanthropy is now firmly on the agenda.  Across the region, where there are various approaches to giving – from formal foundation grantmaking to market-oriented solutions – philanthropy is evolving into a visionary and strategic endeavour with an increasing need for it to be managed professionally.

“The future of philanthropy will be about individuals and families working beyond their own foundations, galvanising resources and collaborating with multiple stakeholders to achieve long-term and sustainable results for the community.”

The learning curve of Asian philanthropists might be far steeper than in the West, the report suggests. Given the amount of literature and information about strategic philanthropy those engaged in giving in Asia can simply bypass the “chequebook charity” stage and move immediately towards venture or strategic philanthropy. [Source: Civil Society]

The full report Something’s gotta give: The state of philanthropy in Asia can be downloaded for free.

Categories: High Net Worth Individuals Resources, Philanthropy Resources

Resource Type: Blog

Posted by Beccy Murrell

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