Philanthropy Handbook

Giving Effectively from
Singapore to Asia-Pacific

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In partnership with

Philanthropy Handbook

giving effectively from singapore to asia-pacific

In partnership with

This needs to be the Asian Decade for Philanthropy.

  • With more than 4.5 billion people, the majority of the world’s population lives on the continent that is the locus for global challenges such as climate change, gender inequality, and access to healthcare.
  • Leveraging the capabilities of hubs like Singapore in areas such as education, data and technology as well as medical research, Asian philanthropists can respond meaningfully and effectively.

This handbook offers you avenues to act and to do so effectively, from Singapore.

Watch the launch webinar recording here.

Key sections of the report​

If you are looking to:

Power Of The Network icon

Define your philanthropic strategy for Asia-Pacific.


A summary of 3 pathways to unlock the full potential of philanthropy in Asia-Pacific.

connect icon

Understand Singapore’s philanthropic ecosystem and identify potential partners.


A mapping of Singapore’s philanthropic ecosystem.

Knowledge Sharing icon

Glean critical insights from Singapore-based philanthropists.


3 case studies that can inform your own giving and highlight ways in which to expand.

Capacity Building icon

Establish your own philanthropic organisation in Singapore.


A ‘How-to’ step-by-step guide for incorporating & operating a philanthropic entity in Singapore.

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3 Pathways To Unlock the Full Potential of Philanthropy in Asia-Pacific

Philanthropy in Asia has the potential to effect large-scale change through different avenues.

Work towards a regional SDG agenda

Philanthropists can take collective action to work towards a regional Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda, in order to overcome persistent funding gaps and advance the slow progress towards their achievement.

Engage an emerging pool of Asian philanthropists

With 35% of wealth expected to be in the hands of Asian millennials in the next 5 to 7 years and continued growth in the population of ultra -high net-worth individuals, there is an emerging pool of Asian philanthropists that can be engaged in new and innovative approaches to giving.

Grow the use of philanthropic funding as catalytic capital

There is growing application of the use of philanthropic funding as catalytic capital in public-private partnerships, leveraging the higher risk tolerance of philanthropic capital to drive innovative, multi-stakeholder collaboration.

Asian philanthropists can build on Singapore’s ecosystem and national capabilities to drive their philanthropy and build on these development pathways.

Collaboration and regional capacity building

Collaboration and regional capacity building initiatives that draw on public, private and non-profit expertise are growing, making Singapore a prime ecosystem in which to further explore their potential.

Technology and data science for good

Both the public and private sector are leading efforts to foster data transparency and trust in technology; philanthropists leverage this to drive the use of technology and data science for good.

Innovative philanthropy and social investment solutions

Leveraging the infrastructure of the financial hub, the sophistication and scale of innovative social investment solutions is growing, leveraging pre-existing infrastructure of the financial hub and offering avenues to extend the potential of catalytic capital in the region.

Members' Experience

Voices from the Ecosystem

“We’re always looking to explore new ways to deploy capital in support of our philanthropic objectives. Singapore is a testbed for some of the more innovative ways of funding and when the government engages with civil society and funders, it becomes really interesting. Continued government support for innovative finance will make it even more attractive and exciting to be here.”

Mette Ekeroth

Chief Legacy Officer, Managing Director (Singapore), North-East Family Office

“Singapore sits at the nexus of the technology future, the urban future, and the Asian future. With what Singapore has to offer in terms of science and technology, climate understanding, and urban development, we are in a position to jointly develop the ecosystem and be strategic about the goals that we seek to achieve together..”

Lauren Sorkin

Executive Director, Resilient Cities Network

“Coming out of a crisis, I learned that the answer of where and how to give in Singapore comes from a place of trust and sense of being connected to the community. Rather than a monolithic movement, it is a joy to see there are different pathways of philanthropy, and people are giving generously with meeting needs on the ground as their primary motivation.”

Joyce Teo

Executive Director Centre for Applied Philanthropy, Community Foundation of Singapore

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The Philanthropic Ecosystem in Singapore.​​

Five stakeholder groups shape Singapore’s philanthropic ecosystem.

Communities,
causes and
needs

Philanthropists & Resource Providers

  • Corporate Foundations
  • Family Offices
  • Family Foundations
  • Individual Donors
  • Public Foundations

Service Providers

  • Community Foundations
  • Law Firms
  • Accounting Firms
  • Philanthrophy Advisors

Government Actors

  • Ministry of Culture,Community and Youth
  • Ministry of Social And
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Prime Minister’s Office
  • Ministry of Trade and Industry

Impact Organisations

  • NPOs & Charities
  • Social Enterprises
  • Multilateral & Bilateral Institutions
  • International Non - Governmental Organisations

Intermediaries

  • Incubators & Accelerators
  • Membership Networks
  • Research Centres
  • Think Tanks
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A Step-by-Step Guide to Give to and through Singapore

While every philanthropic endeavour is a unique journey, philanthropists often grapple with similar questions.

STEP 01

Define your impact mission and aims specific to Singapore and/or the region

STEP 02

Determining your source of funding and operations strategy

STEP 03

Aligning your value proposition and activities to the ecosystem

STEP 04

Registering your entry

STEP 05

Building your operations

STEP 06

Strategizing your growth

STEP 07

Reviewing, reflecting, revising

Do you fit this profile?

Tips & Tricks to support you in starting your giving journey.

A Single Family Office turned Philanthropist

I have a presence in Singapore through my Single Family Office. I want to give back to the community, and am exploring grant-making and other social investment approaches such as impact investing.”

Looking to Start a local Operating Foundation

I would like to contribute solely to Singapore and would like to set up an operating foundation to develop programmes to benefit the local community using a mix of private funds and public fundraising.”

Looking to Operate locally and Give Regionally

I see the benefits of setting up a foundation in Singapore and I want to build partnerships within the local ecosystem, but I want to focus the majority of my giving on a regional or global scale.”

The Global Collaborator

Instead of incorporating an entity in Singapore, I would like to leverage Singapore as a platform for collaborations and partnerships in the region.”

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Case Studies: 3 Journeys to Optimise Philanthropic Giving in Singapore

How
Octava Foundation

became a private grant making foundation funded through donation funds from its principals.

How
Ishk Tolaram Foundation

is informed by the history, values, and vision of the family business in developing the foundation’s strategy and operations.

How
Quantedge Foundation

achieves organisational progress through a bias for action.

Members' Experience

Voices from the Ecosystem

“Collaborative philanthropy enables us to deliver value beyond our own capabilities and deepen our impact. Being active within Singapore’s social impact networks enables us to connect with like-minded individuals and organizations within this space to do and learn more within this region.”

Sandhya Aswani

Program Director, Ishk Tolaram Foundation

“A lot of our work is about reciprocity – two way learning and collaborative capacity building between Singapore and its neighbours. Our volunteers may share expertise to help improve development outcomes in overseas communities, but the professional learnings and personal insights they gain from working with others is immeasurable. If nothing, this pandemic has underscored the importance of international collaboration, in people coming together to share ideas, skills and resources to address complex social challenges.”

Jean Tan

Executive Director, Singapore International Foundation

”Asian philanthropy has grown leaps and bounds and has only scratched the surface. Singapore can play a vital catalytic role in this ecosystem. It enjoys a unique position with its financial hub infrastructure and government’s support for impact at scale that can create an effective lab set up to pilot innovative ideas rapidly. Working with local funders is central to this idea for their knowledge and resources with the intent to create benefits for the whole of Asia.”

Deepali Khanna

Managing Director, Asia, The Rockefeller Foundation

Download Report​

Philanthropy Handbook

Giving Effectively from Singapore to Asia-Pacific

*To view optimised report on Chrome browser, right click on
downloaded file and select Open System Viewer