STRATEGIC PHILANTHROPY AND EFFECTIVE GIVING

The past decades have recorded significant growth in Asian philanthropic activities. More people and institutions are donating time and money to public causes. Effective giving is giving to charities or public goods that generate the highest possible social impact by optimising social welfare with voluntary resources. Strategic philanthropy is a topic closely related to effective giving, but focuses more on ‘professional’ philanthropists such as foundations and non-profit organisations.

EXPLORING FAMILY PHILANTHROPY IN SINGAPORE

June Lee

This study explores family philanthropy in Singapore, as practised through the family foundation. Throughout the documented history of Singapore, private philanthropy has played an important role. This study looks into why some philanthropists decided to institutionalise their giving by setting up and funding a private family foundation, and how they go about their different ways of expressing and sustaining their philanthropy

PHILANTHROPIC FOUNDATIONS IN ASIA: INSIGHTS FROM SINGAPORE, MYANMAR AND CHINA

Pauline Tan and Swee-Sum Lam

This study looks at an emerging trend in which wealthy families, individuals, and corporations in Asia set up foundations to institutionalise their giving. This giving is motivated by a myriad of factors beyond prestige and status, including the desire to give back to society, religion, family and personal values, the desire to drive change, personal experience, and/or affiliations.

OVERVIEW OF CHARITY SECTOR IN SINGAPORE: 2007-2013

Alfred Koh, Swee-Sum Lam and Weina Zhang

This is an exploratory study on the state of the charity sector in Singapore using the Commissioner of Charities Annual Reports from 2007 to 2013, available from the Charity Portal. The depth of analysis is much limited by the availability of inter-sectoral and intra-sectoral data as well as the length of time covered by each annual report.

DOES SHOWING POVERTY AFFECT DONATIONS? AN EXPERIMENT ON REDISTRIBUTION AND GIVING IN SINGAPORE

Frank Roeland Hubers

In their effort to raise awareness about poverty, create empathy for those living in marginal conditions, or simply for fundraising purposes, many charity and social purpose organisations show the lives of the poor in their campaigns. They hope that sharing these images will increase awareness of poverty and hence affect the attitude and behaviour of the viewer towards the poor. Despite the moral debate on the ethics of displaying people who live in marginal conditions, many still consider this a means to an end. However, is showing people in poverty even effective? Are people more willing to support policies for redistribution or donate money, when they see people living in poverty?

FRAMING THE ROOTS OF PHILANTHROPY

Swee-Sum Lam, Gabriel Henry Jacob and David Jeremiah Seah

What are the motivations of philanthropic behaviour? Do the same motivations drive both donation (giving of money) and volunteering (giving of time)? Does faith and religion explain philanthropy? Does faith and religion motivate philanthropy beyond the religious sector? These are the questions being answered in this study. The sample used is the 2005 US household data which capture charitable giving and volunteering by sector, religious services attendance, and demographics of households.

VENTURE CAPITAL PRACTICES: DO THEY MATTER FOR THE EXPECTED PERFORMANCE OF SOCIAL INVESTMENT FUNDS?

Swee-Sum Lam, Siew Meng Leong and Sze Min Lek

Social investments have existed for many years in the form of government funding and grants given to non-profit organizations. Recently, social investment funds (“SIF”) have emerged and applied venture capital principles to their investments. At first glance, there are many possible advantages from adopting these principles, such as “goal congruence” (alignment of goals and values of partners for better performance), “quality evaluation” (choosing projects of higher quality and success likelihood), and “value-added” (coaching and transfer of knowledge). However, these hypothesized advantages have not been tested in real data.