Asian Philanthropy News Digest 01/28/2011

Taipei Approves Chinese Philanthropists’ Charity Visit. Chen Guangbiao, along with 47 Chinese businessmen, will be visiting Taiwan and handing out cash to the needy. While philanthropists support charitable organizations or entities providing services to groups in need, the Chinese businessmen decided he would effectuate his philanthropy by personally handing out cash to each poor person or low income family (US$333 or 10,000 Taiwan dollars each for a total of US$16 million). The gesture is not without its critics. The controversy is mainly focused on respect and discretion to the poor and changes the traditional anonymous, low-key way of giving money. Is this the new trend? Does this have more impact?

The Charity Council in Singapore has released the Charity Governance Report 2011.  The report highlights the state of governance in the charity sector, the capability building initiatives available, as well as profiles good governance practices by charities.  The 2011 report notes that more charities have taken the responsibility to enhance their governance and management capabilities.  The improvement in the checklist scores for all sectors suggests that charities are adopting more of the Code guidelines.  In addition, since 2007, more than 700 charities have tapped on the VWOs-Charities Capability Fund (VCF) for training, consultancy, info-communications technology and shared services grants.

Investing in China’s Future One Student at a Time. Calvin Chin, founder of Qifang, is featured on Huffington Post this week. Calvin founded Qifang in 2007 to help students complete their higher education in China. The site connects university students who need money with investors in the form of micro-loans. The international community has embraced the social business but Calvin has received resistance to the model in China because “Chinese investors shy away from new ideas and young companies.”


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