Across Asia, giving is in. Although the millionaires and billionaires make the news, many more people are donating, aided in great part by social media and the ease of electronic payments. Take a look at these headlines: March 14, The Times of India: “Azim Premji Commits Rs 53,000 crore More to Philanthropy, Taking the Endowment to Rs 145,000 crore”; May 8, Esquire Philippines: “Aboitiz Group Gives Half a Billion Pesos to the Asian Institute of Management”; and September 9, China Development Brief: “Fifth Tencent 9/9 Charity Day Raises Over 2.4 Billion Yuan, Smashing Last Year’s Record”.
There are many more. While it is impossible to know for certain how much capital is being deployed, there is no question that it is a growing number with tangible results.
And, like the rest of the world, the region is using that social investment capital in new ways. Private sector entities now speak not only of their return, but also of their impact, blurring lines between profit and purpose. Businesses weigh their environmental and social effects alongside traditional costs. Individuals and companies are changing the way they think and operate to better harness their expertise and efficacy towards meeting the needs of the planet and its inhabitants.
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