Adapting to COVID-19: The Changing Face of Philanthropy

11th June 2020 8:00am Singapore Time

Session Highlights:

  • In the face of COVID-19 the philanthropy sector has had to rapidly adapt to the urgent needs of their grantees and broader communities. All panelists reflected on the importance of responding immediately with Leong Cheung of HK Jockey Club stating they focused on “speed over perfection”.
  • Speakers elaborated on a few positive consequences of the COVID crisis, namely the rapid increase in digitalisation, a renewed motivation for multi-sector collaboration, and forcing mechanism for philanthropists and corporates to rethink how they are creating value, going beyond just financial contributions.
  • Despite the overall positive tone of the panel, speakers cautioned of potential challenges ahead due to the long-tail effects of COVID and discussed how this feeds into the climate crisis and increasing natural disasters as well. This may be further strained by the expected reduction in philanthropic donations over the next year.

Important Disclaimer

Session Description

Philanthropy has long been a driving force for social impact. As the recent COVID-19 crisis has shown, Asian philanthropists’ are exhibiting great flexibility in responding to urgent needs whilst remaining cognisant of long term goals.

In this session hear from organisations that have been in the centre of this whirlwind, developing innovative solutions to respond to this crisis, at a time when the extent of its impact has yet to be fully grappled with. See how foundations are working alongside government and other key stakeholders to fill-in the gaps in providing relief efforts and explore unique ways to meet the unprecedented challenges this pandemic presents.

Key Takeaways

  • How to leverage digital infrastructure to maximise donor engagement
  • How to tailor operating model to cater to needs as deployment of resources goes increasingly virtual
  • How to develop an impact measurement model and track key activities in crisis
  • How to integrate long-term sustainability considerations into time-sensitive relief efforts


Eric Nee

Moderator: Eric Nee

Editor-in-Chief Stanford Social Innovation Review

Leong Cheung

Leong Cheung

Executive Director, Charities and Community The Hong Kong Jockey Club

Susan Bautista-Afan

Susan Bautista-Afan

Managing Director ABS-CBN Foundation

Maree Sidey

Maree Sidey

CEO Australian Communities Foundation

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