Week of 10 August 2020
As the next generation of leaders takes over the reins of their family businesses and foundations, how they approach philanthropy may also differ from their predecessors. Driven by the need to find meaning in everything they do, they are seeking new ways to give back to society. What does this look like? Let’s take a Deep Dive. 

✍️ Philanthropy is no longer just about writing a fat cheque for a one-off donation to get your name on a school building. As Asia-Pacific looks ahead to its largest wealth-transfer ever over the next few years, its new wave of leaders is generally more socially responsible and looking to evolve their way of giving. 

📊 Experts say more young philanthropists are willing to offer their time and expertise, in addition to their money. Many young leaders, particularly the data-driven millennials, are also trying to find a more strategic and systematic way of giving in order to optimise their efforts. This could mean developing their own philanthropic framework that enables them to evaluate their goals, how and how much they can give, and the actual impact of their efforts.

🙅‍♂️ Next-generation leaders of traditional businesses are also realising that it is becoming more difficult to make money at the expense of something or someone else. Now more than ever, companies are expected to be accountable for their environmental and social impact.  

👍 In response to our changing times, some companies are paying it forward by divesting from unethical businesses and investing in industries or enterprises pushing for positive change. This has led to the rise of the social enterprise, which seeks profit while maximising benefits to society and the environment.


“[The next generation is] not as concerned about the difference between giving in one sector versus making money in another sector. They believe that they can do as much good, maybe even more good, through what they do in the business sector by either investing significant assets in socially responsible ways or supporting businesses that have a double or triple bottom line.”

— Michael Moody, author of Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors Are Revolutionizing Giving 




42% About 42 percent of next-generation leaders globally are actively involved in their family’s philanthropic activities. 

81% A survey of high-net-worth individuals in Asia found that 81 percent of them believe there are more opportunities to tackle societal issues, especially through investing.

⅔ A Deloitte study found that almost two-thirds of individuals under the age of 40 feel obliged to make the world a better place.  

76% One study found that 76 percent of philanthropic families and private investors globally are making decisions based on their next generation’s plans and proposals.

20% Only 20 percent of younger philanthropists give to their local community, as opposed to 32 percent of the older generation.

72% Philanthropic giving is not a new phenomenon, but around 72 percent of foundations worldwide were established in the last 25 years.


More millennials in Asia align their investments with their giving goals than the global average. What percentage of them do so?

A. 35 percent
B. 43 percent
C. 54 percent

Scroll to the bottom of the email for the answer.


In 2019, the Sackler family faced a major controversy when they were accused of misleading the American public about the effects of OxyContin, the opioid painkiller made by their pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma. The drug is said to have caused the country's opioid epidemic

In response to this, numerous prominent British and American museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, have declared that they will no longer be accepting donations from the family, who have art galleries and institutions around the world named after them.  


5 Stories To Get You Up To Speed
  1. Next-Generation Philanthropy
    Stanford Social Innovation Review

  2. How Foundations In Asia Are Being Passed Down To The Next Generation
    Tatler Hong Kong
  3. Philanthropy Is At A Turning Point. Here Are 6 Ways It Could Go
    World Economic Forum
  4. Next Gen Philanthropy: Finding The Path Between Tradition And Innovation
    Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
  5. Passing The Torch: Next Generation Philanthropists
    BNP Paribas


What Philanthropy Means Today

Entrepreneur Tammy Tibbetts explains how millennials perceive the concept of philanthropy and the common misconceptions about it


Based on data from the BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index by Forbes Insights, the top three sectors that Asia’s philanthropists are most open to supporting is health, environment and social change. Other research has shown that younger philanthropists are more open than their parents to supporting causes such as the arts.  

                                                                                                                                 BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index 


The Advisor and Philanthropist
Laurence Lien
Laurence Lien chairs Singapore-based Lien Foundation, the philanthropic house his grandfather started that supports causes for the elderly and children. He is also the co-founder, co-chairman and CEO of Asia Philanthropy Circle, a membership platform that connects and fosters collaboration among the region’s philanthropists.

Gen.T Spotlight

Two Honourees To Know

Dee Dee Chan
Hong Kong-based Dee Dee Chan is the director of her family’s Seal of Love Charitable Foundation, which focuses on sectors such as poverty, health and education. It also mainly supports causes serving overlooked areas such as the rural or mountainous regions of Asia.


Wendy Yu
Billionaire philanthropist Wendy Yu is the founder and CEO of Yu Holdings, which invests in innovation, creativity and philanthropy through its subsidiaries Yu Capital, Yu Fashion and Yu Culture. Once called “fashion’s fairy godmother”, Yu’s altruistic contributions include funding art education in China’s Yunan province and sponsoring art programmes at the British Museum.



Did you miss our Deep Dive on The Rise Of The Subscription Economy? Read it here


Learning To Do Good
A course offered at Harvard Kennedy School is teaching affluent millennials how to give back to society and make money at the same time. Titled Impact Investing for the Next Generation, the week-long programme started in 2015 and is jointly run with the University of Zurich, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. But not everyone can get in—participants must pass an interview and pay up to US$58,000 for the classes, which are held in the US and Switzerland.


Productivity During A Pandemic

That's it for this issue. Have a productive week!

The Deep Dive is a weekly close-up look at an idea, issue or trend that’s shaping Asia’s future. This issue was written by Chong Seow Wei, with editing and production by Samantha Topp and Lee Williamson.

We’d love to know what you think of this issue, and future topics you’d like us to cover. Please send your comments to And if you missed it, don’t forget to check out last week’s Deep Dive, on The Rise Of The Subscription Economy.

The answer to the quiz is C (54 percent).

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