Philanthropic donors are increasingly using their capital to tackle social and environmental issues in Southeast Asia. Yet many do not know where best to channel their funding. Our Giving Guide aims to address this problem, by providing publicly available insights on giving opportunities in the region.
Finding the right issue to support is challenging
Many donors are keen to ensure that their funding delivers the greatest impact. Yet it can take considerable time and money to carry out thorough research, and not every donor has the capacity to do this. As a result, funding decisions can be based on partial information, personal connections, or media coverage, rather than a robust and nuanced analysis of the needs and opportunities available.
The knock-on effect of this is that the funding does not always reach the most relevant areas. Some donors hold back from giving because they do not feel confident that their money will be used effectively. Others may support causes that are highly prominent or easily accessible rather than channelling funding to more niche areas of unmet need.
As Lee Han Shih of the Lee Foundation noted in a 2011 UBS-INSEAD report into philanthropy in Asia:
“My grandfather’s generation addressed a burning problem by contributing to the university sector... Today, we are simply stuffing money down a pipe that is already flush with cash.”
Towards a solution
Over the past four years, Just Cause has consulted and worked with multiple non-profits, institutional donors and government agencies in Southeast Asia to better understand the needs around donor information and the drivers of non-profit impact.
Through this research, we have developed our Giving Guide to provide robust, independent information on opportunities for impact. It draws on our research and experience of working on different issues across the region, together with publicly available reports and information, and packages them into an easily digestible and informative summary tailored for donors. We focus on directing interested donors quickly to the key issues, and highlighting specific non-profits working within those sectors.
Ultimately, this means that more effective funding will lead to even greater impact for end beneficiaries and stakeholders.