A Partnership in Asia
Hong Kong is an exciting launching pad for TPI’s recent philanthropic advising partnership. It is a global city, blending a wonderful mix of western and eastern values; an extremely wealthy city with the highest density of billionaires in the world (BCG, Global Wealth 2014), and a city with an established tradition of philanthropy, based on both Chinese culture and British institutions. While most of its donors (individuals, foundations and corporations) give back domestically, anecdotal evidence suggests it is becoming a powerful international giving player, especially to mainland China. Most recently, two of its philanthropists roared into the spotlight as a result of a $350 million gift to Harvard. See article here.
Yet the practice of strategic philanthropy – focused, metrics and goal-based, where the nonmonetary contributions often exceed the monetary in value – is not widely pursued in the region. And the notion of hiring a philanthropic advisor to research needs and amplify giving is a rarity. In many ways, it reminds me of TPI’s early years when many marveled at the idea that donors would actually pay us to help them give more thoughtfully.
Last week, TPI officially launched a partnership with WiseGiving Advisors, the first institution in Hong Kong and one of the few in Asia, to offer strategic philanthropy advising services. We have been working together for over a year now on joint client assignments while training the WiseGiving staff in our approach to working with families. The launch marked the publication of several of TPI’s signature guides to giving (http://wgadvisors.org.hk, Giving Together: A Primer for Family Philanthropy; Passion: Discovering the Meaning in Your Philanthropy; Raising Children with Philanthropic Values; Strategic Philanthropy: Potential Roles and Strategies) as well as a number of events and workshops aimed at introducing donors and other stakeholders to the principles of strategic philanthropy.
For WiseGiving Advisors, it is an opportunity to build on TPI’s 25 years of advising experience, take advantage of our proven tools and resources, and strengthen their efforts to create a market. For TPI, it offers the chance to pursue our mission of increasing the impact of philanthropy around the world, while offering TPI’s U.S. and international donors greater access to expertise, knowledge and capacity to give to China and the region.
The growth of philanthropy advising around the world has been slow; the market demand not yet palpable; and the supply of experienced philanthropy professionals still in development. We hope this new partnership provides a valuable template for accelerating the growth of the infrastructure and helps to expand thoughtful, bold and wise giving.