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International report finds Australia ready for outbound giving

July 22nd, 2022

A research-driven roadmap for Asia’s philanthropists has identified Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea as having a high level of readiness within the region for outbound giving.

A research-driven roadmap for Asia’s philanthropists has identified Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea as having a high level of readiness within the region for outbound giving.

The Give2Asia report, entitled Unlocking Cross-border Philanthropy in Asia, is the result of interviews with 150 high-net-worth donors, foundations, and corporations, plus surveys of 135 regional NFPs. The multi-year project assessed the barriers and opportunities for international giving across 15 markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

The report found that regulatory hurdles, incentives, and institutional readiness meant the feasibility of cross-border philanthropy in Asia varied “…significantly by location.’’

But it also found that national-level institutions across a range of locations were interested in collaborating to build the required infrastructure to increase giving in their markets.

The analysis of the Australian situation identified a “…growing desire to foster an outward giving culture among individuals and diaspora donor groups.’’

It said Australia already had a relatively high level of cross-border giving in Asia – about 21 per cent of charities distributed grants and donations overseas - with China, India, Indonesia and Nepal among the top receiving regional countries. Healthcare, education, climate, and rural development were the main areas of interest. 

“Interest in cross-border giving is growing among young donors,’’ the report said. “Young entrepreneurs are interested in exploring innovative ways of giving, including through blockchain and cryptocurrency.’’

The report found that cross-border giving among the Asian-Australian diaspora was “untapped’’ and more research was needed to ascertain the group’s appetite to make impactful and strategic giving.

However, the report also found that “…giving mechanisms and compliance requirements are not yet well understood by the general public, which hinders donors’ awareness of opportunities to give abroad.’’

“Accessible information on relevant philanthropic trends and practices is needed to broaden the scope and scale of cross-border donations among Australian donors.’’

Give2Asia President and CEO Birger Stamperdahl said the report provided a roadmap for Asia’s philanthropists seeking to make a regional impact.

“[The report] also confirms that national charitable institutions in several markets are ready to expand the infrastructure needed to grow an ecosystem for cross-border philanthropy,’’ Birger said.

The report was produced in collaboration with the Asia Philanthropy Circle, King Baudouin Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The research focussed on two questions – is there a need for improved international giving infrastructure serving donors and charitable projects in the Asia-Pacific region? And if so, what markets and institutions are most ready to create that infrastructure today?

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