Half of economies studied have favorable philanthropic environments, while nearly half are more restrictive
The Asia-Pacific Edition of the Global Philanthropy Environment Index (GPEI) is being released today by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI, beginning with a special event in New Delhi, India, in association with Ashoka University’s Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy. This is the GPEI’s first regional report on the Asia-Pacific area.
The GPEI is the world’s most comprehensive initiative to equip policymakers, philanthropic and nonprofit leaders, the business community and the public with a clear understanding of the environment for global philanthropy. It is designed to facilitate collaborations across the government, business and philanthropic sectors and inform decisions about what can be done to strengthen the environment for philanthropy.
The regional report provides information on the philanthropic environment in 16 countries and economies in Eastern Asia, Southern & Southeastern Asia and Oceania, which present rich cultural, ethnic, geopolitical and linguistic diversity. With contributions from 21 country- and region-level experts, the study evaluates countries and economies on a five-point scale (1.0 to 5.0) across five key factors that measure the ease with which philanthropic organizations can operate, both within countries and across borders.
The five factors are: (1) regulations about formation and operation of philanthropic organizations; (2) laws governing giving and receiving donations domestically; (3) laws governing donations made across borders; (4) the political and governance environment; and (5) the sociocultural environment. The report provides a comparative perspective of these five factors across Asia-Pacific economies.
Half of the 16 economies have a favorable philanthropic environment, scoring above the 3.64 global average. One scored slightly below the average, and seven have more restrictive environments, with scores of 3.21 or below.
Local experts were asked for suggestions that could improve the philanthropic environment. In Oceania and in Southern and Southeastern Asia, recommendations included removing barriers and offering improved or enhanced tax incentives. In Eastern Asia, recommendations included improving transparency and accountability within the philanthropic sector and improving research and data about philanthropy.
Across the region, the top future trend identified by country-based experts was hybrid forms of philanthropy. As lines between sectors have blurred, a variety of hybrid forms have emerged in recent years, giving rise to organizations and strategies such as social innovation, social enterprise, community enterprise, the sharing economy, and others. In some economies, some donors appear to prefer these newer types of enterprises over more traditional philanthropic approaches.
“The public and private sectors need philanthropy to help solve the world’s problems,” said Amir Pasic, Ph.D., the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “Our ability to maximize the impact of philanthropy in response to immediate crises and long-term challenges requires that we understand how it is practiced in countries and economies around the world. With the human and global challenges our world is facing today, the need is great for an environment conducive to collaborative, cross-border philanthropy.”
Other key findings include:
• All 16 Asia-Pacific economies studied offer individuals or corporations some forms of tax incentives for their charitable donations to eligible philanthropic organizations. However, specific requirements and the ease of receiving tax incentives vary significantly across economies.
• Seven economies have favorable regulatory frameworks for cross-border donations. Nine have limitations for sending donations overseas, while receiving foreign donations is generally less restricted.
• Institutionalization of the philanthropic sector and professionalization of philanthropic organizations are in early stages in many of the region’s economies, particularly in Southern and Southeastern Asia.
• Most economies witnessed closer collaborations between the philanthropic sector and the government in recent years.
“Our study found that all the economies studied in the Asia-Pacific region have deep-rooted cultures and values encouraging philanthropy, especially with regard to helping people in need, and several are seeing increasing collaboration between philanthropic organizations and governments,” said Una Osili, Ph.D., professor of economics, associate dean for research and international programs, and dean’s fellow for the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “At a time of complexity and uncertainty around the globe, the ability to achieve development goals and respond to crises through philanthropy calls for the type of insights included in this report. We need to understand the factors that enable philanthropy to thrive and those that restrict it. The Global Philanthropy Environment Index is the only report of its kind to capture each of them in a way that can help inform global leaders who can, ultimately, help channel resources to meet the world’s most pressing problems.”
While in India, Pasic and Osili also spoke at a workshop co-convened by the World Bank Group, the Association of Indian Universities and the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme. The program focused on encouraging philanthropic funding of higher education institutions and engaging their alumni and other key constituents.
About the Global Philanthropy Indices
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s Global Philanthropy Indices—the Global Philanthropy Environment Index and the Global Philanthropy Resource Flows Index—provide a comprehensive understanding of the global giving landscape to help increase philanthropic engagement and create positive and lasting change in the world. They offer crucial insights to NGOs, policymakers and corporate and foundation leaders on the environment and state of global philanthropy.
About Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.