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    The Giving Chronicles: 8 factors that influence giving in Asia

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    The Giving Chronicles: 8 factors that influence giving in Asia

    Philanthropic giving is an important part of Lombard Odier’s DNA. We help our clients translate their philanthropic aspirations into action and support them in creating solid foundations for philanthropy for the long term. Backed by our strong history and track record of working at the intersection of philanthropy and wealth, we are proud of the achievements of our corporate foundation, Fondation Lombard Odier, as well as our work with clients via our Philanthropy Services team and our Swiss umbrella foundation, .

    In our series on philanthropy – The Giving Chronicles, our Head of Family Services for Asia, Lee Wong shares with us how private capital can contribute as a force for good, and 8 factors that influence giving in the context of Asia.

    The world has changed dramatically since the start of 2020. We are facing a crisis like no other: a public health crisis and a financial crisis that are unfolding simultaneously. Weathering this storm and the fallout ahead requires both emergency relief and longer-term support from all aspects of society.

    Private capital in particular has a unique opportunity to contribute as a force for good. Its distinctive nature – the possibility to be deployed quickly and flexibly at significant levels – gives it the ability to have a transformative impact

    Private capital in particular has a unique opportunity to contribute as a force for good. Its distinctive nature – the possibility to be deployed quickly and flexibly at significant levels – gives it the ability to have a transformative impact. Not only can wealthy individuals give back to society using their financial resources, they often have extraordinary skills, talents, experiences and networks from building successful businesses. Diverting money, time and energy into philanthropy gives wealthy individuals an opportunity to “make their mark”, leaving a legacy that future generations can look back on proudly.

    If giving means sharing of time, talent or treasure for the benefit of others, or even moments of spontaneous kindness, then the entire world gives all the time. Perhaps giving is a most basic human response. Giving to causes we care about not only benefits charities and society as a whole, but it can be deeply rewarding for us too.

    Every individual and family is different, so what motivates them to give? This could be influenced by a myriad of factors, and these may change over time. Here, we identify 8 motivation factors in the context of Asia:

     

    1. A desire to give back to society:

    Many philanthropists give because of their sense of social responsibility. Giving back is both a calling and a duty. “To whom much is given, much is expected” is understood as both a privilege and an obligation. They believe it is the right thing to do, extending a hand to the less fortunate and engaging in their communities.

     

    2. Family and personal values:

    In Asia, family plays a central role and in turn shapes philanthropy. Philanthropy is seen as an expression of a family’s and personal values and it can be used to strengthen family ties and bond future generations.

    In Asia, family plays a central role and in turn shapes philanthropy. Philanthropy is seen as an expression of a family’s and personal values and it can be used to strengthen family ties and bond future generations

    3. Religion:

    The world’s major religions all include the notion of charity or service. Zagat, dedication to giving, is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. In Hinduism, giving is a demonstration of faith. The core foundation of Buddhism is compassion and Christianity encourages tithing and service to others.

     

    4. A desire to drive change:

    Change can be in many forms. Poverty and inequality tend to be key motivators for many philanthropists. They want to do their bit for society and have a meaningful impact in the lives of others.

     

    5. Personal experience:

    Inspiration comes from an individual’s own life and personal experiences. Focus is often a cause, an illness or a need that strikes close to home. Those that have escaped poverty may want to give back as soon as they are able to, those that have experienced a serious medical issue or have lost a loved one from a medical problem may want to tackle that problem through philanthropy.

     

    6. Desire for a new career:

    Those that are approaching retirement after an active business life may have the ability to devote more time to philanthropy. They want to use their abundant resources to change the world through new avenues, just as they feel they have done within their successful enterprises. You have the likes of Bill Gates and Jack Ma.

     

    7. Personal affiliation:

    An emotional link to your roots and community can mean your home land is your principal philanthropic target. Philanthropy can promote a sense of trust and strengthen your ties to others in your community.

     

    8. Desire to build a social legacy:

    Public giving enhances goodwill and builds social capital. It can offer public prestige and social standing and corporate giving can be a vehicle for creating goodwill and building an organisation’s reputation. Some philanthropists also want to be remembered for more than financial success. They want to have a legacy of generosity and public service.

    But how can we give well, and how can we make a meaningful impact with our giving?

    At Lombard Odier, our philanthropy roadmap for clients has four key steps:

    First – developing a giving strategy. Knowing how to start is often the biggest hurdle that families face once they have committed to philanthropy. At Lombard Odier, we look at how to define your goals.

    Second – structuring the giving vehicle. Having a strong plan is one thing, but choosing the most appropriate legal structure can be a minefield. At Lombard Odier, we provide an overview, so you can start philanthropy on the right legal and tax footing.

    Third – selecting partners and framing projects. The rewarding part of philanthropy is putting the plan into practice: selecting partners and projects and having an impactful contribution to society. We explore some good giving principles to ensure both heads and hearts are used.

    Fourth – assessing your impact. The final – but important – step in our philanthropy journey is assessing our impact. This broadly involves monitoring and evaluating both our grant-making and our overall philanthropy strategy.

    Giving with conscious intention, considered analysis and conscientious planning will create more sustainable and measurable impact

    More than 100 years ago, John D Rockefeller raised awareness of organised philanthropy when he spoke of the “business of benevolence”. Giving with conscious intention, considered analysis and conscientious planning will create more sustainable and measurable impact. 

    Important information

    This document is issued by Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd or an entity of the Group (hereinafter “Lombard Odier”). It is not intended for distribution, publication, or use in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, or use would be unlawful, nor is it aimed at any person or entity to whom it would be unlawful to address such a document. This document was not prepared by the Financial Research Department of Lombard Odier.

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