Forbes Asia Magazine (dated July 18, 2011) picks 48 givers, 4 from each of 12 countries.
Some are big tycoons, even billionaires, who have a large vision of how best to help society and have donated millions of dollars to back up that vision. Others are little-known citizens who are extremely generous with their limited funds. Our goal is not to rank the biggest givers by dollar amounts or percentage of assets–those figures would be impossible to collect. Instead, the aim is to call attention to a mix of notable people and causes throughout the region-and to encourage more giving.
While the list may be subjective, we do follow certain guidelines. A philanthropist in the news-someone who made a huge donation or launched a big project in the past year-is more likely to find himself here. We try to highlight new names each year, so you might not see a famous donor here because he made the list last year.
“We also try to limit the list to true philanthropists -people giving their own money and not their company’s. Contributing shareholder funds isn’t charity, though sometimes a tycoon owns most or all of his company, so corporate giving becomes personal giving.” Forbes Says.
“We also don’t list people who work in philanthropy as foundation heads, volunteers and fundraisers but aren’t able to donate sizable sums themselves. They’re crucial to carrying out the projects outlined here, but we want to focus on the people writing the checks. Of course, many people here do several things–they donate their own money while also fundraising and having their company kick in some funds. That’s fine as long as actual philanthropy is behind the effort.” Forbes Says.
John Kaldor 75
FOUNDER OF TEXTILE GROUP JOHN KALDOR FABRICMAKER.
Gave his $35 million collection of contemporary art to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the largest single donation to an Australian gallery. The 260 works, including pieces by Jeff Koons and Christo, were unveiled in May in the new John Kaldor Family Collection wing. Since 1969 he’s been bringing groundbreaking artists to Australia.
Mike Quigley 59
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK CO.
Returned to Australia in 2009 after a long telecom career abroad, and in June 2010 donated his entire first year’s paycheck at the company–$ 2 million–to aid research into brain diseases and stroke rehabilitation at Neuroscience Research Australia. Beat leukemia 20 years ago thanks to a bone marrow transplant from his brother.
Brian Sherman 67
COFOUNDED FUND MANAGER EQUITILINK.
Plowed much of his proceeds from the company’s sale into animal rights group Voiceless, which he cofounded with daughter Ondine in 2004; it focuses on factory farming. Wife Gene is an arts benefactor who in 2008 turned her art gallery into the not-for-profit Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation. Family fled apartheid South Africa 35 years ago to settle in Sydney.
Graeme Wood 63
COFOUNDER OF DISCOUNT LODGING WEBSITE WOTIF.COM.
Donated $15 million last year to his alma mater, the University of Queensland, to establish the Global Change Institute. Gave $18 million with company cofounder Andrew Brice in 2008 to set up an endowment at the university. His $20 million Graeme Wood Foundation donates roughly $1 million a year to youth, arts and environmental causes. Started Wild Mob, which organizes volunteers for wilderness conservation.
Cho Tak Wong 65
CHAIRMAN OF AUTOMOTIVE GLASS MAKER FUYAO GROUP.
Handed out $153 million last year to a mix of charitable causes. Money went to a new building for Fuzhou’s library, farmers in southwest China suffering from drought and his high school in Gaoshan Town in Fujian Province. But the billionaire’s real giving will come when he fulfills his 2009 pledge to give away 70% of his family’s shares.
Lu Zhiqiang 59
FOUNDER OF BEIJING PROPERTY DEVELOPER CHINA OCEANWIDE HOLDINGS GROUP.
Contributed $85 million to charity last year. Some 40% of that endowed a new foundation to provide disaster relief. Another 20% went to Chinese earthquake victims.
Wang Jianlin 57
CHAIRS DALIAN WANDA GROUP, ONE OF ASIA’S LARGEST DEVELOPERS.
Donated nearly $200 million last year, landing him at the top spot on FORBES CHINA’s list of the country’s most generous givers. Much of the money went to reconstruct a historic temple in Nanjing.
Jimmy Yip 63
Linda Yip 63
REAL ESTATE INVESTORS IN CHINA AND THE U.S.
Devastated by the loss of their son in a traffic accident in 2001, they started the Nathan Yip Foundation to carry on the philanthropy that he began as a high school student. Active in Haiti and Mexico, but mainly in China, the couple opens schools, many in rural areas, builds dormitories and funds scholarships.
Jackie Chan 57
MOVIE, TV AND RECORDING STAR.
Uses his fame and fortune to boost a long list of causes (see story, “Hardest-Working Man In Charity”).
Hans Michael Jebsen 54
CHAIRS FAMILY-OWNED JEBSEN GROUP, A TRADING COMPANY THAT STARTED IN HONG KONG IN 1895.
Supports causes such as the World Wildlife Fund and the Red Cross, as well as the family’s own Jebsen Education Foundation. Reflecting the family’s long history in Asia, he also backs local cultural efforts through the Asia Cultural Council, which has given money to preserve fading Asian arts, such as Taiwanese puppetry.
Chung To 44
FORMER INVESTMENT BANKER NOW DEVOTES ALL HIS TIME TO PHILANTHROPY.
Started his Chi Heng Foundation in 1998 to combat HIV/AIDS in Hong Kong, but now it focuses on educating AIDS orphans in China. It’s sent more than 12,000 children to schools, from kindergartens to universities. He won the $60,000 BNP Paribas Prize for Individual Philanthropy last year.
Darius Yuen 41
A FORMER MANAGING DIRECTOR AT BNP PARIBAS AND SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR AT BEAR STEARNS.
After the 2008 global financial crisis he helped set up Sow Asia, a nonprofit that contributes directly to charity and also helps market-based organizations working to improve environmental protection, health care and education.
Shiv Nadar 65
CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER OF HCL TECHNOLOGIES.
Billionaire deploying a large part of his wealth to open schools, especially in rural areas (see story, “Getting Them Young”).
Vivek Oberoi 34
BOLLYWOOD ACTOR IN HIT FILMS SUCH AS SAATHIYA,
Set up the Yashodhara Oberoi Foundation, named for his mother, with earnings from his debut film, Company, in 2002. Since then he’s given away $3 million and used his celebrity to raise another $25 million to support causes ranging from cancer and heart patients’ rehabilitation to disaster relief, education for girls and health insurance for the poor.
Azim Premji 65
CHAIRMAN OF SOFTWARE SERVICES COMPANY WIPRO.
Biggest philanthropist in the country and eighth biggest in the world. Transferred nearly $2 billion of his wealth last December to an irrevocable trust that focuses on education and related areas such as child health and nutrition. His Azim Premji University in Bangalore will train teachers, researchers and administrators and will open this month with 200 students, rising to 3,500 students in five years. The Azim Premji Foundation began in 2001 and works mainly with government school systems in rural India.
Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao 61
FOUNDER OF INFRASTRUCTURE CONGLOMERATE GMR GROUP.
In March pledged $340 million–his 12.5% personal stake in the business and one-eighth of his family’s share–through an irrevocable endowment to the GMR Varalakshmi Foundation. It works primarily to educate and train poor youths in 20 locations in India and 2 in Nepal. Started his philanthropy early in career, when he ran a small business and built a school in his village.
Hashim Djojohadikusumo 57
CEO OF NATIONS PETROLEUM AND PT ARSARI PRATAMA.
Aims to revive and preserve Indonesia’s heritage, from archeology and paleontology to martial arts. In 2004 set up the Arsari Foundation, focusing on the study of the arts and humanities. Helps support Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta and the University of Indonesia in Jakarta. Some $9 million has been spent to fix buildings, start libraries, provide computers, pay teachers and fund scholarships.
Kartini Muljadi 81
FOUNDED A LAW FIRM AND CHAIRS DRUGMAKER TEMPO GROUP.
Focuses her philanthropy on the Kesehatan Sumber Waras Foundation, which built a 400-bed general hospital that also functions as the teaching facility for the medical faculty of Tarumanegara University. Active in the Daya Bhakti Pendidikan Universitas Indonesia Foundation, which promotes social causes. Her drug fortune puts her family’s wealth at close to $1 billion.
Chairul Tanjung 49
CHAIRMAN OF THE BANKING, TV, THEME PARK AND RETAIL PARA GROUP.
His Chairul Tanjung Foundation is committed to spending more than $100 million over the next 5 years to reduce illiteracy and poverty in the country. In 1998 he helped start the Indonesian Humanitarian Committee, which aims to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and drug abuse.
Sandiaga Uno 42
COFOUNDER OF JAKARTA PRIVATE EQUITY FIRM SARATOGA CAPITAL.
His Inotek Foundation offers grants for technological innovations by young local techies. His Mien R. Uno Foundation seeks to boost entrepreneurship by funding scholarships and helping companies get started. Has also raised money for the Indonesian Red Cross and other groups with his running events for charity, Berlari Untuk Berbagi (Running for Sharing).
Tadao Ando 59
SELF-TAUGHT ARCHITECT; WON THE 1995 PRITZKER ARCHITECTURE PRIZE.
Launched the Momo-Kaki Great East Japan Earthquake Orphans Fund. Aim is to collect $12.5 million and finance the children’s education until college. Also started the Setouchi Olive Foundation, to plant 1 million olive trees along Seto Inland Sea, and Sakura No Kai, which planted 3,000 cherry trees in Osaka. After the 1995 earthquake gave his $100,000 prize to help survivors and also began a drive to plant 302,000 trees with white flowers as a memorial.
Nobutada Saji 65
CHAIRMAN OF DRINKS COMPANY SUNTORY.
His family-owned company handed out 1 million bottles of water and soft drinks and contributed $3.6 million to relief efforts immediately after the March earthquake. In April the company said it’s also donating 1 yen for each sale of its canned drinks; the tally is expected to reach $48 million. Half the money will go to purchase new fishing boats and the rest to educational and cultural projects.
Masayoshi Son 53
CHAIRMAN AND FOUNDER OF THE SOFTBANK GROUP.
The country’s richest person, he’s promised to donate $119 million to support and educate children left without parents after the earthquake. On top of this he’s pledged to turn over his salary until he retires. For the 2010 fiscal year his salary was $1.2 million.
Tadashi Yanai 62
CHAIRMAN OF FAST RETAILING.
Contributed $12 million to earthquake relief while his company, which is nearly half-owned by his family, donated $8.5 million in clothes and $3.6 million in cash. His branded retailer Uniqlo is helping to launch a line of 10 T-shirts with messages from headliners such as Lady Gaga, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron and Victoria Beckham. Profits go to the Japanese Red Cross for recovery work.
Vijay Eswaran 50
COFOUNDER OF E-COMMERCE CONGLOMERATE QI GROUP.
Active in philanthropy in dozens of countries in Asia and Africa. Has donated millions for disaster relief, public health initiatives, education and cultural programs. Many of his efforts target poor children. As an author and speaker he’s urged business leaders to contribute more.
Hijjas Kasturi 74
Angela Hijjas 61
ARCHITECT WHO’S DESIGNED SEVERAL LANDMARK BUILDINGS IN KUALA LUMPUR; CONSERVATIONIST AND PROMOTER OF THE ARTS.
Couple has sponsored and hosted more than 100 artists, writers and performers since starting a residency program in 1994 in their traditional Malay home in a tropical garden outside Kuala Lumpur. Program is partly funded by profits from a boutique hotel in Georgetown, Penang Island that they converted from a cluster of prewar shophouses. The restoration helped revive a derelict area and serves as a studio for artists.
Koon Yew Yin 78
COFOUNDED ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S BIGGEST CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES, IJM CORP.
Donates roughly $300,000 a year to various causes. Funds scholarships for needy students, 80 so far, at Tunku Abdul Rahman University. Learned the value of education in escaping poverty after growing up in a family of 12. Parents couldn’t afford to send him to university, but he received government money to study civil engineering.
Vincent Tan 59
FOUNDED GAMING, RETAIL AND HOSPITALITY CONGLOMERATE BERJAYA GROUP.
Pledged in February to give away at least half his wealth-estimated by FORBES ASIA at $1.25 billion–and join the Giving Pledge initiated by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Much of the money will go to his Better Malaysia Foundation, which awards scholarships and interest-free loans to students.
Jose (Joey) Concépcion 53
CEO OF FOOD-AND-DRINK CONGLOMERATE RFM.
Spends half his time working for Go Negosyo (Go Business), which is funded by RFM and other companies. Six-year-old nonprofit helps budding entre preneurs, especially the poor, to start and run a business through seminars, training and mentors. More than 230,000 have participated. Profits from his 5 books on entrepreneurship go to Go Negosyo.
Jesus Tambunting 74
CHAIRMAN OF PLANTERS DEVELOPMENT BANK AND FORMER AMBASSADOR TO THE U.K.
A patron of education and cultural projects and Catholic Church-related charities, he was made a Knight Commander with Star of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem in 2008. Serves on the boards of microfinance foundations PinoyME and Bayan and the Maryville Urban Development Foundation, which relocates shantytown dwellers and builds permanent housing for them.
Lucio Tan 77
TYCOON INVOLVED IN THE AIRLINE, BEER, TOBACCO, BANKING, HOTEL AND OTHER INDUSTRIES.
Since 2005 his corporate Tan Yan Kee Foundation has been repairing or building freshwater basins in North Luzon to improve water quality, conservation, irrigation and fish production. Longstanding supporter of teacher training, medical missions, the country’s first Chinese library and housing for the poor. Sent 700,000 bottles of water to tsunami-hit Japan.
Stephen Zuellig 94
RETIRED CHAIRMAN OF THE HEALTH CARE PRODUCTS AND AGRIBUSINESS ZUELLIG GROUP.
Together with late brother Gilbert, who built the business with him, he shifted the mission of the Zuellig Family Foundation to public health advocacy in 2008. Its 16 staffers work with civic leaders in 9 municipalities to lower infant and maternal mortality rates and otherwise improve health care. Family has donated $5 million so far.
Khoo Hock Tin
A seasoned contributor to schools and universities in Singapore, he’s now reaching out to impoverished regions in rural China with donations and pledges totaling $250,000 to help schools install water and sanitation systems. Inspired by Singapore’s Lien Foundation, he says he wants “to be part of the new wave of wealth and expertise benefiting Asia’s poorer regions.”
Themin Suwardy 40
Febrita Suwardy 36
BUSINESS PROFESSOR AND ADMINISTRATOR AT SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY.
Couple donated $40,600 to support community-service projects proposed by their students. The projects, required for graduation, run the gamut from social service and education to special needs and conservation. Immigrants from Indonesia, the 2 vowed that a lack of financing should not deter young people from their first attempts to help their communities.
Tay Kheng Soon 71
INFLUENTIAL ARCHITECT WHO FOUNDED THE FIRM AKITEK TENGGARA IN 1976.
Became a leader in devising ways architecture can make life better for people in the Southeast Asian countryside by using low-cost local materials and techniques. His pro bono demonstration village in Thailand, Lam Plai Mat, has become a design model; his book on urban development has been adopted by a new generation of Asian city planners.
Percy Vatsaloo 52
OWNS THE ISAN GALLERY.
Has been the benefactor of a remote village of silk weavers in Isan, the northeastern region of Thailand, since 1984. Has built a weaving compound, collected money for emergencies, enlisted others to donate their services and contributed clothing, school supplies and medicine, trekking much of it upcountry himself. Has made the villagers his business partners, selling their silk scarves and table runners in his art gallery.
Hong Myeong-Bo 42
COACHES THE NATIONAL UNDER-23 FOOTBALL TEAM AND WAS THE FIRST ASIAN TO PLAY IN FOUR STRAIGHT WORLD CUPS.
Established the Hong Myeong-Bo Scholarship Foundation in 2002, the same year he captained the World Cup team. It supplies scholarships to children from poor families who show talent in football and runs a youth football academy. He organizes a football match for charity every Christmas Day, with profits going to children who are victims of cancer or poverty. Has donated $1.2 million over the years.
Kim Jang-Hoon 43
CHART-TOPPING SINGING STAR.
Ranked as the Korean celebrity most synonymous with philanthropy. From his concert and album earnings he’s given $10.2 million to various causes. He’s written checks to research institutions such as the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, rallied volunteers across the nation for the cleanup of the 2007 Taean oil spill and sponsored a fund for emergency surgeries for children from poor families.
James Joo-Jin Kim 74
FOUNDED AND CHAIRS AMKOR TECHNOLOGY, A SEMICONDUCTOREQUIPMENT AND TESTING COMPANY.
Donated $6 million in May to the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned 2 degrees at the Wharton School. Gift is earmarked for expanding the renamed James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies. The university’s third-largest contingent of foreign students hails from Korea, which is home to 1,100 alumni. He’s also funded the James J. Kim Trustee Scholarship and the James Joo-Jin Kim Professorship in Economics.
Song Kyeong-Ae 50
CEO OF BUSINESS TRAVEL AND INCENTIVE TOUR, A COMPANY THAT PROVIDES CORPORATE TRAVEL SERVICES.
Last year became the first female member of the Community Chest of Korea’s Honor Society, a group of major donors to charity. Also going by Kay Song, she’s donated more than $275,000, focusing on the homeless and orphans. Funded the National Homeless Football Team’s participation in an overseas tournament and now sponsors 5 orphans. Donates amounts of money based on important dates, giving, for example, 20,101,117 won on Nov. 17, 2010, her wedding anniversary.
Hung Chung-Hai 82
FOUGHT FOR THE KMT IN THE CIVIL WAR, NOW LIVES IN A HUALIEN NURSING HOME.
Donated his pension and lifetime savings of $210,000 to the local Veteran Affairs Commission last year to care for comrades in his area. The war tore apart his family; when he returned to the mainland in 1987 he found his wife, in Anhui, had remarried. “I’m contented already to have survived at my age, and it’s no big deal to give away money, which is of little use to me,” he says.
Brent Lee 64
SILICON VALLEY LAND DEVELOPER.
Gave $5.2 million last year to his alma mater, National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu City, the largest individual donation the university has received. Money goes toward building a green-energy center by 2015. Recovered from lymphoma last year and decided that his fortune would be best invested in education, fulfilling his father’s dying wish that he follow in the footsteps of Wu Xun, a beggar who started 3 schools in China during the Qing Dynasty.
Jonney Shih 59
CHAIRMAN OF COMPUTER MAKER ASUSTEK.
His Kuan-Shu Foundation supports environmental education, wetlands restoration, tutoring for poor children and computer classes. Farmers and fishermen learn how to talk to their grandchildren via Skype. Situated close to his central Taiwan hometown of Lukang, the foundation reflects his Buddhist faith and rural roots. Started in 1999 after an earthquake devastated the area. Name refers to Buddhist scripture about finding truth within the peacefulness of nature.
Samuel Yin 60
CHAIRS THE RUENTEX GROUP, WHICH HAS INTERESTS IN REAL ESTATE AND RETAIL.
Started the Kwang-Hua Education Foundation in 1989; it grants nearly $1 million a year in scholarships to university students in China. Donated more than $30 million to set up business and law schools at universities in Beijing, Shanghai and Zhejiang. Once said he helps China’s youth so they can contribute to China’s modernization. Also gave $3 million to help build a Shanghai hospital in 2004 and nearly $700,000 to Sichuan earthquake relief in 2008.
Boonchai Benjarongkul 59
FOUNDED CELLPHONE NETWORK TOTAL ACCESS COMMUNICATION.
Devotes himself to supporting education and culture since selling control of the company in 2005. This year plans to open the Thai Contemporary Art Museum in Bangkok, an $8.4 million showcase for his collection of modern Thai painting, sculpture and miniatures that will be the nation’s largest privately funded museum.
Tan Passakornnatee 51
SOLD HIS OISHI GREEN TEA DRINKS AND JAPANESE RESTAURANTS AND NOW BOASTS JAPANESE-THEMED NOODLE SHOPS AND DRINKS UNDER HIS NEW MAI TAN BRAND.
Pledges half his net profit to his Tan Pan Foundation, which works to improve education, the environment and tourism. Gave $67,000 from his TV appearances with a standup comic for new buildings at Bor Thong Kindergarten in Chonburi, his hometown. Contributed to Japanese earthquake relief and raised more money via his restaurants and Facebook fan page for a total of $143,000.
Bilaibhan Sampatisiri 60
CHAIRS THE FAMILY-OWNED NAI LERT PARK HOTEL CO.
As president of the Siam Society she’s helping lead efforts to conserve the nation’s fast-disappearing architectural heritage. Also serves as president of a Thai fund involved in protecting wild elephants. Runs the Lert Sin Foundation, which supports health care and education and is funded from the legacy of her grandfather, who built real estate, retailing and transport businesses.
Thongma Vijitpongpun 53
HEADS THE PRUKSA REAL ESTATE EMPIRE.
Donated some $660,000 to hospitals, Buddhist organizations and schools in 2010 and 2011. A civil engineer by training, he’s channeled most of his education-related giving into the engineering field.
(Sourced from Forbes Asia Magazine)