The ZeShan Philanthropy Forum Series is part of ZeShan’s mandate of promoting philanthropy and an extension and continuation of its “Family Philanthropy: Values and Strategy” Forum in 2009. The series, taking place periodically throughout the year, creates a unique platform for like-minded donors to exchange ideas, share experiences, stimulate thinking and network in a peer setting. Past events include:
- January 18: Ms. Melissa Berman (President and CEO of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors)
- September 2: Mr. Bernard Chan and Ms. Christine Fang – Consultation on Charity Law for Hong Kong
- December 22: Recent Developments in Philanthropy in Mainland China
- February 14: Dr. Peggy Dulany (Co-founder of Global Philanthropists Circle)
- June 19: Meeting with American philanthropists
- July 11: Dr. Zhuang Ailing (CEO of Shanghai Rende Foundation)
- November 19: Dr. Melissa Berman (President & CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors) – The Theory of the Foundation Project
- April 20: Ms. Samantha Gilbert (Vice President of Talent and Human Resources at the Ford Foundation)
- July 15: Prof. Anthony J. Spires (Centre for Civil Society Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
- September 25: Dr. Mary Ann Tsao (Chairman of the Tsao Foundation) – Philanthropy as Catalyst in Improving Elderly Services [ See more below]
Singaporean Perspectives on Elderly Care
Dr. Mary Ann Tsao, chair and founding director of Singapore’s Tsao Foundation, shared her family foundation’s pioneering work and insights on advancing elderly care at a ZeShan Philanthropy Forum Series luncheon on September 25, 2015.
The luncheon aimed to bring in overseas experience on elderly service innovation and partnership, and was chaired by Ms. Annie Chen, director of ZeShan Foundation. Participants included 26 family principals and executives of private foundations as well as ZeShan’s key NGO and academic partners in ageing initiatives, and is a prelude to ZeShan’s upcoming conference on public-private partnerships for ageing population in November 12-13, 2015.
The Tsao Foundation, a Singapore-based but regionally-oriented operating non-profit family foundation, was founded by Dr. Tsao’s grandmother in 1993 to enhance the quality of life for the elderly. The foundation has been under the leadership of Dr. Tsao – a US-trained pediatrician born and raised in Hong Kong – who was until June 2007 also the foundation’s CEO.
The foundation has been at the forefront in developing innovative and duplicable community-based elderly care models, which have been demonstratively successful and adopted by the Singaporean government.
Its key initiatives include the Hua Mei Center for Successful Ageing (community-based care for ageing in place), Hua Mei Training Academy (capacity building in ageing care provision and self-care), and International Longevity Center (policy advocacy, research and promotion of interagency collaboration). The foundation’s latest initiative is Community for Successful Ageing (ComSA), a community-wide, systems approach demonstration project
Philanthropy as Catalyst
Dr. Tsao shared with the luncheon participants her foundation’s governance, core values (innovation, excellence, catalyst for constructive change), key principles, as well as shifting strategic focus in response to evolving social needs – which is reflected by changes in the foundation’s taglines, from “ageing with grace and dignity” to “for successful ageing” to “longevity is opportunity”.
She also shared the development process and challenges of the foundation’s projects, such as engaging and convincing policymakers, the importance of documentation, low literacy rates and prevalent use of dialects among older people, and how to truly understand the elderly’s feelings and motivations. She spoke of the importance of persistence and boldness in using philanthropy to push for mindset and systematic change. After her sharing, attendees raised questions on such issues as the strategic role of family foundations and engagement of private sector in a community-wide effort for social change.
ZeShan Philanthropy Forum Series
The ZeShan Philanthropy Forum Series is part of ZeShan’s mandate of promoting philanthropy and an extension and continuation of its Family Philanthropy: Values and Strategy Forum in 2009. The series, taking place periodically throughout the year, creates a unique platform for like-minded donors to exchange ideas, share experiences, stimulate thinking and network in a peer setting.