Next Generation philanthropy - A Hong Kong story
Dee Dee CHAN is the Director of the Hong Kong-based Seal of Love Charitable Foundation.
" When a philanthropic organization is in the hands of the right management and you as a philanthropist do your due diligence, you understand that there are some organizations that absolutely need to use more overhead "
Dee Dee Chan is the Director of the Hong Kong-based Seal of Love Charitable Foundation, started by the Chan family. Its mission is to help those who are dedicated to helping others. To this end the foundation supports many NGOs focused on education.
As a former banker, Chan manages family funds. It is her task to make sure that the income stream will be sustainable, and the foundation will be able to fund the projects until such time that they’re truly ready to stand on their own.
Coming from a business background, she works with partner NGOs on the ground to make sure that they apply some business principles and set quantitative and qualitative key performance indicators to follow their progress. "But our personal experience is that it’s a very long and very laborious process to try and make NGOs into businesses when that’s just not their DNA," she says.
The foundation began its journey in philanthropy in Southeast Asian countries, because "one dollar in Cambodia goes a lot farther in making an impact than one dollar in Hong Kong," says Chan. But this rational approach to money began to shift after the family, while driving through a poor area of Hong Kong, came upon a community center with Chan’s grandfather’s name on it.
The family had not been aware that he was a philanthropist. The Chans have since built upon the activities of the elderly community center in the same neighborhood that was once helped by their grandfather, and are making plans to expand with a traditional Chinese medicine clinic.