Global Philanthropic response to Covid 19

GP response to Covid 19

From our team of international experts, we are sharing some words of encouragement and hope at this worrying time.

Across the world, we all have an interconnected responsibility for ourselves, our families, our friends and our organisations. We can only fulfil these obligations by keeping ourselves happy and healthy, so let’s begin by taking care of ourselves, both physically and mentally, to the best of our ability. Whilst managing the risks and confronting the dangers of Covid-19, we need to be clear, focussed and proactive.

Now more than ever, philanthropists need to be bolder and even more generous and involved in greater numbers to help beneficiaries of charitable organisations as charities weather this storm. It is regrettably likely that governments will be in a much worse financial position, making the role of philanthropists even more critical to meet the needs of society.

Telling a powerful story

As ever, philanthropists will support those organisations with a powerful story and a robust, long-term strategy for sustainability. Philanthropy is not and never has been a “bailout fund” for failing organisations. In choosing to provide financial backing, philanthropists rightly will ask difficult, discerning questions about the need an organisation fulfils, the diversity of its revenue and the strength of its reserves.

High net worth individuals and endowment funds of trusts are likely to be hit hard by the turmoil in the markets and the global recession that could follow. But philanthropic funding will still be available for those charities with a compelling, well-articulated message.

Learning lessons across the world

As a worldwide firm, our international reach means we are learning lessons on the frontline across the globe. Hong Kong, China, and Singapore are some weeks ahead of the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands and US today. Among the lessons: even hard-hit organisations in parts of Asia are finding their feet again and looking at how best to serve their beneficiaries, while leading foundations and philanthropists in Asia, Australia and the US are stepping up to the challenge.

Let us not forget that the language we use, both within and externally to our organisation, matters. Confidence, positivity and energy will carry furthest. We are not cancelling, we are postponing. We are not off at home, we are working remotely. We are still fulfilling our mission and taking a long-term approach to this crisis for lasting sustainability.

Rich opportunities to expand and innovate through technology

Technology is naturally our friend at this time, as it enables us to work remotely and connect with our stakeholders digitally. In the arts world, we see internationally-renowned organisations temporarily closing their halls but opening up new digital spaces for an even wider engagement with their art form, from The Metropolitan Opera in New York to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in Germany, Shakespeare’s Globe in London, NGV in Australia, and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa—making an abundance of rich cultural heritage accessible to the entire world.

Bring your donors along on the journey

Organisations that can step-up their commitment to making a difference to people’s lives, confidently in this moment of crisis, will have an even greater impact and build a trusted reputation and network of friends. This will be a critical factor for all organisations both in the delivery of what they do and how they communicate with stakeholders and donors. One positive thing that we will see come out of this crisis will be innovation and development in our stakeholder communications.

We can all take this opportunity to speak to our donors and closest friends and seek their advice and support, now and in the coming months. Philanthropic relationships are built on sustained two-way communication. In the midst of internal crisis management, we need to make time to prioritise regular, digital channels of communication with our donors to ensure that they come with us on this journey.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

What we advise is communicate, communicate, communicate, and also be aware that this crisis may change your relationships with your donors. For example, for educational establishments like schools and universities, if communications are well-managed, positive relationships will be built with both students and parents, sowing the seeds not only for fundraising but recruitment success in future years.

We can answer your questions

At Global Philanthropic, our worldwide team of consultants is here to help support you in maximising your organisation’s philanthropic potential to achieve your vision. Founded in Hong Kong in 2002, we have worked alongside hundreds of charitable organisations and philanthropists across the world for almost 20 years. Within our consultancy team, we have first-hand experience helping organisations at moments of global crisis, whether in a context of disaster response, such as when the world was reeling from 9/11, or the 2003 SARS outbreak in Asia, or the 2008 financial crash and recession. We were there at those moments. We stand ready now.

What does our experience from these times teach us? That success at these moments means coming out of a period of crisis still stronger. That depends on thoughtful management of long-term relationships, self-belief, and confidence in looking to new opportunities to deepen your impact.

An invitation

We have had the privilege to work alongside a wide range of organisations and to share in their ambitions and vision for future impact. In these unsettling times, we are reaching out again to offer our support and friendship. We will do what we can to help. We would be pleased to invite you for a free consultancy briefing with a member of the consultancy team to share with you our experience and provide advice on your short-term and long-term strategic response to the extreme circumstances in which we find ourselves. We also will continue to provide specialist material for philanthropic organisations and philanthropists throughout the coming months. We are planning now to act as a convener through online webinars and discussions, to do what we can to help support the charitable sector through these difficult times. Please get in touch with your regional lead for further information on these opportunities or through our Group Manager via email at Please also join our mailing list for regular updates–



Ben Morton-Wright
Group President and Founder

Pamela Davis
President, Europe

Nick Jaffer
President & CEO, Asia Pacific

Tamsin Warr
Office Manager

Eelco Keij
Senior Consultant