Winnie Yang

Winnie Yang

Senior Consultant, Global Philanthropic (Asia)

Winnie Yang has worked extensively with leaders in the private, public and non-profit sectors to define their visions and create solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of communities.

Since 2005 she has accrued years of grant management and strategy philanthropy experience working with Greater China and European public and private foundations, philanthropists, university foundations and NGOs, including The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, Porticus Foundation, Environment Bureau Hong Kong and HNA Cihang Sino-Western corporate foundations. Having implemented and advised on the setting up of foundations, Winnie has gained expert knowledge of governance and fundraising, as well as evaluation and impact measurement.

Winnie has also worked as a Programme Manager for World Vision China to support and realise their charitable aspirations and she served on the Education Committee for Ocean Park Conservation Foundation in 2019 to 2021. She earned a master’s degree in Development Studies at the City University of Hong Kong and received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Canada.


Korea Business News Interview - The Business of Philanthropy

March 4, 2022

Asia Pacific

Nick Jaffer (President & CEO of Global Philanthropic Asia Pacific) and Bruce Han (Korea Business News (KBN))


The Future of Philanthropy

March 4, 2022

Asia Pacific

by Pam Davis, President, Global Philanthropic (Europe) and Senior Consultant

I was recently asked by a large foundation to give my view of the future of philanthropy as part of a study. This prompted me to ask my colleagues at Global Philanthropic to join in a collaborative debate on the subject. Ultimately, we have re-committed ourselves to bringing positive change and equity, through philanthropy, to all of the causes we and our clients support. Here is our thinking.

The recent debate about philanthropy has been framed between those who believe it is largely good, its proponents extolling the virtues that philanthropy matters – it supports organisations doing vital work and improves lives and society — with those who point out its failings. The latter quite rightly raise the concern that it is often tainted with a colonial history and has allowed the very rich to decide what causes ought to shape society and has left many people out of decision-making and self-determination. This contradiction is real – the point is not that one view is right and the other is wrong, but rather that we must listen to and acknowledge all views and work together to shape philanthropy’s future – and its role in our shared future.

What could be a divisive debate could instead be a call on us to listen, learn, re-design and celebrate humanity’s altruism and generosity. It could help us understand each other better and collectively shape the future of philanthropy.  It will take all our different voices, philosophies, cultures, genders, colours, physical and mental abilities and whether we are donors, organisations, beneficiaries (and sometimes all three) we must sit at the table together and listen. We have the potential to create our new road map.  We desperately need one because the problems we are facing (not least environmentally) threaten our very existence, if we don’t all work together to solve them, we will all lose.

Over the past extraordinary two years, we have observed a few over-arching trends:

  • The environment is moving up the agenda and these shared threats have brought out the cross-cutting nature of the challenges and how they affect different people in different ways. If we listen to those voices, we can get closer to the solutions.
  • Arts and culture sustain us and define us and are one area where we seem to consistently come together. We need them more than ever.
  • Collaboration and partnership promote listening and successful outcomes for organisations, donors and governments – think environmental impact, social impact, gender equity.
  • Un-restricted funding is critical to success. It’s not about telling people and organisations how to spend the money but trusting them to spend it where it will do the most good, and by listening to local communities, recipients and those with specialist knowledge.
  • Technology can reach and empower those whose voices can’t be heard without amplification. Nonetheless, the most powerful relationships are personal and cannot be stewarded at a distance forever. We cannot live by Zoom alone (pun intended). Technology is definitely part of the future.

Some areas are becoming more critical:

  • The tension between the power of the individual and the collective has been highlighted by the pandemic and by the crisis In Ukraine.
  • Smaller gifts, donors of colour, and non-traditional philanthropists, are demonstrating the power of collaboration and cooperation. They too have powerful, valuable voices.
  • Person-to-person relationships in philanthropy can’t be replaced by technology.

At the heart of philanthropy is Maya Angelou’s wonderful insightful heartfelt belief…

‘I seem to have more than I need and you seem to have less than you need. I would like to share my excess with you.’

We also want to change the conditions that lead to this inequity. We can achieve this by adopting a few ‘superpowers’:

  • We must all cultivate generosity at the collective table at which we all take nourishment; generosity of spirit is as important as equity, truth, love, and friendship.
  • Approaching collaboration from 360 degrees to get a fuller perspective on a challenge.
  • As in all relationships, listen more, tell less.

For more on these topics see Talking Philanthropy 2021, a virtual forum in Singapore, that brought together academics, philanthropists and hundreds of organisations discussing education, health, and environment. Ban Ki-Moon’s key-note speech calls upon us to shape the collective blueprint for the future using SDG 17 ‘partnerships for the goals’ …that clearly highlights the prominent role that the philanthropic community alongside the UN, government, private sector, civil society and others should play to help achieve the SDGs.


Global Philanthropic celebrates 20 years

January 19, 2022

Asia Pacific

By Global Philanthropic

Ben Morton Wright: Global philanthropic is 20 this year. So to celebrate our 20th birthday, we decided to undertake 20 interviews with opinion leaders and thought leaders in philanthropy across the world. And we’ll be sharing these interviews with you over the next year, and each are about 20 minutes long.

What we would like to do is actually open up a discussion and get your feedback through #Global20 and actually have a wider discussion on some thoughts about the issues raised. And these are wide and varying, some of the things that we’ve seen over the last 20 years and some of the things that we think will be happening in the future.

So we very much look forward to your participation, to help, celebrate with us, our 20th birthday.

Thank you.


Webinar transcript - Donor Stewardship: the key to success

October 18, 2021

Asia Pacific

A conversation with Nick Jaffer (President & CEO of Global Philanthropic Asia Pacific) and Kate Robertson (Executive Director of Advancement at the University of Tasmania, and a Senior Associate with Global Philanthropic)

Educate Plus members can watch the full webinar here.

Nick Jaffer: Kate, we both know donor stewardship is so important in how we engage, retain and grow our relationships with our donors. But, now, in the context of COVID-19, stewardship has a heightened relevance for us and our supporters.

Kate Robertson: Something that vexes a lot of people is how much time, or percentage of your time, do you spend on donor stewardship.

There is no single answer, other than to say there’s never too much time you could spend on stewardship. In the end, it is a very valuable investment of your time. It’s more cost-effective to keep the donors you’ve got than to get new donors. But I’m mindful resources are tight for many, so it does have to be proportionate, and you have to find the right balance for your situation.

Nick Jaffer: The latest studies have shown a couple of things.

The number one reason around the world why people stop giving is donor fatigue. That’s not entirely surprising in Australia. According to the ACNC [Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission], we have about 56,000 charities and a 4% annual growth. So, we have a very saturated market with increasing competition.

The latest stat from Blackbaud Target Analytics shows 67% of donors give to six-plus organisations. And, the 2016 Giving Australia Index found that donors stop giving because they don’t know where the money is going or how it’s being used, which echoes a benchmark Canadian study at the turn of the century on why major donors stop giving.

These stats tell us why accountability and stewardship are so important and why time needs to be allocated to it. If we’re not looking after our donors well, we risk losing them.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals [AFP]compared the private sector with the nonprofit sector. First-time retention of customers for the private sector is 94%, whereas the nonprofit retention rate for first-time donors is 27%, and only 46% of all donors renew. It puts on an incredible amount of pressure, now and ongoingly, if we have such a high donor churn.

Kate Robertson: If only 46% of all donors are going to renew, then it’s really, really important we think about what programs we’re going to start in the first place and how we are going to retain those donors. I’m very conscious during the past several months there’s been many new initiatives to raise new money, but we have to think hard about retaining those donors. Giving Days can be very similar, where there’s a huge amount of effort to bring a lot of smaller donations in on a particular day, but then the efforts to renew and retain those donors is quite considerable, and in small shops that becomes a really significant thing.

Reducing donor losses is the least expensive strategy for increasing your net fundraising gains. With the effort, cost, time, collateral and strategic thinking that goes into finding new donors, you would be better spending your time keeping the ones you already have.

Nick Jaffer: Research from Adrian Sargeant and Stephen Lee shows it costs 10 times more to bring in a new donor than keep an existing one! In the same research, it takes 18 months for a new donor to cover the costs of their acquisition—so if we don’t have a strategy to get a gift in their second year, it’s actually better not to get them at all because your organisation will lose money. We spend a lot of time on donor acquisition but we really need to be thinking about building retention and donor renewal as well.

Kate Robertson: At the centre of your donor stewardship and retention, unsurprisingly, is your donor. We have a notice up in the office that says, “They are not our donor, we are their charity”. It really flips the thinking, and puts the donor at the centre.

I think authenticity is critical. People need to feel a sense of importance and value about their gift. No matter what someone has given, they should feel they have made a difference. It’s impact, not income, we need to be talking about. That’s the motivating factor. If you can tell a good story around how their giving has made a difference, you are more likely to encourage people to consider making larger gifts in future.

I also think  it’s important we facilitate a connection to the institution. It’s not enough for the donor to have a good relationship with you. You need to spread those relationships around the organisation and allow that donor to be excited about the future of the organisation and the part they can play in it, otherwise we’re failing in our duty.

Nick Jaffer: Research from Penelope Burk about donor expectations shows that donors expect to be engaged quite personally.

Ninety-five per cent of donors would appreciate a call within one or two days. Eighty-five per cent have said a call from a board member within days of a gift would influence them to give again.

Donors who were called gave 39% more the next time they were asked compared to those who weren’t called. After 14 months, called donors were giving 42% more. So, if we just did one thing, and instituted this calling program to thank donors, we’d see a measurable impact on money raised and donor retention.

The other advantage is that involving board members can help nurture the internal philanthropic culture within your institution. It can help create champions and may help save you time going forward.

Kate Robertson: I think that’s an important point. And, to implement it, having a really good matrix and a plan for how you’re going to handle donors who give different size gifts helps ease the burden. I’m also mindful that what represents a significant gift is different for every organisation so you need to tailor it for your own circumstances.

You can be flexible but, broadly speaking, if you set out a plan that’s got rough parameters around what you’re going to do for what level and by whom, that will help you enormously.

What donors want is a prompt response to their gift. They want it to be personal so that it’s clear that you understand who they are. They want to know that their gift is making a difference. Think of your strategy in terms of being prompt, being personal, being powerful.

Nick Jaffer: I recently interviewed a person as part of a study and she was quite irked the organisation didn’t communicate with her like they knew who she was. She’s a donor and a former long-time board member, but the acknowledgement she gets doesn’t recognise she has this deep history and relationship with them.

Kate Robertson: When you have staff who have stayed in their roles for a long time you get to know those relationships. But actually data is a tool that we must use. Making sure you’re using your CRM effectively is going to make your stewardship so much easier. But, more than that, use it to segment your donors and devise your strategic programs according to size and type of gift and to the area of support. It speaks to the donor, their experience and the sense you actually do have some understanding of who they are and what they care about.

And if you don’t have a CRM that’s particularly robust, start to think in terms of groupings of people and how that’s going to determine your stewardship plan and the way you can manage relationships.

Nick Jaffer: There are many ways you can slice and dice your donors up into segments and here are a few.

We’ve talked already about size and value of the gift. You could also segment your donors based on where they live, for example your home city donor versus a regional or interstate donor.

Donor giving history is another example. You could look at someone based on their longevity of giving, what their future giving is going to be, and whether there’s a potential for a gift-in-Will. Rather than looking at dollar amount, you’re looking at the length of their relationship. Or you could look at their potential capacity, based on their career or their area of study, taking into consideration average income levels.

If you do any prospect rating or if you use LAI – linkage, ability and interest – to evaluate your donors, you may create a different stewardship program based on the potential gift from someone who has a higher ability.

There might also be a different type of stewardship based on type of gift, for example major gifts versus bequest commitments.

There are a lot of ways you can segment, but the key is to find one which simplifies managing your time while connecting donors to your institution in a meaningful way and which drives strategy for it.

Kate Robertson: One strategy I would highlight is looking at how your stewardship is responsive to the way donors are making gifts. If they’re giving online, then sending out paper receipts is not necessarily the right approach. If they’ve given through a social media initiative, then there’s a completely different way you can connect with that donor.

Some donors can be overwhelmed or surprised if they’ve given a relatively modest gift online and you then send them a pile of stuff through the post. Their immediate thought is, “Hang on, all of my money has just been spent on the stuff you’ve sent me”. Donors are sensitive to the cost of the stewardship they’re experiencing.

It’s actually okay to talk to your donors directly about what kind of stewardship is effective for them and how they’d like to be communicated to. Particularly at the higher end of your donor scale, where a deeper dive can help to develop your program.

Do you know your donors’ passions, hobbies, what’s really driving them? If you don’t understand your donor, your ability to look after them, or indeed to talk to them, is going to be weakened. We can get too transactional about our stewardship. You mustn’t ever lose sight of trying to understand what’s important to the donor and what motivates them.

Nick Jaffer: This leads nicely into the importance of the fundraiser’s role in stewardship. Research by Adrian Sargeant shows the quality of service by your fundraising team, and the quality of your interactions, increases donor loyalty. Quality of service and interactions also boosts donor satisfaction. And, according to his research, very satisfied donors are twice as likely to give than just satisfied donors.

But it gets even better than that. Satisfied donors don’t just give you more or are likely to give you more, but they give to you for a longer period of time. So if we keep our donors engaged and satisfied, report back, provide that accountability, not only do we increase how much they will give, and the likelihood they’ll give, but we increase their relationship with us over a longer period of time. This of course can lead into a potential gift-in-Will. It’s not a one-off transactional engagement, but something long-term.

Kate Robertson: To finish off, my top tip for the most effective stewardship practice is be a donor to your institution, because you learn pretty fast whether that works and how that feels.

Nick Jaffer: I think one of the things you should do, if you haven’t already, is conduct a stewardship audit. You can use an outside firm like ours but you don’t have to. It can be as simple as directly talking to a range of donors to get a sense of how satisfied they are and how they would like to be engaged with your institution. It’s also important to compare your stewardship program to others. I think it gives you a sense of how you can be better and how to take the program forward.

Kate Robertson: My last tip would be that it is better to do fewer things well and reliably than to do lots of things badly. Setting up lots of things that you can’t continue is problematic, so quality rather than quantity is really important.


Higher education – Unlocking philanthropic opportunities

With the latest news regarding the pandemic – the new COVID-19 variants, what we are witnessing in India and other parts of the world, the reality of the pandemic and its devastation continues, the fluctuating and changing pandemic restrictions, and the varying success of the vaccination programs. It can all feel overwhelming and our work in philanthropy can start to feel overwhelming too. As we question if we are taking the right actions? If we are adding to the noise or making a real difference? The good news is academic institutions are at the heart of making a difference during the pandemic. There are important lessons which have come out of the pandemic for higher education organisations, lessons which are important to keep top of mind as we continue to move forward, and lessons which will continue to be as important post-pandemic as they were during.

WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED ABOUT PHILANTHROPY IN A PANDEMIC?

  • Increasing inequalities in society – most people have less, does that mean they will give less or step up to give more?
  • Evolving picture for regional, national v. international philanthropy – with risk of losing momentum in building international relationships.
  • Asian philanthropy still key – $2 trillion transfer to the NextGen, younger philanthropists.
  • Long-term relationships are essential in spite of political retrenching.
  • Philanthropy has a critical role in redefining the new world, our global connections, and the way we collaborate and support each other.
  • Traditional boundaries are being redrawn between government, foundations, corporates, and individual philanthropists.
  • Philanthropy has a role in enabling institutions to adapt to the structural challenges in the delivery of higher education.
  • Increasingly crucial role for philanthropy for research to address deepening inequalities, to empower communities and diverse, underrepresented voices.
  • It’s clear that philanthropy for medical research has played and will continue to play a critical role. Philanthropy for medical research made an immense impact in our ability to tackle the science of the pandemic and in our ability to develop vaccines while collaborating across institutions around the world.

OUR RESPONSE TO COVID19

The lessons we learned during the pandemic also include our connections to our alumni and donors. How we as institutions reacted in response to COVID19 reiterated the importance of relationships in our advancement efforts. We found that organisations which practiced emotional, communicative, and creative responses during the pandemic had more success than those who were reactive, non-communicative, and retrenched into traditional ways of doing things.

At the start of the pandemic, the Global Philanthropic team came together to brainstorm how organisations could best respond to the COVID-19 crisis, we developed the following infographic from our collective experience.  Our experiences during past economic crisis’s and natural disasters taught us that authentic responses created more success for organisations versus responses which were transactional and less adaptive to the high pace changes of the time.

If we take a step back and look at the last year, our greatest lesson should be that building authentic relationships with our supporters fosters a greater philanthropic response. Research has often toted that it is easier to retain a donor than it is to cultivate a new donor, this comes down to our donor communications.

SO, WHAT STORIES CAN YOU SHARE TO INSPIRE PHILANTHROPISTS?

Here are some of the themes which philanthropists and your schools’ stakeholders are interested in:

  • Innovation – in responding to the pandemic and developing new models and environments for education. No longer business as usual, instead you are looking forward, not back
  • Diversity and inclusion – ensuring fairness of opportunity and access for your students, staff, and board. Sharing your commitment to hearing and acting on diverse and inclusive practices. How are you supporting your international student body and what scholarships are available or in development to create more opportunities for a diverse student body?
  • Research – that addresses our society’s deepened inequalities, which the pandemic has only made wider and brought to society’s collective conscious. How is your organisation collaborating to further research progress?
  • Commitment – Long-term commitment to engaging internationally
  • Stability – Long-term vision and strategy with strong leadership

By creating greater emphasis on deepening relationships and how you engage with your university family – students, alumni, parents, friends, donors, staff, and local communities – higher education can have an impact in:

  • Unlocking philanthropy to find solutions, to help heal our divided society
  • Setting the agenda for the post-pandemic world, for a greener, more equitable, and sustainable future
  • Developing future leaders who are global, socially responsible citizens
  • Continued collaboration in international relations, research, and in leadership

While the developments and successes of the COVID19 vaccine mean that we can start to imagine a future not long from now where in person possibilities open up again, we mustn’t forget the importance of building authentic relationships with our higher educational family. The stories and opportunities higher education can share now, can also have the same (if not more) impact when we can share them face to face. This is a time for organisations to create possibilities for philanthropists to change the world. Universities have a wealth of opportunity to open doors in multiple areas to affect a more positive future for all.

As we come out of the pandemic, it will be equally important to regroup and share our stories globally as fundraisers, philanthropists, and advancement professionals. Talking Philanthropy was one of the first opportunities to hear more about what happened in education around the world. At the forum, we hosted three university vice-chancellors who shared their stories during and convened the following experts who shared their experiences as part of an education panel (video below).

  • Kathleen Chew – Programme Director, YTL Foundation
  • Patrick Hurworth – Head of School, International School of Beijing
  • Professor Peter Mathieson – Principal and Vice-Chancellor, The University of Edinburgh
  • Harold Kim – CEO, Neo Risk Investment Advisors, Board Chair at Hong Kong International School
  • Nick Jaffer – CEO Global Philanthropic, Asia-Pacific

Higher education has demonstrated in the past year that it is a great place to make philanthropic investments. During, Talking Philanthropy there will be a clear cross-over between education and health and how philanthropy supported both in the battle against COVID-19 and in the success of the COVID-19 vaccines.

I challenge you to share a story with your community on how you’re making an impact and unlocking philanthropic opportunities towards innovation, diversity and inclusion, research, commitment, and stability. Your community wants to hear the projects your educational institution is working on and the goals you are working towards. Lastly, they want to support you both financially and through sharing your stories.


Tamsin Warr

Tamsin Warr

Office Manager, Global Philanthropic (Asia)

Tamsin Warr comes to Global Philanthropic as Office Manager for our Hong Kong office. She has twenty years’ experience in client and project management within the design and advertising sector. Tamsin was a graphic designer for seven years before moving on to project manage clients. She has worked on clients such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco, National Grid, Nokia, Boots and Sky TV.

Tamsin moved to Hong Kong in August 2013 and was a full-time mother until recently when she joined Global Philanthropic to run our Hong Kong office.

Principle contact for:

  • Hong Kong Foundations


Eleanor Poulton

Eleanor Poulton

Director of Operations, Global Philanthropic (Asia)

Eleanor comes to Global Philanthropic with over 17 years of experience across the Institutional Equity and Investment Banking Divisions of Morgan Stanley, Cazenove, Standard Chartered, Mizuho and BNP Paribas.  Starting her career raising funds for corporates within Morgan Stanley’s Equity Capital Markets department in London, her hometown, she became a CFA charterholder in 2001.

Moving to Hong Kong in 2001 she created Morgan Stanley’s Asia ex-Japan Corporate Access group; advising C-suite executives of Asia’s largest companies regarding their investor relations programmes.   Working to connect Asian corporates with current and potential investors around the globe.

Subsequent roles included equities Client Relationship Management, business management and project management.  Most recently Eleanor worked negotiating terms for research payments under the MIFID framework.

Eleanor is a keen sportswoman and was recently the volunteer HKFC hockey mini & youth Chair for three seasons (300 kids!).  When not in the office or with her three daughters, she can be found on the hockey pitch or on the fabulous Hong Kong mountain trails.


Photo of Kaisa Freeman

Kaisa Freeman

Kaisa Freeman

Associate, Global Philanthropic (Asia)

Kaisa Freeman has extensive experience in advisory and senior-level roles in corporate affairs, industry/university partnerships and marketing.

In a wide-ranging career, Kaisa has provided strategic and tactical advice, managed strategic research, innovation and education partnerships, and implemented initiatives at local, regional and global levels. In 2011-2015, Kaisa acted as Stream Lead in a global, AUD 50 million transformation project focusing on graduate attraction, recruitment and retention strategies, processes and systems. She also led the Rio Tinto Education Partnerships Program working closely with leading universities such as The Imperial College London and The University of Queensland, as well as educational institutions in Africa, Asia, North and South America. She has also had accountability for the design and delivery of programs associated with diversity and inclusion, STEM, learning and leadership development.

Kaisa earned her Master of Business Administration at the Australian National University in 2001. She also holds a Master of Political Sciences from the University of Helsinki, a Post-Graduate Diploma in International Trade Management and a Diploma of Sustainability. In 2014, she completed AICD’s Company Director’s course. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate at the University of Western Australia Business School. Her part-time research focuses on corporate investment in global education.

Specialist skills

  • Strategic Partnerships Management
  • Global Talent Attraction
  • Recruitment Marketing and Development Strategies
  • Industry-led Curriculum
  • Learning and Pathways Program Design
  • Development and Promotion
  • End-to-end Data Analytics
  • CRM and Digital Marketing Solutions
  • Marketing Operations Optimisation

Kaisa Freeman

Lisa Lai

Lisa Lai

Senior Consultant, Global Philanthropic (Asia)

Lisa Lai joined Global Philanthropic in 2009 as Managing Director, Asia. As the head of Global Philanthropic’s Asian Office, she is part of the company’s senior management and consulting team.

Lisa has vast experience in government relations, liaising with the senior management of various universities and alumni bodies, as well as fundraising for a variety of private and corporate foundations. Through her many years in the business sector, Lisa has developed a rich network of multi-national corporations and organisations across Asia. Through her time with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, she has also developed contacts within municipal and central governments in the PRC.

Based in Hong Kong, Lisa oversees Global Philanthropic’s portfolio and activities in Asia, including Greater China. Her responsibilities include relationship management and development, alumni interaction, fund-raising achievement plans and organisational development.

As an active member of the Hong Kong University Alumni Association, Lisa has served on the executive committee for an extended number of years. She graduated from the HKU with a Bachelor of Arts degree (First Class Honours) and subsequently obtained her Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics. She is fluent in English and several Chinese dialects including Putonghua.

Specialist skills

  • Cantonese speaker
  • Chinese expert