ZeShan Philanthropy Forum Series

Tsao Foundation's Dr. Mary Ann Tsao on Philanthropy in Elderly Services [2015]

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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.

Tsao Foundation
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.

 

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This website is the property of ZeShan Foundation. The information on the website is meant for reference only. ZeShan Foundation does not warrant or represent that the information provided here is complete, nor that the information is up to date.

The site may contain links to third-party websites. These third-party websites are beyond the control of the Foundation and the Foundation does not accept any responsibility, nor endorse explicitly, the content of these websites or for any transactions that you may make on these websites.

ZeShan Foundation is not responsible for any damage, loss or corruption of data that may occur while viewing or using any material from this website.

If you have any questions, please contact us.