The Center on Philanthropy at BF
A knowledge hub that reads and leads trends of philanthropy
To facilitate the creation and maturation of a philanthropic culture in Korea, it is necessary to conduct scientific and systemic research. As a part of this effort, accurate statistical data and examples from advanced-donation countries must be acquired and examined. The Center on Philanthropy at the Beautiful Foundation conducts research, surveys, and educational programs to aid the burgeoning philanthropic culture to take root in Korean society. The Research Institute consists of the Philanthropic culture Department, Corporate Contribution Department, and Legislative Consultation Department.
Raise public awareness of philanthropyThe Center on Philanthropy holds international symposiums on the culture of giving and performs research to raise awareness and support the culture of giving.
Foster research on philanthropyThe Center on Philanthropy conducts and underwrites a broad spectrum of in-depth research and shares data both within and outside Korea.
Hone expertise of grassroots practitionersThe Center on Philanthropy provides educational programs including seminars and conferences to help grassroots practitioners further their expertise.
Enrich activities of nonprofit organizationsThe Center on Philanthropy investigate NPO management, fundraising, tax and legal issues related to donation, and publish a range of books and materials. It does this in order to maximize the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations in Korea, including the Beautiful Foundation.
Our major activities
Research on the culture of philanthropyThe Center conducts research on giving trends in Korea. "Giving Index of Korea" investigates the status of giving and volunteering among Koreans and their perceptions and attitudes on philanthropy in order to better promote a giving culture and make solid policy recommendations regarding donation.
Research on corporate social responsibilityThe Center conducts research on corporate social responsibility. This research identifies the status of corporate social responsibility among Korean companies and develops an index tailored to Korean business culture to help encourage CSR.
Research on tax and legal issues related to donationsThe Center conducts research on donation-related legal issues and taxation and facilitates the use of new knowledge to improve relevant practices and policies. This research aims to make social systems more open to the promotion of giving culture.
International symposium on giving culture: Giving KoreaThe Center holds an annual international symposium on giving culture entitled ‘Giving Korea’. This symposium shares data on giving and the experience of experts with the public. The symposium disseminates up-to-date trends and models in philanthropy from home and abroad to offer insights into producing a more creative and mature giving culture in Korea.
Educational programsThe Center holds educational programs such as seminars and conferences. In these programs individuals exchange ideas about ways to promote mature philanthropy culture and to help giving take root among Koreans. The Center raises and solves issues regarding donations and offers educational programs on such topics as NPO management and fundraising techniques appropriate to Korea. The overarching aim of the program is to empower grassroots practitioners.
Publication of books on philanthropy and NPO managementThe Center produces books on philanthropic issues, the operation of nonprofit organizations and fundraising as a way to cultivate the culture of giving and help improve the efficiency of NPO management and promote more effective and scientific fundraising.
Network with overseas philanthropy organizationsThe Center follows international trends in research on philanthropy and maintains partnerships with related organizations to further advance research and a mature giving culture.
International symposium on giving culture 'Giving Korea'
Since its establishment in 2000, The Beautiful Foundation has conducted Giving Korea Giving Korea is an international philanthropy symposium that brings together experts and policy makers to discuss research findings and pertinent issues. The research done for Giving Korea focuses on two areas of philanthropic contribution: individuals and Korean corporations. Research is conducted and released annually, with concurrent in-depth lectures and debates. The Beautiful Foundation uses data and input from experts in the field in order to construct strategies to spread philanthropy in Korea and build a stronger network of domestic and international civil organizations, foundations, and contacts in the corporate social responsibility field.
Philanthropically developed countries have long been conducting surveys on donations and accumulating reliable data. Recognizing the necessity of compiling objective and reliable data on perceptions, attitudes, and behavior regarding philanthropy, and in order to keep abreast with global trends, the Beautiful Foundation has established Giving Korea.
The research done by Giving Korea is largely focused upon two areas of philanthropic contribution - that of individuals and that of Korean corporations. The study regarding philanthropy by individuals is based on yearly research of Korean giving and volunteering. The study of corporations is based upon data gathered to measure the contributions of Korean enterprises to public services. Those studies are reported on a biannual basis.
Special Research Project
Encouraging high net-worth philanthropy in South Korea
The Beautiful Foundation found that 96% of wealthy Koreans have experience with charitable giving. However, excluding the extremes of the spectrum of giving, the amount of money wealthy South Koreans give averages only $500 per month.
The Center on Philanthropy at the Beautiful Foundation conducted a research project "How to Encourage High Class Giving in South Korea" and presented its results on April 30, 2009. This research aimed to increase social awareness of wealthy giving and seek out practical methods to enhance and expand giving culture among the wealthy in South Korea.
The Beautiful Foundation analyzed surveys conducted with 68 subjects between November 2008 and April 2009. It also performed in-depth interviews with seven individuals and four groups that manage personal finances.
According to this research, 95.5% of respondents had experience with donation within the past three years. However, the average amount of donation, excluding extreme donors, was roughly a mere $500 per month.
98.3% of the respondents reported donating in cash. Despite the fact that real estate makes up more than half of the net worth of the rich in South Korea, donations in real estate contributed only 13.3% of total donations. Similarly, donations in stocks, funds, or other securities were infrequent. This demonstrates a lack of legal and social support for diverse forms of donations other than cash.
Respondents averaged 4.4 (out of 5) in response to the sentence, "Philanthropy is needed in our society." But in response to the sentences "Our society provides an environment in which the wealthy can openly donate" and "There is a vigorous giving culture among the wealthy in Korea" average scores of 2.8 and 2.2 were recorded, respectively. Although the need for philanthropy has been recognized, the environment for satisfying such need has yet to be achieved.
The wealthy identified the obstacles to philanthropy as being "lack of appropriate role models for philanthropy among the wealthy" (ranked first at 3.2), followed by "uncertainty about financial security after retirement/in the future" (3.0), and "distrust in charity organizations and fundraising organizations" (3.0).
Answering the free response question, "Among successful wealthy people, who is an admirable role model for wealthy philanthropy?" 40.8% of the respondents wrote Bill Gates, and 16.9% wrote Warren Buffet. Among the Koreans on the list, Ilhan Yoo (8.5%) and Guenyoung Moon (5.6%) were mentioned. The fact that 63.3% of the respondents to the free response question noted an American or a celebrity highlights the absence of a home-grown Korean model for wealthy philanthropy.
98.5% of the total respondents showed an intention to continue giving and 59% showed interest in bequest giving. While they expressed a strong intention to give, they pointed out that programs and systems for giving were rare.
Moreover, 47.5% of respondents wished to be provided by fundraisers with professional consulting on giving. The services most desired were "continuous reports on the allocation of their donations" (65.5%) followed by "philanthropic education for their family members" (35.0%). This reflects the need for services, infrastructure, and program development for these donors.
Based on focus group interviews and in-depth individual interviews, the South Korean wealthy can be categorized into first-generation (the elderly) and second-generation (the middle aged). They can be also identified as the "born wealthy" (inherited wealth from a family member) and "self-made wealthy". In Korea, first-generation wealthy are predominant and the "self-made wealthy" are more generous in giving.
This research has been funded by two individual donors (Seung Woo Nam and Jae Seung Yoon).