About decade ago Bill Gates which among the World top 10th wealthiest people according to Forbes magazine, established Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which aimed to channel his philanthropic action then grew up to world biggest foundation ever . Today, a steady number of people individual or on behalf of his or her corporation following his path by conducting similar action has become a new trend, despite economic recession that hitting Asia pacific starting in 2002 and following by USA financial downturn in 2008. looming economic situation seems like has been opening people eye that the impact to society is more than just on business and stock market but is goes to the very bottom of people livelihoods ( especially in most South east Asia that most of people live below 1 USD per day s ) in most of underdeveloped countries. Now world economic are facing uncertainty outlook and risk of double dip triggered by European countries financial crisis on the end of 20th centuries
Interestingly, the trend in charitable giving in South East Asia from just an ad hoc donations to more institutionalized philanthropy has been fueled by the economic downturn. The high net worth people, begin to maintain or increasing their donation also at same time improving accountability of charitable sector. As we now embrace new frontier of individual charity culture that demand proper structured way to ensure the money goes where it is most needed, then Off course we should happy for these positive trend amid all the economic turbulence recently.
Charity culture in Asian countries especially Indonesia philanthropic activity for people has long been a grass root trait that conduct among the society without much of publication drew since we claim our freedom 64 year ago. Almost 85 % of Indonesian’s majority Islamic believers channel their contribution through Zakat State body ( BAZNAS) and on Aceh Tsunami disaster beside foreign aids many of people, organization and media collecting money, volunteer onto. There are still believed among society that philanthropic is a private.
Based on the facts above, I would like to digest what factor did motivate or stimulated the rise of Philanthropic organization in Indonesia. Before we proceed, first we do should understand that most of Private or individual philanthropic are representing the corporate philanthropic action on one-way or another.
The rise of Citizen Power in terms of right for Claim Company of social or environmental negative impact from business operational. Ignited after political revolution in year 1999 there is significant change in Indonesian public democracy style from passive to pro active ones; regulations changes to stimulate more public involvement or voice on government policy making. Local media more eager to play their roles as public advocator and various of local based society ( LSM) was emerged to balanced society power against major business organization that enjoyed privileged from old government refer by name “ Orde baru “. Within the new era, the need of corporation to build good and sustainable relationship with public are play significant roles toward longevity of business life. Thus relationship actually translated onto not just accountability of production itself but the scope extend to impact that business operational cause to environment or society life.
Transparency, public demand transparency of how busines being run increase. Sinar Mas pulp paper recently sued by Greenpeace organization through its affiliated in Indonesia for alleged of damaging environment in their area of operation. Public now are more aware and sensitive toward how business being run therefore if business is proved had negative impact for environment or people life, public will filled the case or demanded business to be shut down.
Personal Branding. Capitalism economic system that applied by Indonesian government since our independence 64 year ago contribute for the creation of high nett worth people that classify as top 20 conglomerate in Asia region. You can named, Budi Hartono ( Djarum), Anthony Salim (Indofood), Putera Sampoerna, and etc. most of them held country strategic businesses and do have influence for economic growth. Ten year after country politic reformation the relationship between company and public were also changes. The relationship is not top down or vertical (producer to consumer) like before but it raise up to the stakeholder level together with government and investor. Those new relationship create need of different approach as the public is already grown up then demanded business owner to take more responsibility. Either is CSR or philanthropy activity, I believed both of them is more than just charity giving but it should begin to take advanced model that really have good impact on public livelihood that eventually contribute for economic and development of country itself.
Without compromising the nature of business itself is to create profit for the sustainable of business life, but put a serious consent and effort on how business is affecting society and environmental in future will made company gained more strong positioning in market for now and future. In the new wave era of global competition, company need more than just fulfilled market demand but as well need to produce positive image in market through more responsibility way.