Make it Powerful: Tapping Diaspora Philanthropy as a Resource—An Example for Taiwanese Americans

Snow (Hsueh-Lin) Lee, Emerging Leader, International Fellows Program ~ 2003




Snow Lee argues that there is a need to rethink the scope of traditional philanthropy. Her research focuses on ways to capitalize on international connections and tap into resources within diaspora communities. She examines the ways in which Taiwan's nonprofit organizations (NPOs) might attract resources from the overseas Taiwanese community, provides examples of Taiwanese American philanthropy, and offers research strategies for studying other diaspora communities.

Concluding that the “trust” and “information” gaps are the most important obstacles to promoting diaspora philanthropy, Ms. Lee argues that Information Technology (IT) can play an important role in closing these gaps by providing information on the missions, annual and financial reports, and project goals of nonprofit organizations. She recommends the use of web portals to provide both donors and local Taiwanese intermediary organizations with a credible “trade mark” to encourage overseas giving. Increased use of a single Taiwanese web portal like that of the Himalaya Foundation could help reduce duplication of efforts among NPOs.



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