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"2016 is certainly proving to be an interesting base from which to establish our focus over the next 10 years."

 

Nicolas Fu
Trustee of Fu Tak Iam Foundation
 

 

As we head towards the 10th Anniversary of the FTI Foundation’s establishment we pause for a moment of reflection. Our Mission Statement was crafted in the hope of inviting applications from a variety of funding areas, without prejudice to any particular recipient group. Our one caveat was to focus predominantly on the Greater China region, which has been the ‘home’ territory of the Fu family going back several generations.

 

In the subsequent years the FTIF has stuck to its mission and funded more than 180 worthwhile causes. That is not to say we didn’t hit speed bumps along the way – for this was a learning process much like anything else you do for the first time. For those unfamiliar with how we operate, all grants go through our formal application process and are initially screened by our Executive Director according to our eligibility criteria prior to more intense vetting during our quarterly committee meetings. Without limitless resources, when faced with multiple projects worthy of consideration we trust our process to help us make the right decisions. As one would expect, this process has undergone some refinement in the past, and likely to endure more in the future.

 

To date over three quarters of our grants have gone to social welfare, educational or healthcare related projects. This apparent bias was not by design at the outset, rather, it was in response to our committee’s perceived areas of greatest need over the past 10 years.

 

This was not a period devoid of natural disasters either, and we have in exceptional circumstances deviated from our geographic focus to provide emergency disaster relief assistance to communities around the world.

 

This year has been marked by a period of geopolitical upheaval in Europe, the Middle East, the US, and of course much closer to home, here in Hong Kong.

 

Whilst there are many headline grabbing news pieces that are vying for our attention, the tireless work of NGOs continues unabated day in, day out, under the radar and sometimes under difficult conditions. What has struck me personally has been the sheer number of passionate individuals coming up with creative solutions to help those in need (be it human or animal), reinvigorate our cultural heritage or even to clean up our air, to name a few.

 

  

 

It is a sobering reminder that there is much work still to be done to enhance the livelihoods of a countless number of people. It is also worth noting that the foundation landscape is in itself changing, with more entrants providing further ideas and resources to the philanthropic arena and enabling greater scope for collaboration.

 

2016 is certainly proving to be an interesting base from which to establish our focus over the next 10 years. Our aim is to evolve along with the needs of the society in which we serve.

 

Historically our Foundation has fitted a more ‘traditional’ mould insofar as we typically funded projects based on applications received. However, this year sees a departure through our 'Warm Shelter' venture, whereby FTIF have converted an 8 storey industrial building in Kwai Chung into a mixed use space for business and NGOs. The idea behind this was to address the rental squeeze faced by charities by providing rental subsidies within a mixed use building. Should you wish to read more about this project please follow this link (www.ftifoundation.org) . Should this project prove to be successful we may utilise this blueprint for more targeted initiatives in the future.

 

Nicolas Fu
Trustee of Fu Tak Iam Foundation
 

 

As we head towards the 10th Anniversary of the FTI Foundation’s establishment we pause for a moment of reflection. Our Mission Statement was crafted in the hope of inviting applications from a variety of funding areas, without prejudice to any particular recipient group. Our one caveat was to focus predominantly on the Greater China region, which has been the ‘home’ territory of the Fu family going back several generations.

 

In the subsequent years the FTIF has stuck to its mission and funded more than 180 worthwhile causes. That is not to say we didn’t hit speed bumps along the way – for this was a learning process much like anything else you do for the first time. For those unfamiliar with how we operate, all grants go through our formal application process and are initially screened by our Executive Director according to our eligibility criteria prior to more intense vetting during our quarterly committee meetings. Without limitless resources, when faced with multiple projects worthy of consideration we trust our process to help us make the right decisions. As one would expect, this process has undergone some refinement in the past, and likely to endure more in the future.

 

To date over three quarters of our grants have gone to social welfare, educational or healthcare related projects. This apparent bias was not by design at the outset, rather, it was in response to our committee’s perceived areas of greatest need over the past 10 years.

 

This was not a period devoid of natural disasters either, and we have in exceptional circumstances deviated from our geographic focus to provide emergency disaster relief assistance to communities around the world.

 

This year has been marked by a period of geopolitical upheaval in Europe, the Middle East, the US, and of course much closer to home, here in Hong Kong.

 

Whilst there are many headline grabbing news pieces that are vying for our attention, the tireless work of NGOs continues unabated day in, day out, under the radar and sometimes under difficult conditions. What has struck me personally has been the sheer number of passionate individuals coming up with creative solutions to help those in need (be it human or animal), reinvigorate our cultural heritage or even to clean up our air, to name a few.

 

  

 

It is a sobering reminder that there is much work still to be done to enhance the livelihoods of a countless number of people. It is also worth noting that the foundation landscape is in itself changing, with more entrants providing further ideas and resources to the philanthropic arena and enabling greater scope for collaboration.

 

2016 is certainly proving to be an interesting base from which to establish our focus over the next 10 years. Our aim is to evolve along with the needs of the society in which we serve.

 

Historically our Foundation has fitted a more ‘traditional’ mould insofar as we typically funded projects based on applications received. However, this year sees a departure through our 'Warm Shelter' venture, whereby FTIF have converted an 8 storey industrial building in Kwai Chung into a mixed use space for business and NGOs. The idea behind this was to address the rental squeeze faced by charities by providing rental subsidies within a mixed use building. Should you wish to read more about this project please follow this link (www.ftifoundation.org) . Should this project prove to be successful we may utilise this blueprint for more targeted initiatives in the future.