WHAT WE DO AND WHY
Sowers Exchange works to fulfill its Mission through three major services:
- Philanthropic Consulting for Individuals, Families including Family Offices, Family Foundations and Family Companies and Companies/Corporations.
- Services for Social Purpose Organizations (SPOs) including Non-government organizations (NGOs), Social Enterprises, Non-profit organizations and charities.
- Experiential Learning Programs.
Our Vision and Mission are based on the belief that Sowers Exchange has an imperative from God to stimulate the voluntary sharing of blessings with our neighbors who are less fortunate.
- VISION: Sowers Exchange works hard to connect head knowledge with heart knowledge through our various programs with stakeholders ranging from top schools to grassroots non-profit organizations, to individuals, to families and to leading multi-national corporations. We believe everyone has their part to play in making the World a better place.
- MISSION: Sowers Exchange helps our philanthropic clients achieve their goals by bridging the gap to our small to medium sized grassroots level social purpose organization partners in 18 countries across the Asia Pacific region.
Through our work, we aim to achieve two objectives:
1) Harness the financial resources and human capital primarily available in Hong Kong to address pressing social issues in the Asia Pacific region, and
2) Develop an active philanthropic culture in Hong Kong, which focuses on proactive hands-on involvement in addition to financial contributions.
- Services for Philanthropists
- Families including Family Offices,
Foundations and Businesses
- Services for Social Purpose Organizations (SPOs)- Non-government Organizations (NGOs)- Social Enterprise- Non-profit Organizations- Charities
- Experiential Service Learning Programs
- School / University Students
- Individuals and Families
- Company Employees, Customers, Vendors and Families
Our clients express the desire to fulfill their vision and values by contributing resources including money and time to improve and make a difference in their local and worldwide communities.
Sowers Exchange because of its independence, expertise and experience, provides a number of services to its clients to achieve their philanthropic goals.
These services are available whether the client is an individual, family or company. Importantly, these services apply to those who are exploring this area for the first time or to those who want to evaluate their current direction for renewal, refinement or change.
Specifically, for individuals and families, Sowers Exchange’s services could include:
1) Facilitating the determination of or refinement of your charitable orientation and donative intent; determining your level of participation with the charity and involvement process within your family such as family legacy meetings. Sowers Exchange staff listens to you and offers options and alternatives. We will not “fit” you into a specific charitable sector or Social Purpose Organizations (SPOs).
2) Establishing relevant social sector, geographic and other selection criteria.
3) Developing or updating a Philanthropic Plan.
4) Performing research and due diligence investigations on proposed or currently supported SPOs to assure congruence with your philanthropic goals. On the surface this would seem like an easy task, however there are thousands of SPOs (8,000+ IRC section 88 charities in Hong Kong alone) and there is no central repository of information.
5) Designing and implementing impact measuring systems including Social Return on Investment (SROI).
6) Presenting, Monitoring and Reporting on SPO projects that meet your established Philanthropic Plan.
For Companies/Corporations, Sowers Exchange’s services could include:
1) Developing a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or Community Investment Plan. These plans could include In-kind donations.
2) Designing custom-made Employee Engagement Activities that have measurable, positive outcomes on both the community and your employees.
[It is important to note that these programs not only build relationships among employee team members which can include your customers, vendors and spouses; generate leadership opportunities; encourage critical thinking but also increase participants awareness and understanding of SPOs, their beneficiaries and the social needs of the communities they serve. Often times this creates champions within the company.]
3) Designing and implementing impact measuring systems.
4) Researching and Performing due diligence investigations on SPOs.
5) Presenting, Monitoring, and Reporting on SPO projects. This would include communication with SPO staff and, if included, volunteer participants during the activity. Reporting frequency and depth of the project is consistent with its size and duration. Feedback information aggregated from beneficiaries, SPO staff, volunteers, and others is also provided.
Compensation: Sowers Exchange is a social enterprise that charges a fee for its services to its philanthropic clients. We operate under a financially sustainable business model reinvesting any profits generated from the fees charged to increase the scope of our work and to impact more individuals and communities.
These fees are two fold:
1) Consulting Services which are calculated and agreed to at the beginning of any assignment;
2) Management, Monitoring and Reporting fee which is added on to the SPOs project costs. This fee is calculated using a sliding scale recognizing the total contribution that the philanthropist makes and is fully disclosed in each proposal. Sowers Exchange does not charge a fee to the SPOs.
Importantly, Sowers Exchange through SX Foundation will issue a Hong Kong tax receipt for contributions that are made to the project.
Social Purpose Organizations which collaborate with Sowers Exchange seek resources to complete community service or capacity building projects. So the services offered are as follows:
1) Assessing of the SPO to establish the partnership. This onsite process has two major objectives: a) to verify the reputation, reliability and effectiveness of the SPO and b) to strengthen the infrastructure and financial, material and human resources capabilities of the SPO. Sowers Exchange is staffed by individuals who have both experience and expertise in the corporate and SPO sectors. Additionally, it uses sophisticated tools that focus on best practice standards in the areas of Public Benefit Goals; Experience and Capabilities; Governance and Accountability; Financial Reporting and Responsibility; Marketing and Communications; Strategy and Future Plans; Measuring and Reporting and Record of Success in meeting their project and organizational Goals.
2) Support SPOs in developing focused projects that meet their social impact goals.
This includes the preparation of a detailed Project Description which includes:
a) Purpose, beneficiaries and duration of the benefit
b) Quantification of resources both financial and human necessary to
satisfactorily complete the project
c) Best estimates of the time frame necessary including any known
d) Photographs that support the case statement
e) If a continuing project, reports on outcomes or impacts of previous phases
3) Offering these projects to Philanthropists who have a potential interest in funding this type of project. While this does not guarantee that the project will be funded, it places the project in a positive presentation format that should generate attention and action.
4) Communicating with funding philanthropists during and after completion of the project including reporting on the activities, output and impact. This service provides more time for the SPO to focus on execution of the project for the benefit of its stakeholders.
5) Assisting in Execution of projects. Based on Sowers Exchanges’ history of involvement with many successful projects which is documented quantitatively and qualitatively, occasionally as necessary, its staff can consult on operational issues.
Compensation: Sowers Exchange to avoid any conflicts of interest does not charge a fee to the SPO for these services.
Environment, Sustainability and Governance
Sowers Exchange’s own 3-stage due diligence process ensures that we identify reputable changemakers who are effectively achieving their stated community goals.
Our due diligence process helps clients to narrow down options for partnering with reputable, reliable and effective partners from the many NGOs operating in the Asia Pacific region.
We conduct desktop due diligence, onsite due diligence and peer review to assess SPOs’:
- Public Benefit Goals
- Experience and Capabilities
- Governance and Accountability
- Financial Reporting and Responsibility
- Strategy and Future Plans, and most importantly,
- Measure of Effectiveness in reaching their community goals.
- Measurement & Reporting
Social Return on Investment
For our corporate clients, we also monitor the effects of our programs on participants through pre and post program surveys, so you can be sure that our programs have created the intended results.
If you would like to learn more about how we measure, please contact us.
Sowers Exchange offers a service that provides existing or custom built learning adventures where participants have the chance to discover Asia’s social challenges and gain first hand knowledge and experience through meaningful service work.
Depending on your goals or objectives, this service work might include building and construction activities, caring for animals, engaging in environmental conservation, teaching or supporting social enterprises. Sowers Exchange is careful to ensure that each of our programs is sensitive to the effects that volunteer service has on the community. Our trips are planned so that they result in positive social outcomes. Participants have the opportunity to remain connected to the visited community and the social issue when they return home.
Our destinations cover location throughout the Asia Pacific region. All SPO service providers are thoroughly vetted and Sowers Exchange provides high-energy facilitation, risk assessment, comfortable accommodations, good quality food and safe work environments.
Everyone learns in different ways, so each trip includes elements of physical challenge and cultural activities, so each participant can gain a deeper understanding of the local environment, culture and themselves. At the end of the trip, we hope participants are exhausted, happy and inspired to make further contributions to their community.
Compensation: Sowers Exchange charges a fee based on the services that are provided. These are in addition to the fees, or expenses that are rendered by our SPOs or vendors of services.