‘360Giving has led more funders to think more strategically’: meet Bonnie Chiu, incoming 360Giving trustee
Over the coming months, we are delighted to be welcoming six new trustees onto our board. One of them is Bonnie Chiu, Managing Director at The Social Investment Consultancy. In this post, we speak to Bonnie about women’s empowerment, the value of young trustees and what excites her about joining 360Giving. You can get to know all our new trustees in our Trustees’ Week 2020 blogpost.
Can you tell us about your background and your role as Managing Director at The Social Investment Consultancy?
Hello! My job is to support our clients to maximise their social impact. We do this by supporting them to understand and measure their social impact; to build stronger, more resilient organisations; and to help them become more diverse and inclusive. Diversity and inclusion is at the heart of how we deliver social impact.
We also do work on systems change, for example the project with 360Giving which is about how the funding sector collects and reports on equalities. We also innovate on new research methodologies.
Our clients are quite broad and we work globally, including Hong Kong, India, Ghana and Mauritius. Generally, the problems are very similar in terms of not conducive government policy for the third sector and social impact; organisations are too reliant on grant funding and want to diversify; no-one knows how to measure social impact or keep track of data; digital literacy is quite low in the social sector. The difference is where the solutions lie and how they come to be.
I always share the work of 360Giving with my colleagues in other parts of the world. They find it really interesting and forward thinking. They haven’t got to the state where the philanthropy sector can share data and different actors are still coming together to identify themselves as the funding sector.
What excites you about being a 360Giving board member?
Ultimately, it is the mission of 360Giving and the traction it has already gained.
I think 360Giving is such a neat solution to address a lot of the root causes of the inequalities we find within philanthropy and funding. I’ve seen how 360Giving has led more funders to think more strategically about how they use data, and encourage funders to be more transparent.
The trustee recruitment process has already made me see how, despite the small size of the charity, it has a really bold vision for change.
I’m also excited to be on a board with women leaders, such as Fran who is really inspiring in having been the founder of 360Giving. And Tania as a really inspiring CEO. Looking back on the boards I have been on, none have had both a chair and a CEO who are women.
It appears that women’s empowerment connects many of your different pursuits in life. Where does this come from?
I’m really passionate about women’s empowerment and gender equality. It came from a realisation, quite late in life, that there is gender inequality. It was only at university when I studied the history of women in modern China that I learnt about Feminism for the first time…and all the issues I was blind to. Talking then to my Mum and Grandmother and how they suffered tremendously because of their gender. Feeling I have been less held back than them, I have a responsibility to fight for…and it sounds a bit patronising sometimes but… to fight for my fellow sisters in other countries. I don’t want anyone to be held back by their gender. And as I start more in my activism, it is across everything: class, ethnicity and disability etc.
At 23 years old you were a trustee for StudentHubs. What value do you think young people can bring to a board?
I was very fortunate to get my first trustee role when I was 23. I was inducted really well and I got a lot of support. By the time I join the 360Giving board I will be 28.
I think more needs to be shared about the value young people can bring to trustee boards beyond just helping with social media. Young trustees can bring different perspectives and life experiences. Amid the age of disruption we need people who are flexible, agile, can think outside the box, and are not invested in the current status quo to continue as it is. We have more to bring than what we are pigeon-holed for.
*360Giving is currently working with Bonnie Chiu on an exciting project about equalities data which we aim to complete in January 2021. Bonnie will join 360Giving as a trustee, in July 2021. You can get to know all our incoming trustees in our Trustees’ Week 2020 blogpost.