What Matters To Me: Ada Chirapaisarnkul, Founder Of The Thai Young Philanthropist Network
In the What Matters To Me series, a Generation T honouree describes what they do, why they do it, and why it matters.
Ada Chirapaisarnkul is founder of the Thai Young Philanthropist Network (TYPN), a platform to engage young, determined professionals with a shared mission to make positive changes in society. In 2012 she also co-founded taejai.com, a fundraising website aiming to nurture a culture of strategic giving. TYPN has also created Life Hero, which advocates education equity through scholarships.
I started TYPN as a community for people with similar purpose and passion to meet and create change together. In the past decade we have had 2,800 active members. We want to educate Thai society on the potential of strategic giving. Our framework has evolved over the years and we now classify our work into two main categories, direct impact and enabler. Many of our projects focus on piloting innovative new financing tools such as "giving circles", a form of crowdfunding for pro bono, skills-based volunteering.
We want to educate Thai society on the potential of strategic giving.
Our focus is on empowering children from the least privileged socioeconomic backgrounds in Thailand. Via Life Hero Thailand, we focus on access to formal education, seeing it as a great equaliser and tool for social mobility. We are researching better alternatives that will transform these children’s lives, and working closely with Unicef to explore skills training and job matching that not only enable access to education but also offer direct links to long-term employment.
In 2018, taejai.com channelled over 50 million baht [over US$1.5 million] in financial support to 280 projects and engaged more than 23,000 donors. We want to double that by the end of 2019. We also plan to engage students on the project side; we see Taejai as a societal leadership lab to activate citizenship among young kids. In addition, we are aiming to experiment with place-based philanthropy, where instead of supporting one independent project, we will select a cluster of projects working on different, interrelated social and environmental issues in one geographical location.
We will also be partnering the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network to start a community of next generation philanthropists in Asia. We intend to make 2019 the year of experimentation: to learn and relearn in order to create a more substantial and sustainable impact.