In today’s society, transparency has become an essential aspect of any industry, including the third sector. This is especially true for non-profits, as transparency plays a critical role in building trust and credibility with their stakeholders.
The ‘Transparency Score Of Malaysia’s Foundations’ developed by Wiki Impact aims to highlight Malaysia’s foundations that overcommunicate and build a shared public narrative to encourage others to do the same. The comprehensive rating system evaluates the transparency, frequency, and credibility of communications made by 1,567 registered foundations to the public.
Based on the rating system, Wiki Impact reviewed publicly-available data, information, and reports to assess the transparency of the foundations based on four key main criteria including publicly-available financial reports, publicly-available impact reports, a current and active website, and an updated social media presence.
Why Is This Report Necessary?
The expectation of trust from the public in non-profits is growing and many are evaluating them based on publicly available information. Terence Ooi, Co-founder of Wiki Impact says that “By providing open and honest communication about their operations, financials, and impact, non-profits can assure their donors, beneficiaries, and the public that they are accountable and committed to achieving their mission.”
Apart from that, transparency helps prevent the misuse of funds, promotes ethical practices, and ensures that non-profits are fulfilling their social responsibility. Ultimately, transparency strengthens the credibility and reputation of non-profits, leading to increased support and a positive impact on the community.
“Our report provides clarity for donors to be more informed about foundations that they are supporting or may potentially support. When you are informed accurately, generosity grows,” Ooi added.
“It is important to note that under current laws, foundations are not required to disclose their annual, financial, and impact reports publicly. Also, they are not required to publicly disclose their board of directors, financial statements or amounts disbursed. In contrast, this report seeks to recognize foundations that over-communicate and develop a shared public narrative. By doing so, we hope foundations will be more inclined to communicate the good work they do,” said Ooi.
The report rated 1,567 foundations in Malaysia based on their transparency scorecard, with 32 foundations receiving a minimum A rating, indicating a score of 75% or above. These foundations have publicly available information about their programs and financials and have provided information about their trustees or board on their website. They also regularly update their social media accounts.
Among the foundations with high transparency scores are WWF Malaysia, TFM Foundation, Yayasan Hasanah, Yayasan Sejahtera, Arba International Waqf (L) Foundation, MyKasih Foundation, Yayasan Selangor, and YTL Foundation.
The report also shows that half of the foundations in Malaysia achieved a transparency score of only 10%, indicating that they do not have publicly available information about their programs and financials, or information about their trustees or board on their website.
Other interesting findings include:
- Almost half the number of foundations were located in the Klang Valley area, with 25.27% in Kuala Lumpur and 20.17% in Selangor.
- Education is the most focused cause, with 251 foundations working to improve education in Malaysia, while Animals Welfare was the least focused area, with only 3 foundations.
- In terms of digital presence, 37% of foundations do not have a published website. Only 28% of foundations posted an update on their social media within the past 3 months since Feb 2023, while 131 foundations have not posted an update for over a year.
- The report also highlights that only 2.94% of 1,567 foundations released an Impact Report within the past 5 years (since 2017), and only 31 (2.3%) foundations have ever published a financial report publicly.
“The strength of this report lies in its independence, which helps remove layers of impartiality. Our report is not funded by any foundations or for-profit companies. A team of independent volunteer fact-checkers reviewed the work prior to publication, and all data was sourced from publicly available sources,” added Ooi.
Wiki Impact hopes that the “Transparency Score of Malaysia’s Foundations” report will encourage more foundations to communicate openly because transparency is no longer an option but a necessity for non-profits to succeed in their endeavours.
Visit “Transparency Score Of Malaysia’s Foundations” to see the full report and detailed transparency scores of the 1,567 foundations.
ABOUT WIKI IMPACT
Wiki Impact is a research and communications hub focused on Malaysia’s impact-driven work and social issues. We create social impact through compelling data and evidence-based stories that inspire, inform, invoke emotion and invite participation and conversation. Wiki Impact serves changemakers by highlighting and amplifying their work via impact news, announcements and job postings.