About Us

A better tomorrow begins by being radical today

We are forward-looking with our present. We approach it with audacious creativity that gives birth to innovative approaches and solutions that seek to inform, educate, sometimes even shock but always alter perspectives for a better tomorrow.

We are forward-looking with our present. We approach it with audacious creativity that gives birth to innovative approaches and solutions that seek to inform, educate, sometimes even shock but always alter perspectives for a better tomorrow.


Clear perspective guides us and strong resolve propels us to:

Lead: We spearhead strategic partnerships and activities to deliver practical, sustainable solutions for society’s benefit.

Innovate: We mobilise resources, and push boundaries for new ways of addressing urgent needs and critical gaps.

Empower: We enable society and individuals to operate at their maximum capacity. Where possible, we equip communities and their leaders with the know-how, initiating change from within.

Network: We are well-positioned to stimulate and spark high-impact idea exchange, high-intensity collaboration, and high-end value creation by leveraging on the people, private and public sectors.


As a proponent of Radical Philanthropy, we tackle the root of problems. Within these key areas, we leverage technology and pioneer novel solutions to create capacity and strive towards:

Exemplary early childhood education

Quality early childhood education improves a child’s chances in life as health, development and wellbeing profit from a caring and learner-friendly environment. An investment in early childhood today is a contribution to the welfare and productivity of tomorrow’s world. We show the way to more positive child outcomes through thought leadership and innovative programmes and projects.

Excellence in eldercare

If ageing is a fact, eldercare is a duty: a pressing one. Demographics in developed economies show a rapidly ageing population, calling for an urgent need to ensure a better understanding of age-related diseases, and corresponding availability of good quality eldercare services and facilities. We support innovative models of eldercare, particularly in areas like end-of-life issues and dementia care as these have a great impact on the elderly and their families or caregivers.

Effective environmental sustainability in water and sanitation

Access to clean and affordable water supplies, sanitation and hygiene is fundamental to human health, economic advancement and poverty eradication. Yet, almost a fifth of the world's population does not have safe drinking water and over 30 per cent lack basic sanitation. With an Asia-centric vantage, we focus on environmental sustainability in water and sanitation by working with governments and partners on facility design, installation, water management, knowledge transfer and capacity building.


Our model of philantrophy goes beyond the traditional role of donor-sponsor. The Lien Foundation values institutional capacity building and is inspired by innovation, collaboration and new solutions. To achieve meaningful results, we forge progressive partnerships with organisations, and invest with a long-term view.

We encourage prospective grantees to consult our individual projects in order to see our substantive areas of interest and emphasis. Unsolicited proposals are seldom funded, and we prefer to design and develop high impact projects, convening the best individuals or organisations to drive these initiatives. Regardless, we are ready to listen with an open mind even as we are selective.

As there is significant competition for our philanthropic resources, we regret that many worthy causes cannot be funded. We will not consider requests for:

  • Projects not aligned with the Foundation’s specified focus areas.
  • Direct grants, loans, or scholarships for the benefit of specific individuals. Support for scholarships is generally provided through grants to universities and other organisations, which are responsible for the selection of recipients.
  • General fundraising appeals, gala dinners, charity golf events or corporate sponsorships.
  • Construction or maintenance of buildings.
  • Contributions that serve religious or political purposes.


Lien Foundation is committed to a policy of effective evaluation of our projects and programmes. This policy is intended as a common framework of engagement with our project partners.

Our approach to evaluation

Our philosophy behind evaluation is to appraise to learn and to improve performance. Accordingly, we will work with our partners to be part of this joint process and build a learning culture, as together we strive for greater social impact. To extend the scope of lessons learnt, we will share our findings with relevant stakeholders.

We believe evaluation will help to:

  • Shape our strategy and programme design as required even as we roll out our action plans;
  • Gain insights in our common areas of interest to get better perspectives of the needs of those we are trying to help, and of the gaps in civil society that led to these needs;
  • Keep track of the social impact we are making, with a view to improve; and
  • Communicate methodically our policies, processes and projects as an open and transparent organisation.

We use evaluation as a strategic tool that is aligned to key objectives of our initiatives. As a good practice, we will collect basic performance metrics and progress indicators on all our projects.

Generally, a case for evaluation arises when:

  • There is a knowledge gap. Scenarios include needing a better understanding of how a project or programme is functioning, or requiring an impartial performance assessment of a beneficiary or partner at a critical stage of development.
  • The results need to be verified. Such a need would arise before a pilot project is implemented full scale or if proof of concept is necessary for replication by other agencies.

Evaluation methods

Lien Foundation is an inclusive organisation and we stand for collaborative evaluation that has the buy-in of our beneficiaries and stakeholders. Any evaluation exercise will be purposefully initiated and conducted to mitigate reporting burden on our partners on the ground.

We are agnostic with regard to the choice of an evaluation model, as different metrics and frameworks suit different needs. We will employ the most adequate model and methods, from qualitative and quantitative data collection, to systems-based approaches, depending on our purpose.

To ensure that our evaluations are objective and therefore have value, the assessor is critical. As necessary, we will help to resource independent expertise/consultants to do so.

We opt for practicality. We take into account the size of the project being assessed when deciding on the rigour and accuracy to be applied in the evaluation. The effort and expense of the evaluation exercise should be proportionate to the funding involved.


The Lien Foundation was founded by Dr Lien Ying Chow, whose passion for education and commitment to the community continues to guide the Foundation’s work. Orphaned at 10 years, he never had an opportunity to receive a formal education. He shared a deep concern for poor people who were deprived of the chance of an education and consistently gave a portion of his income to education over the years.

In 1980, Dr Lien donated almost half of his wealth to set up the Lien Foundation to help the needy and deprived in society. He had aspirations for our younger generation to strive for a better future for our nation. In many ways, Dr Lien has blazed the trail for the Foundation to follow.


Board of Governors
Mr Laurence Lien (Chairman)
Ms Anita Fam
Mr Kee Teck Koon
Dr Christopher Lien
Ms Gail Lien

Mr Lee Poh Wah (CEO)


Governor Emeritus
Mrs Margaret Lien


Lien Foundation
435 Orchard Road
#22-06 Wisma Atria
Singapore 238877

Gabriel Lim
Tel: (65) 6836 3033