Doing Good Better
Choices and Paradigms in the Social Ecosystem


“Willie gives an insightful view into a contrasting but converging ecosystem where both the business and social sectors seek to do good. He provides a useful framework for those interested in navigating the future of the social sector, especially in the space where impact and business intersect. It is a must-read for those engaging or wishing to engage in social enterprises and impact investing.”

Alfie Othman
Executive Director, Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE)

Doing Good Better is a timely reflection, in a year when a pandemic has brought unprecedented change in our communities. Willie brings together a comprehensive map of insights into our social ecosystem and the dilemmas in meeting the ever-changing needs of the community that they serve. It is a clarion call for greater collaboration between the different stakeholders in the ecosystem to share knowledge, identify synergies and explore better methods for impactful change. While the social sector needs better governance, transparency and creative innovation, the corporates need to consider serving all stakeholders, not just maximising shareholder value. Changemakers in the social sector, government and corporate world must break the silos and work together to bring about a new normal, a better world. Willie continues to challenge our values, the way we think and act across all sectors.”

Christine Ong
Chairman, Community Foundation of Singapore

“By combining deep knowledge with useful examples, Willie Cheng provides the reader with insights into important trends taking place within and between the government, private and social sectors. Although grounded in Singapore, his examples and analyses are applicable worldwide. This book helps the reader navigate the multiple forces and actors working to make good better.”

Dr. Ruth A. Shapiro
Co-Founder and Chief Executive, The Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society, Hong Kong

“Amidst two existential threats — the global pandemic and climate change — investing sustainably for positive impact has never been more important. Doing Good Better presents a critical and comprehensive overview of Singapore’s maturing social sector highlighting practical dilemmas, operative values, and the increasing convergence of philanthropy and sustainable finance. Through key sector learnings garnered over a decade, this book is a recommended read for industry practitioners as well as aspiring entrants.”

En Lee
Head of Sustainable and Impact Investments Asia, LGT

“Willie is a translator between the corporate and philanthropic worlds. In this roadmap to the social ecosystem, he charts the developments and dilemmas facing regulators, activists, social entrepreneurs and philanthropists. Anyone interested in doing good, whether as an active participant or just a remote investor, will benefit from his perspectives and insights.”

Keith Chua
Chairman, Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy at NUS Business School 

“This is a must-read for anyone who cares about social impact in Singapore. Willie asks important questions about how nonprofits and corporates are driven and governed, and how capitalism should evolve. I admire Willie’s ability to synthesise the mass of current thinking to provide clarity on where we are today, and give suggestions on the way ahead. While the chapters are mostly adapted from past articles, when put together they are an even more compelling read, highly relevant for our times. A key theme that cuts across is values — it is not just about doing no harm and complying with the law, it is about doing what is right. We must regain our moral sense.”

Laurence Lien
Chairman, Asia Philanthropy Circle

“Singapore has a dynamic nonprofit sector that provides a broad range of services in making Singapore a successful society. Willie understands both the success and the challenges of the nonprofits, standing as he does at the confluence of the corporate and social sectors. He brings a lucid analytical style to discussing these issues in this book, and while his examples are mainly from Singapore, the issues and perspectives resonate with me and would be applicable in the US and other countries.”

Frank Lavin
CEO, Export Now, and Former US Ambassador to Singapore

“Through the years, Willie has been a consistent, prolific and thoughtful voice on both social and business policies. This book brings together these views and more as he has not only adapted but woven them systematically into a coherent whole. I know of no other corporate leader who can range across social, business and even political ideas in such an impressive manner.”

Hsieh Fu Hua
Chairman, National University of Singapore, and Former CEO, Singapore Exchange

“In today’s new world order and the dynamic nature of our society, we cannot afford to stay in the same position and assume all is well. This collection of Willie’s writings challenges us to rethink, refresh and reset, and work towards doing not just the good but the right. We are multifaceted with different value systems, attitudes and behaviours, but yet we strive to be better and finish well. Thank you, Willie, for a very timely reminder! Congratulations on this new primer on the changing social landscape.”

Mildred Tan
Chairman, Tote Board, and Former Chairman, National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre

“Perceptive, meticulous, and concise and without hype. Willie has achieved an incredible feat by bringing clarity and nuance to Singapore’s social ecosystem. For anyone who wishes to delve into an intelligent and practical read, this is your companion.”

Naina Subberwal Batra
Chairman and CEO, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network

“In his most recent book, Willie Cheng once again takes readers on an insightful journey into the world of doing good. Doing Good Better not only examines critical issues such as the dilemmas of decisions and the varieties of values, but also provokes us to reflect on what it means and takes to do good in a sustained and sustainable way. This book is a must-read if we want to make a real positive difference to the lives of others.”

Professor David Chan
Director of Behavioural Sciences Institute, Singapore Management University,
and author of Combating a Crisis: The psychology of Singapore’s response to COVID-19

“This is a richly insightful work. Willie Cheng brings a deep understanding, wisdom, and a practical and pragmatic perspective to an important subject. This book should be read by everyone engaged in the social sector. A recurring theme is change, namely, the forces of change, how the social sector must adapt, and the need for new thinking. Business leaders would also do well to read it as societies increasingly demand that corporations not only do well but also do good.”

Professor Tan Cheng Han
Chairman, Caritas Singapore and Singapore Exchange Regulation

“Be the change” — is easily said. However, with the “new normal” and shifts in paradigms in both the social and corporate environment, we urgently need to start becoming better at being that future person, business or nonprofit. This sequel to Willie’s earlier book provides current insights and thought-provoking examples for addressing questions on ethics, values, collaboration and cross-sector leadership. An excellent resource for nonprofit and corporate leaders, donors, board members, policy and decision-makers and anyone who aims to do good better, not just in Singapore but globally.”

Usha Menon
Founder, UM-MC Asia, and Past International Chair, Resource Alliance 

Doing Good Better provides an excellent perspective on the social sector, its evolution and unique context, as well as its intersection with the business sector. It is a must-read for both social sector and business leaders who seek to navigate the changing landscapes and stakeholder expectations as the ecosystems converge. “

Wong Su Yen
Chairman, Singapore Institute of Directors