• To assist third sector organisations to: enhance the awareness, nurturing and sustainable application of spiritual values in their operations, by building on the experience of innovative faith-based NGOs (FBOs)

Principal Investigator

  • Dr David Palmer, Department of Sociology


  • Badi Foundation
  • Centre for Spiritual Progress to Great Awakening
  • Fudan University
  • Fullness Christian Social Enterprise
  • Philanthropy in Motion
  • University of Brighton


  • Established a learning network of academics, practitioners and NGOs interested in the application of spiritual values in the process of capacity building for the third sector
  • Conducted a preliminary mapping and typology of Faith-based NGOs in Hong Kong, based on different approaches to the application of spiritual values in social service
  • Identified best practices for systematic and sustainable methods for drawing on faith and spirituality to empower individuals and groups to improve their lives and their communities. Produced written cases and designed an e-case scenario for use as educational resources
  • Drawing on relevant social scientific theories and literature, developed models of spiritual principles and spiritual capital, and designed draft training modules for conceptual learning and practical application in personal life, group leadership and organisational management
  • Introduced the WeValue model from Europe, a model of developing and measuring values indicators for third sector organisations
  • Acquired initial skills to implement and adapt the WeValue model for the Hong Kong and Chinese social context


  • Raised awareness  in 27 NGOs and foundations through 51 site visits and focus groups
  • Raised awareness among 300 scholars and graduate students through 5 public lectures and conference presentations in Hong Kong, Macao, Mainland China and the US
  • Improved capacity through  training of 100 leaders and members of 20 NGOs through 3 forums and workshops
  • Improved capacity in the understanding of values indicators and measurement provided through training  to the core leadership team of 3 NGOs and foundations, to be employed in the capacity building of over 30 community-based organisations
  • Improved understanding of values indicators and measurement provided through training to 3 team members for future localised workshop provision

Event Highlights 

  Mar 13, 2013 Forum on Spiritual Capital: Values and Capacity Building in Third Sector Organisations
  Jul 10-14, 2013 International Conference on Religion, Spiritual Capital and Civil Society
  Dec 9-13, 2013 Workshop series on Making the Invisible Visible: Identifying and Evaluating Values in your Work
  Dec 10, 2013 Public Seminar: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Measuring Values as a Catalyst for Organisational Change
  Dec 13, 2013 Public Lecture on Measuring Values: A Catalyst for Organisational Change and Impact on your funders

Working Paper 1: Clarifying the Concept of Spiritual Capital

Working Paper 2: Generating and Applying Spiritual Capital: the Case of the Baha’i Community 

ExCEL3 Coordinator: Ms. Michele Wong

PowerPoint Presentation 1 PowerPoint Presentation 2 PowerPoint Presentation 3 Project Website