The Club can trace its long tradition of donating to charitable causes back to at least 1915, but it was in the 1950s, as Hong Kong struggled to cope with post-war reconstruction and a massive influx of immigrants, that this role became integral to its operation. In 1955, the Club formally decided to devote its surplus each year to charity and community projects, and in 1959, a separate company, the Hong Kong Jockey Club (Charities) Ltd, was formed to administer donations. In 1993, a new entity was established, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, to reflect the evolving nature, scale and scope of donations. The Club's Charities Trust is one of the world's top ten charity donors.
The Trust's substantial donations to the community are made possible by the Club's unique operational model which integrates racing, wagering, membership and philanthropy. The Club uses its surpluses generated by regulated betting to benefit Hong Kong people from all walks of life. Some 70% of the Club's net annual surpluses are donated to the Trust, enabling the Club to have played a significant role in the community's development over the years.
Working with Government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community partners, the Trust is committed to improving the quality of life of the people of Hong Kong, and providing immediate relief to those most in need. As a philanthropic organisation in its own right, the Trust also proactively identifies and initiates projects that anticipate future community and social needs.
The Trust serves 10 principal areas of civic and social needs in its contributions:
While the Trust continues to fund a wide range of projects, it is placing special emphasis on four areas of strategic focus over the next three to five years:
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has donated an average of over HK$2.8 billion a year to the community over the past decade by way of its own major initiatives and donations, supporting the projects of well over 150 charitable groups and organisations each year. In 2016/17, the total approved donations were HK$7.6 billion, benefiting 216 charitable and community projects. These included a special donation of HK$3.5 billion for the construction of the Hong Kong Palace Museum in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.