"A person must satisfy himself. To make money - one satisfaction. To give money, another satisfaction. And whatever one can do to help."
- Sir Run Run Shaw, Choice Lifestyle, March 1990
The Hongkong Shaw Foundation was instituted in 1973 and up to date over US$390 million has been given to organisations around the world, including hospitals, educational institutions, academic scholarships, teacher training programmes, Save the Children Fund, food aid agencies, and homes for the elderly (including the Lady Shaw Home for the Elderly in San Francisco named after Sir Run Run's late Malaysian wife, Lily Shaw who died in 1987).
In 1984, Sir Run Run Shaw established the Blood Transfusion Centre under the charge of the Hong Kong Red Cross. The HKRC's Blood Transfusion Service continues to be the only institution for the collection, storage and delivery of blood in Hong Kong.
Over 50 universities in China including Inner Mongolia and Tibet have benefited directly from donations by the Hongkong Shaw Foundation. The Sir Run Run Shaw Scholarship Program for Graduate Studies has enabled hundreds of Chinese and Asian students to continue post graduate studies in American and British universities including Harvard, Stanford, Oxford and Cambridge.
In 1994, the Institute for Chinese Studies was founded at Oxford University in the UK, following a 3 million benefaction from the foundation. The Institute serves as a focus for instruction, research and intellectual contact amongst all those with interests in China.
In September 1999, The Hong Kong Shaw Foundation sent relief funds of HK $25 million to help earthquake victims of Taiwan.
In Nov 2002, an international prize was established to honour scientists, regardless of race, nationality and religious belief, who have achieved significant breakthrough in academic and scientific research or application, and whose work has resulted in a positive and profound impact on mankind. Managed and administered by The Shaw Foundation.
The Shaw Prize consists of three annual prizes: Astronomy, Life Science and Medicine, and Mathematical Sciences, each prize bearing a monetary award of one million US dollars.
Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Zhejiang, China
On Sept 7 2004, the first prizes were awarded to Professor P. James E. Peebles of Princeton University for his contribution to cosmology; Professor Stanley N. Cohen of Stanford University and Professor Herbert W. Boyer of University of California, San Francisco for their joint discoveries on DNA cloning; Professor Yuet-wai Kan, also of University of California, San Francisco, for his discoveries on DNA polymorphism and its influence on human genetics; Sir Richard Doll for his contribution to modern cancer epidemiology; and Professor Shiing-shen Chern of Nankai University for his initiation of the field of global differential geometry and his contribution to the development of mathematics in the last 60 years.
In order to praise for his charitable contribution, San Francisco of U.S. has named 8th September each year as the “Sir Run Run Shaw Day”.