Stories Of Impact
#MyGivingJourney x Nadia Ahmad Samdin: Changing the game for giving  
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Stories Of Impact

Stories Of Impact

#MyGivingJourney x Nadia Ahmad Samdin: Changing the game for giving  

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CFS’s #MyGivingJourney series portrays extraordinary women and their efforts in philanthropy. This story features Nadia Ahmad Samdin, CFS’s legacy giving ambassador and a woman who wears many hats. 

Many who donate to charity often ask: For every dollar they give, what good actually comes of it? Nadia Ahmad Samdin believes increasingly, we will be able to answer that. In a world where tracking usage is commonplace – from our phone use to carbon footprint– a data-driven approach to philanthropy could be a game-changer. The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) aligns with Nadia’s belief and strives to be a trustworthy organisation that is transparent and accountable.  

Nadia is Counsel & Project Leader at Tri-Sector Associates, a pioneering social enterprise that is finding innovative ways to solve complex social problems. In June 2021, Tri-Sector launched the first Social Impact Guarantee (SIG) with the Lorinet Foundation, TL Whang Foundation and the YMCA for its Vocational and Soft Skills Programme, which helps empower vulnerable youths. But here’s what’s pivotal: the SIG offers donors a money-back guarantee if targets are not met. This outcomes-based funding is relatively new but is gaining traction with impact-minded donors who focus on what works and are willing to provide capacity building support to charitable organisations, Nadia says.   

Community has defined Nadia’s life from a young age. She began volunteering when she was in secondary school and by her 20s, her calendar was full serving with community initiatives such as the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations, Lembaga Biasiswa Kenangan Maulud (an IPC), the South East Community Development Council and the National Youth Council. 

After graduating from Singapore Management University, Nadia embarked on a career at TSMP Law Corporation. Her six years in corporate law taught her to “bridge divides, come up with creative solutions and put myself in others’ shoes to work towards outcomes which are mutually agreed upon”, she says.   

In 2020, she became a member of parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC, making the 31-year-old one of Singapore’s youngest parliamentarians. Nadia has also served as a panel adviser to the Youth Court and worked with girls who have done reformative training. These diverse experiences have made her an authentic voice on issues close to her heart such as youths at risk, mental health, inequality and the environment.  During her free time, she also participates in marine clean-ups, including as a volunteer diver with Our Singapore Reefs, a ground-up initiative formed by marine biologists with an interest in coral conservation.   

Nadia is also a legacy giving ambassador for CFS’s A Greater Gift campaign, which is rallying Singaporeans to leave a legacy through planned charitable gifts. CFS works with donors to structure their giving so that people can leave insurance monies, CPF savings, marketable securities and even tangible assets to the causes they care deeply about.   

You don’t need to have very deep pockets to make a transformative and lasting impact, Nadia emphasises. “As someone who went to school with the help of financial assistance, I know how precious it is to be given an opportunity by someone who believes in you,” she says. “Everyone can make a difference,” says this young changemaker. “Start where you are, Use what you have, Do what you can.” 

Begin your own journey of giving with CFS. Read more stories about the #MyGivingJourney series here.  

This article was written by Sunita Sue Leng, a former financial analyst and journalist, who believes that the written word can be a force for good. She hopes to someday write something worth plagiarising. 

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Events

Recipients of S R Nathan Education Award meet former president over tea

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Picture of the recipients of the S R Nathan Education Award had tea with the former president at the Eurasian Community House

The recipients of the S R Nathan Education Award had tea with the former president at the Eurasian Community House on Saturday. The award is given to outstanding students who have been accepted into the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) or any of the five polytechnics. Read more.

Speaking after the association’s annual general meeting at Kallang Netball Centre on Friday, Liang-Lin, a fund manager for a US$7 billion (S$9.5 billion) firm focused on green real estate investments in Asia, hopes to bring her expertise to the table and increase the amount of financial support for Singapore netball during her four-year term.

The 53-year-old took over from Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jessica Tan, who has been the association’s president since 2012. Tan had reached the end of her tenure, which saw the national team make several breakthroughs, including a gold medal at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.

Liang-Lin holds various appointments such as being Singapore’s representative to the G20 for Women appointed by the Ministry of Finance. She is also a board member of the Community Foundation of Singapore, which promotes philanthropy through facilitating the establishment of charitable funds.

She said: “One of the things that is overlooked when we look at philanthropy and fundraising is that sport is not really part of the things that people will automatically think about.

“Less than one per cent of the funds that we raise in the Community Foundation goes to sport. The values that sport brings need to be amplified more, so that corporates… see the need to support sport. I think that link needs to be stronger so that we get not just more corporate sponsors, but also they can come in for longer periods of time.”

While national agency Sport Singapore provides funding to netball, corporates can also do their part, she added.

She said: “If we play our cards correctly, we can get corporates to come in and hopefully support them, to see the wider purpose of sport and bring the nation together.”

She also hopes the association can be proactive in looking for financial support, adding: “We must work more strategically with governing bodies on educating corporates on the importance of really supporting sport.”

The former netball player also made references to the recent Women’s World Cup for football, noting the “ability for a game that focuses on women in the sport to bring global attention”.

She said: “I want that kind of trajectory of the limelight going to women’s sport. I think that is a trend that will continue, and I hope that netball will be part of that trend.”

Meanwhile, Tan was satisfied that she has achieved the three objectives she had set out to do when she came on board – to improve quality of play, build a fan base and create an ecosystem which involves coaches and players.

The 57-year-old added: “As much as I do feel sad about having to step down, but at the same time, leadership renewal is very important.

“I think Trina will help to galvanise the team together, and bring a lot of new perspectives and quality to the association.”

Join us in making an impact on Singapore sports scene! Reach out to us for more information.

Source: The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction

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The competition was organised by City Harvest Community Services Association and received support from FUN! Fund, a Community Impact Fund jointly established by the Community Foundation of Singapore and the Agency for Integrated Care, with the aim of addressing social isolation among the elderly.

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of National Development Mr Tan Kiat How attended the event. He encouraged the elderly to stay physically and mentally well, as well as urging them to participate in community activities and enjoy their golden years together.

Learn more about FUN! Fund at https://www.cf.org.sg/fun-fund/.

 

The programme provides the children with a non-threatening platform to connect with peers and have positive conversations. In addition, it exposes them to different people who can assist to broaden their perspectives.

L.S., a volunteer with the Reading Odyssey programme @ Spooner Road

中心“常胜将军”胡锦盛:比赛限时反应要快

现年92岁的胡锦盛是最年长的参赛者。自2017年退休后,他几乎每天都到活跃乐龄中心报到,从此爱上了玩拉密,每次可玩上三个小时,在中心是“常胜将军”。

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News

CFS’s first brand campaign ‘Portraits of generosity’ to inspire giving

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"My Cho Cho Ma She started our family's journey of giving" Keith Chua

In tandem with its 10th anniversary, CFS launched its first ever brand campaign ‘Portraits of Generosity’– a series of heart-warming donor stories uncovering each donor’s motivation for giving.

Looking back at their lives, donors share their motivations for why they chose to give back to those in need. Be it an act of kindness, a family member’s compassion or a long tradition of philanthropy, the campaign unearthed the diverse experiences which left a mark on each donor’s life and spurred them to give back. Donors also open up about their philanthropic journey, why they chose to support specific causes and how seamless the giving experience can be through starting a fund with CFS.

The campaign kicked off with six of CFS’s donors: Keith ChuaTrina Liang-Lin and Edmund LinGovind Bommi, Yeo Suan Wei and Liontrust. “We believe that every act of giving is inspired by a story of life, values and experiences. Working with our donors and agency DDB, we brought these stories to life through a relatable and engaging campaign. Through these first-hand accounts of giving, we hope that others will realise that they too, have it in them to open their hearts and give back,” commented Yuen Yee Foong, Head of Marketing at CFS.

Launched across multiple media platforms including video, digital and print, the campaign runs from August to December 2018.

Reflecting upon a growing social consciousness amongst Singaporeans, Catherine Loh, CEO of CFS remarked, “I believe there are many others like our donors in Singapore who want to contribute back to society, but have not considered becoming philanthropists themselves. By sharing their stories on a larger platform, these donors show us what is possible.”

She added, “Their passion reminds us of the joy of giving, especially when giving resonates with causes we care about.”

Read and view ‘Portraits of generosity’ here.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit dolor

The competition was organised by City Harvest Community Services Association and received support from FUN! Fund, a Community Impact Fund jointly established by the Community Foundation of Singapore and the Agency for Integrated Care, with the aim of addressing social isolation among the elderly.

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of National Development Mr Tan Kiat How attended the event. He encouraged the elderly to stay physically and mentally well, as well as urging them to participate in community activities and enjoy their golden years together.

Learn more about FUN! Fund at https://www.cf.org.sg/fun-fund/.

 

The programme provides the children with a non-threatening platform to connect with peers and have positive conversations. In addition, it exposes them to different people who can assist to broaden their perspectives.

L.S., a volunteer with the Reading Odyssey programme @ Spooner Road

中心“常胜将军”胡锦盛:比赛限时反应要快

现年92岁的胡锦盛是最年长的参赛者。自2017年退休后,他几乎每天都到活跃乐龄中心报到,从此爱上了玩拉密,每次可玩上三个小时,在中心是“常胜将军”。

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

Stories Of Impact

Equipping the marginalised to create a future for themselves

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John Doe
Lady in blue dress standing in front of vibrant yellow backdrop.

Photo credit: Bettr Group

When Zaza’s only daughter was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, Zaza felt lost and powerless to decide the fate of her child. Coupled with the ongoing process of a divorce, her situation grew more desperate, plunging her into depression and hopelessness. She had a diploma in pre-school education, and had to reject offers to further her studies due to her circumstances. It was desperation that kept the single mother going; it was all she could do to keep her head above water and not succumb to the overwhelming pressure.

‘I didn’t know what to do,’ Zaza recalls. ‘I was about to give up. Bettr Barista was my last hope of surviving towards becoming an independent, single parent. That was my last shot.’

Yet against all odds, Zaza has come far to become a Barista at The Social Space café, located in Kreta Ayer. This is all made possible by Bettr Barista (BB), a coffee academy whose mission is to empower the lives of marginalised women like Zaza through professional training and teaching them life management skills. Bettr Barista is a partner of the Learning Initiative for Employment (LIFT) Community Impact Fund, launched by the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) in July 2019.

LIFT aims to support programmes like Bettr Barista’s proprietary Holistic Training programme, which provides vocational training for marginalised women and youths at risk, equipping them with the skills to secure jobs in the open market.

Pamela Chng, CEO of Bettr Barista, first had dreams to start a business to do good when she left the tech industry after eight years.

‘I found myself burnt out because I derived little emotional satisfaction from my work. I knew I wasn’t motivated by money – I had realised this much earlier in my life,’ Pamela explains. ‘If I continued to work hard at a business, it had to mean more – to myself, and to society.’

Bettr Barista has certainly made an impact on many of the lives it has touched, including Zaza’s. As the first B Corp certified company in Singapore, it is BB’s mission along with 2,750 other B Corp companies around the world to redefine success as a business and use it as a force for good. These companies have a responsibility beyond just maximising profit, and must operate in an ethical manner that gives back to the community.

Unsurprisingly, Bettr Barista was named the social enterprise of the year in 2017, and 94% of their trainees found jobs upon graduating from the academy’s Holistic Training programme. Not only that, 80% gained improved self-confidence and emotional management skills after having gone through their training.

‘Confidence is the main factor I got. When I started with BB it was difficult in the beginning,’ Zaza says. ‘I had no confidence, only a sense of being lost and a lack of hope. The moral and financial support that BB gave me helped me get back on my two feet. Now I move forward and I will never let adversity control my life again.’

What started in 2011 has grown and developed into The Bettr Group. Apart from selling home-grown specialty coffee in Singapore, it now encompasses a training academy, retail products, events services, and social impact programmes. At the heart of it all is a social mission — to empower vulnerable groups and equip them with skills to create a future for themselves. Pamela hopes to bring Bettr Barista into the future through expanding into the rest of Southeast Asia to countries like the Philippines and Indonesia.

‘We want to diversify the social programmes that we can offer and to continue building partnerships and in-house capabilities to adapt our programmes to impact these populations,’ says Pamela. ‘Bettr Barista creates a positive impact in every ecosystem it operates in, and helps people maximise their potential to become better versions of themselves.’

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit dolor

The competition was organised by City Harvest Community Services Association and received support from FUN! Fund, a Community Impact Fund jointly established by the Community Foundation of Singapore and the Agency for Integrated Care, with the aim of addressing social isolation among the elderly.

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of National Development Mr Tan Kiat How attended the event. He encouraged the elderly to stay physically and mentally well, as well as urging them to participate in community activities and enjoy their golden years together.

Learn more about FUN! Fund at https://www.cf.org.sg/fun-fund/.

 

The programme provides the children with a non-threatening platform to connect with peers and have positive conversations. In addition, it exposes them to different people who can assist to broaden their perspectives.

L.S., a volunteer with the Reading Odyssey programme @ Spooner Road

中心“常胜将军”胡锦盛:比赛限时反应要快

现年92岁的胡锦盛是最年长的参赛者。自2017年退休后,他几乎每天都到活跃乐龄中心报到,从此爱上了玩拉密,每次可玩上三个小时,在中心是“常胜将军”。

Picture of admin bluecube
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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

Events

CFS Celebrates 15 Years of Enabling Philanthropy

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John Doe

On 14th February 2024, CFS marked its 15th Anniversary with a Chinese New Year “Lohei” (Prosperity Toss) celebration. The event was graced by Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth, and Minister of State for Trade and Industry, and gathered nearly 160 donors, charity partners, and business associates, both longstanding and new.

As a community foundation, we aspire to champion effective philanthropy with purposeful and informed givers, to uplift lives and catalyse positive change. We want to build communities that care and thrive together.

Unveiling the Sayang Sayang Fund Report was a great way to mark our 15th year, as it displayed the power of collective impact and love for our community. Established as an emergency response fund at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to support vulnerable groups, the Sayang Sayang Fund (SSF) impacted the lives of over 401,000 beneficiaries in Singapore. In a span of three years, an impressive $9.7 million was raised, showcasing the remarkable generosity and willingness of the community to offer their support.

As a philanthropic advisor and grantmaker, CFS links donors with well-governed charities that champion the causes closest to their hearts, to offer funding for beneficiaries to thrive. Two SSF grantees, ITE and Care Corner Singapore, shared about their programmes for lower-income students and children with learning difficulties and special needs respectively. Guests were then charmed by a captivating performance by two talented scholars from The TENG Company, which is also a CFS grantee for their Music for Wellness and Comfort initiative. 12-year-old Li Zhixin took command of the stage with a melodic piece on the Ruan, while Ee Anzhi, aged 11, held the audience in awe by masterfully sustaining a long tone on the Dizi using the highly challenging technique of circular breathing.

Q&A segment with Sayang Sayang Fund Grantees from Care Corner, Mr Christian Chao (left) and ITE, Mr Aw York Bin (right)
Li Zhixin, scholar from The TENG Company performing on the Ruan
Ee Anzhi, scholar from The TENG Company, performing on the Dizi

As the luncheon drew to a close, Ms Radha Basu, Senior Director of the Centre of Applied Philanthropy (CAP) at CFS invited donors and partners to participate in The Collective for a Stronger Society. Convened by CFS in partnership with MFS and Community Chest, the Collective will bring together donors, non-profits, public and private organisations to offer a coordinated series of cross-sector programmes and initiatives to uplift, enable and empower lower-income families. Find out more here.

We extend our gratitude to everyone who contributed to making this event a successful and memorable one. Here’s to many more years of impactful giving!

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

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