Stories Of Impact
Why Support Sports with Philanthropy?
wavy line banner

Stories Of Impact

Stories Of Impact

Why Support Sports with Philanthropy?

John Doe
John Doe

While philanthropy traditionally focuses on providing direct aid to those in need, its impact extends far beyond mere charity. Singapore owes much of its early development to philanthropists who made social investments in infrastructure, systems and people. In the case of sports, it can also be a driving force for national bonding and societal progress, nurturing a society where every member can thrive.

Singapore Badminton Players Loh Kean Kew and Yeo Jia Min posing with donor Karim Family Foundation at badminton court
L to R: Martin Andrew (SBA), Loh Kean Yew, Grace Chiong (KFF), Cindy Karim (KFF), Yeo Jia Min, Ashley Chan (CFS), Darrel Lim (CFS), Alan Ow (SBA)

While philanthropy traditionally focuses on providing direct aid to those in need, its impact extends far beyond mere charity. Singapore owes much of its early development to philanthropists who made social investments in infrastructure, systems and people. In the case of sports, it can also be a driving force for national bonding and societal progress, nurturing a society where every member can thrive.

Sports can unite the nation. It goes beyond gender, age and other factors, and brings us together. During COVID-19, Loh Kean Yew won the Badminton World Federation World Championships. That gave Singapore a lift in spirits. It gave everyone something to cheer about while we were cooped up at home.

In addition to fostering a sense of national pride, achieving success at international competitions serves to enhance Singapore’s global reputation. A vibrant competitive sports scene not only offers youths an alternative avenue to success but also yields numerous trickle-down benefits for community sports. These include promoting healthy lifestyles, instilling discipline in young individuals, and inspiring communities to embrace active living.

“Traditionally, sports development might be viewed as a national duty and the responsibility of government bodies,” says Ms Cindy Karim, principal of the Karim Family Foundation, a philanthropic foundation which contributes to sports development, arts & culture, mental health, and education. The family believes that philanthropy paired with government efforts can have a multiplier effect.

Support from the Karim Family Foundation 

In late 2021, the Karim family approached CFS to explore ways to support sports in Singapore. Ms Karim says, “We felt a deep concern for the underrepresentation of Southeast Asian athletes on the global stage.” Together with her father Bachtiar Karim, mother Dewi Sukwanto and brother Chayadi Karim, she established the Karim Family Foundation with the support of CFS.

When Loh Kean Yew won the BWF World Championships in December 2021, the Karim family asked CFS to facilitate a $200,000 contribution to the champion to support him and celebrate his achievements. “It takes much courage and sacrifice to dedicate oneself to pursuing excellence in badminton as a career. We hope that with our support, our national shuttlers won’t have to worry too much about the financial aspect. We hope they can be duly rewarded and celebrated for their achievements and focus all their energy on writing their own success story in time to come,” says Ms Karim.

When asked why she and her family chose to support badminton, Ms Karim says, “Growing up between Indonesia and Singapore, we have always felt a strong affinity to badminton as a sport. It has become a personal passion and mission to make badminton more widely known in professional sports.”

Challenges in Competitive Badminton

The Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) is the governing body for badminton in Singapore. It oversees the development of competitive badminton in Singapore and is dedicated to nurturing talent. Mr Ow, the CEO of SBA explains, “To reach world-class competition standards, players need to train and participate in competitions to develop their skills. Because there is only a small pool of players to compete against in local tournaments, overseas tournaments are essential for exposure to a wide range of high-calibre competitors.” However, overseas competitions require resources. Teams need sports and conditioning coaches and physiotherapists to accompany them. Expenses such as airfares, accommodations and tournament entry fees add to the hefty cost. Aspiring players often have to bear some of these expenses personally, which can be a barrier to realising their full potential.

Training and competition expenses are not the only financial constraints that players have. To succeed, competitive players must put in the hours, which frequently means committing to half a day of training, six days a week. The high training demands mean players end up sacrificing their studies or work, which can add to the financial strain.

Nurturing Talent in a Conducive Environment

CFS works closely with charity partners and donors to identify underserved needs that align with donors’ philanthropic goals. Working closely with the Karim family and the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA), CFS helped structure a funding arrangement that drives impact and excellence for future badminton stars. In May 2023, the Karim Family Foundation (KFF) donated $600,000 to fund the KFF-SBA Players’ Development Programme for three years. “We wish to support SBA’s ambitious efforts to elevate the sport in Singapore and internationally, and to build a strong pipeline of players. Our funding of the Players’ Development Programme is aimed at grooming players and enabling them to have as much exposure as possible by competing at the highest levels internationally,” says Ms Karim. Mr Ow estimates that the grant from KFF supports training and expenses for overseas competitions and training camps for about 40 players. The increased funding is expected to enable players to compete in approximately 50% more tournaments a year.

In addition to funding the development programme, the Karim family also contributed to the local competition scene as title sponsors of the KFF Singapore Badminton Open 2023, which brings world-class players to Singapore. “Through the excitement and hype of the event, we hope it will inspire future players,” says Ms Karim of KFF’s philanthropic strategy.

Championing Philanthropy for Sports

We hope that our work starts a perpetuating cycle of giving and support, and that with more philanthropic organisations coming forward, our national sports can earn its place amongst the reputable, celebrated sports of the world. Enabling players to achieve greater heights on the global stage bolsters Singapore’s standing as a vibrant community with talent and opportunities. We hope that in the long run, this effort will bring more exposure to the emerging talents within Southeast Asian professional sports.

She adds, “The process of setting up a Donor Advised Fund with CFS is simple, and donors can leverage the CFS team’s network, knowledge and expertise to be introduced to the right organisation that aligns with their philanthropic priorities. Having this option helps lower the barriers to entry and makes philanthropy more accessible.”

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”。

admin bluecube
admin bluecube

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.

News

The Peak Singapore: How responsible businesses can make their philanthropic dollars travel further

John Doe
John Doe
picture of CFS CEO Catherine Loh sitting on a chair

While more companies are heeding the call to give back to the community, selecting a worthy cause and monitoring the use of donations may be a complex task. That’s where the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) comes in. It helps corporations develop a long-term philanthropy strategy, find suitable charity partners, and track the outcome of donations.

“We help donors go beyond what they can do on their own, and identify charity partners who can provide accountability,” says Catherine Loh, CEO of CFS.

One way of creating greater impact is to look at fresh ways of addressing community needs, suggests Loh. Take UBS’ Diversity in Abilities arts education programme, which aims to develop the talents of children and youth with special needs. After attending the programme, participants are able to concentrate better and have an overall improvement in the pace of learning. Such potentially beneficial initiatives can be made possible only by corporations that have a higher appetite for risk and are willing to support them, says Loh.

In terms of managing charitable dollars, both donor and recipient must agree on how the money will be used, the duration of the funding and the kind/depth of reporting required, Loh says. More importantly, she adds, companies should adopt the mindset of a partner and view philanthropy as a “learning journey”.

“Just like any business project, things can go wrong. Sometimes, it could be a misreading of community needs, or there could be physical or manpower constraints faced by the charity. We hope to take corporates on a philanthropic journey, to help them gain insight into what it takes to make a meaningful change.” Read more.

admin bluecube
admin bluecube

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.

News

The CDA top-up programme: Giving support to pre-school children from low-income families

John Doe
John Doe
A diverse group of children and adults, all wearing masks, gather together in a united display of safety and responsibility.

Pre-schools are especially essential in providing a solid foundation for children to get an education, and to also build confidence and impart social skills, which will stay with them for life. As such, The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) is partnering with EtonHouse Community Fund (ECF) and the Ministry of Education (MOE) on a Child Development Account (CDA) top-up programme which will benefit around 1,300 pre-schoolers from low-income families this year.

This programme is facilitated by the inter-agency taskforce Uplifting Pupils in Life and Inspiring Families (UPLIFT) to provide eligible pre-schoolers with $500 this year and up to a cap of $1,500 over the next three years, with the government providing dollar-for-dollar matching contributions for the top-ups.

To qualify, the children must be enrolled in 57 pre-schools under seven selected operators, and their families must have a gross household income of $4,500 or less. CFS and ECF will be contributing a total of $1 million to the CDA top-up programme over the next three years.

The seven operators are: E-Bridge Pre-School, Iyad Perdaus Child Development, Kidz Meadow Childcare and Development Centre, PPIS Child Development Centre, Presbyterian Community Services, Super Talent Childcare and YWCA Child Development Centre.

Along with Second Minister for Education Dr Maliki Osman, CFS CEO Catherine Loh paid a visit to partner operator E-Bridge Pre-School’s Punggol Large Childcare Centre on 8 October 2020 to mark the launch of the programme and to celebrate Children’s Day.

“We have a responsibility to strengthen our social safety nets to ensure no child gets left behind. This is why this collaboration is such a wonderful opportunity for CFS and our donors to uplift children from low-income families,” says Catherine.

“I hope that this CDA top-up programme can encourage more low-income families to enrol their children into pre-schools. I also hope that it can provide additional support to needy families during this difficult period by defraying child-raising expenses,’’ says Dr Maliki Osman.

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”。

admin bluecube
admin bluecube

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.

News

Business Times: UBS, CampVision mentor 100 youths

John Doe
John Doe
Group of people posing with President Halimah Yacob

President Halimah Yacob presented 100 youths with certificates after they graduated from the UBS-CampVision Lead Academy programme last Saturday.

The Lead programme partners youths with volunteer mentors from UBS to help them develop effective communication skills and self-leadership. The bank also engages executive leadership coaches to facilitate the learning process.

The programme is made up of 11 sessions conducted over six months. In addition to skills training, both youths and volunteer mentors are guided to develop and achieve personal goals relating to communication or self-leadership.

Since 2014, more than 230 UBS staff and 700 youths have participated in UBS-CampVision related events.

This year, over 40 volunteer mentors partnered 100 youths, aged 13 to 16 years, from seven schools.

“At UBS Singapore, we believe that we have a responsibility to the local community and we are honoured to help groom Singapore’s next generation through the Lead programme,” said Teo Say Lie, the country operating officer of UBS Singapore.

The UBS-CampVision Lead Academy is the cornerstone of UBS’ youth engagement efforts throughout the year.

Among the highlights are the Race Around the Marina Bay team-building event in January for underprivileged youths, which lets them learn about teamwork and leadership.

The Community Foundation of Singapore also helps to facilitate the partnership between UBS and CampVision, as well as the development of the Lead programme.
Read more.

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”。

admin bluecube
admin bluecube

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.

Opinion

Charting your legacy

John Doe
John Doe
CFS CEO Catherine Loh giving a speech

I think we can all agree every individual has something unique to give back and offer to society. And yet, when thinking about legacy, how often do we realise that every action we take, however large or small, is actually creating our legacy? Perhaps some of us believe legacy giving is only for wealthier individuals, or that legacy giving can only be defined in financial terms.

It’s important to realise legacy is much more than just financial in nature. Your legacy also includes your personal or business values, the values you have inculcated in your children. It encompasses the giving of your time, expertise and even your resources to empower someone in need. Think about creating a legacy as living a life of generosity, in ways that make meaningful social impact while aligning to your values.

If you’re passionate about a cause, you don’t need to wait until you’re richer, older and retired to start thinking about taking action. Today, with technology, new giving channels and opportunities for collaboration with a wider community are already available and being created each day. As a donor in this exciting era of knowledge-sharing, there are many opportunities to learn about causes you care about and how you can contribute.

For some of you, you might be moving on from ‘success’ to ‘significance’. “How will I be remembered in a hundred years’ time?” “How can I leave a better world for future generations?” As two prominent families shared at our recent CRIB x CFS Legacy and Impact event, leaving a legacy also means preparing your next generation to become responsible stewards of your family’s culture of giving. This often means setting up a framework and sharing your family’s values, so that your children are empowered to continue the good work you have begun.

If you’re wondering how you could start to plan for legacy giving, here are three key ideas to help you along your journey:

Start the conversation
Identify your interests, values and the impact you want to make, so that you can find a focus for your giving.

Consider your structure
Setting up a fund helps to structure your philanthropic activity, improve strategic decision-making and better measure outcomes.

View philanthropy as a journey of learning
Learn more about issues on the ground, what the real needs are, and what are more strategic ways to make a change.

Many of our donors at CFS began from a place where they may not have had extensive histories in giving, but they have embarked on a journey to learn how they could chart their legacy, one action at time. I hope you will discover how philanthropy can be your way of life.

Catherine Loh
CEO
Community Foundation of Singapore

admin bluecube
admin bluecube

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.

Trending Stories

Scroll to Top