Events
CFS Celebrates 15 Years of Enabling Philanthropy
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Events

Events

CFS Celebrates 15 Years of Enabling Philanthropy

John Doe
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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News

Coutts million dollar donor report 2015

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John Doe
Coutts Logo

The Coutts Million Dollar Report produced in association with the Community Foundation of Singapore tracks trends in donations of $1 million and above made by individuals, foundations and corporations in Singapore and around the world. The findings of the 2015 report provide valuable insight into major giving over the course of 2014. While the combined figures did not match those of the previous year, the overall message of major philanthropy remains a positive one, with education being a popular recipient of donations across the world. In addition to presenting and analysing the findings, the report also includes case studies of million dollar donors including our Board member Keith Chua

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

The Straits Times – Fund marks 20 years of marriage for couple

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John Doe
Ms Trina Liang-Lin on a couch posing for a photo

About six months before Ms Trina Liang-Lin’s 20th wedding anniversary on June 2016, she mulled over how to make the occasion meaningful.

“My husband and I did not want just another party,” said Ms Liang-Lin, 47, managing director of investment research consulting firm Templebridge Investments.

She is married to Mr Ed Lin, 49, partner and director of the Singapore office of Bain & Company, a global management consultancy.

The couple have no children.

“We wanted to do something meaningful that can last beyond a party,” she added.

Her friend Laurence Lien, chairman of the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS), suggested she organise regular donations to charity under a common fund, which the foundation could help to run. “We liked the idea. It saves us the work and resources needed to set up a private foundation,” she said.

In early 2016, the Lin Foundation was set up under the umbrella of the CFS with a six-figure sum, she said.

The fund has given money to the Singapore Committee for UN Women, a non-profit organisation that promotes women’s empowerment and gender equality, of which Ms Liang-Lin is the president.

The committee supports the work of UN Women, the United Nations body that promotes gender equality and fights discrimination against women. The fund has also given money to the Singapore Management University, the Singapore Repertory Theatre and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

These were causes that she picked when the fund was set up.

On more younger, wealthy people like her setting up charity funds, Ms Liang-Lin said: “Increasingly, people are realising that they don’t have to wait till they are older or richer to give back and make an impact.”
Read more.

Photo: The Straits Times

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.

Events

FutureChina Global Forum: CFS CEO Advocates for the Integration of Philanthropy into Wealth Management Strategies

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John Doe
Catherine Loh Speaking

What is the civic responsibility of wealthy individuals and corporations?

What are the ways they can include philanthropy in their wealth management strategies to create a lasting impact on society?

These thought-provoking questions were discussed in a dynamic panel session titled “Strategic Philanthropy – Enabling Wealth for Lasting Impact” at the FutureChina Global Forum 2023, which was attended by over 800 business leaders. The panel comprised CFS CEO Ms Catherine Loh, Mr Feng Lun, Founder of the Vantone Group and Chairman of the Yufeng Group; Mr Laurence Lien, Chairman and Acting CEO of Asia Philanthropy Circle; and Mr Lionel Li Xiaobo, Founder and Chairman of the Li Foundation, and was moderated by Mr Zhou Zhaocheng, Chairman of Super Hi International Holding Ltd.

Catherine highlighted that even in an affluent society, certain needs and gaps would require philanthropic support. Besides supporting basic needs, philanthropists can also provide catalytic capital for innovative programmes, anticipating the problems of the future and solving them, for example, the Lien Foundation funds research to delay ageing and reduce the number of years people spend living in ill health.

She emphasised there are many ways civil society can work with the government and charitable organisations to solve complex social issues together. Other than financial donations, philanthropists can also contribute their expertise, corporate resources, and mentorship to create solutions. 

She highlighted that as part of the recently announced government-led initiative Forward SG, CFS will lead a collaborative effort aimed at strengthening Singapore’s social compact. Under the collective, diverse stakeholders will come together, pooling their expertise and resources to tackle issues such as social mobility, employment disruptions caused by technological changes, the implications of an ageing society, and other pertinent issues.

Are you passionate about supporting causes you care about? Let us help you understand the needs and recommend relevant programs. Find out more at https://www.cf.org.sg/giving/ways-to-give/


The FutureChina Global Forum is Asia’s most prestigious bilingual international forum, attended by more than 800 distinguished business leaders, public figures, experts, and thought leaders from Singapore, China, and neighbouring areas. The 14th edition, themed “Pathway to Clarity – Charting the Future”, brought together 37 leading experts to dissect developmental trends driving China’s economy on 27th October.

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.

Opinion

Speech by Chairman Laurence Lien at CFS’s 10th anniversary celebrations

John Doe
John Doe
Chairman Laurence Lien Speaking in front of the stage

Thank you all for joining us in this celebration.

CFS was first incorporated on 8 September 2008; hence our 10th birthday celebrations now. Lehman Brother collapsed on 15 September 2008, so we are also commemorating 10 years of the Global Financial Crisis.

I spoke of how we were born in bad times at our Chinese New Year luncheon in March. I will not repeat what I said, except to emphasise again how difficult it was to start up. It was difficult to hire, because we were a start-up doing something novel here. Donors didn’t want to talk to us. And there were even people in the sector who did not want us to exist, as they saw us as competition for funds.

Surviving those early days was a minor miracle. I was there at the start so I have my war stories. Frankly, before I became the CEO of NVPC in 2008, the first job that then Chairman of NVPC, Stanley Tan, offered me was not the NVPC one, but to be the first CEO of CFS.  I rejected it, and took the NVPC one instead. But little did I know that after the first six months, I was to do both jobs, and became the acting CEO for nearly four years.

So there we were at the start helping donors give strategically, bridging them with charities, providing donor advice, grantmaking expertise and back end administration. What we still do today.

Writing a cheque is not difficult at all; but giving well is. In my years at NVPC, I kept hearing from people that they wanted to give, but did not know how. They didn’t know where the social needs were, or how to assess charities and programmes. So we helped them, cut out the hassle and thereby increasing the joy of giving.

But being a good idea is not enough. People had to believe that we could do what we said we would. We spent the best of our first five years just building credibility. And 10 years on, I am very proud of what we have built.

Catherine has already mentioned the numbers. Let me just include two more. One, at least three of our donors have gone on to form their own foundations. This to me is a sign that we have helped these donors learn and mature, and we can let them go on to do greater things. Two, when we conducted a comprehensive ‘Donor and Grantee Perception Survey’ a few years back, we had very high donor satisfaction ratings – with 83% satisfaction rates and 93% saying that they would recommend CFS services to others. But satisfaction among our grantee charities was even better: 94% rated CFS as efficient and effective. This shows that we are able to be close to the charities and help them bridge effectively to our donors.

As someone who has been so actively involved in the growing CFS, I am extremely proud of what we have achieved in these 10 years.

To come this far, there are many people I would like to thank, especially those who were there during our early years:

  • Our first Chairman Stanley Tan who not only was the architect and founding chair of CFS for its first five years till 22 Aug 2013, but he was also single-handedly responsible for bringing in the first $15 million in pledges.
  • The other founding board members – J Y Pillay, David Lim, Mary Ann Tsao, Kwek Siew Jin. As a young start-up, donors would typically ask who is on the board. When we mention J Y Pillay, they would immediately say, okay, I know I can trust you.
  • All staff who have helped make CFS’s first 1,000 days, without whom, we could not possibly be successful I would like to single out two amongst us today. Yvonne Yu who joined us in January 2009 and Joyce Teo who joined us in March 2009.
  • All our donors, particularly our founding donors who gave us a chance like Stanley Tan and MILK Fund, William and Mary Bird, Simon Cheong and UBS. We also have in our midst Yeoh Keng Joon, Vivien Goh, Changi Airport Group, Ascendas-Singbridge and the family of former President S R Nathan, who have all been strong supporters of CFS for many years. In fact, Mr Nathan officially launched CFS in February 2009, and subsequently trusted us with his S R Nathan Education Upliftment Fund which is now over $10 million in size and has helped over 1000 students.
  • Our international advisory council members – Clare Brooks, Eileen Heisman, Anne Boyd and Bob Edgar. These people had so much experience, and they were incredibly generous to give us time to share and guide us. Whenever we had a difficult question, we would shoot it to one of them, and we would almost always get a detailed and insightful reply within 24 hours. They were simply amazing.

And the many others who came along and played their invaluable role in making us the success that we are today. Thank you all of you. This has truly been a community effort, and I am privileged to have been part of that journey.

What would the next 10 years look like for CFS? Moving forward, I believe there is still much work there needs to be done. I think CFS has only reached out to a small fraction of our addressable market. CFS has grown rapidly, but the number of people with significant means and who want to give strategically have increased substantially.

What is my own vision for CFS in 2028?

One, that we be at the forefront of community philanthropy, that we build this sense that the many communities in Singapore can come together to solve our own problems, without always looking to the government. I hope that in 2028, we will see mini community foundations in our neighbourhoods, in places like Toa Payoh, Queenstown and Punggol.

Two, that we have democratised giving. Giving is not only for the rich; everyone should and can give. I hope to see young adults start donor advised funds with us, at smaller amounts of commitment, and our collective funds grow with widespread contributions.

Three, I hope to see CFS raise $1 billion in donor funds, maybe not in 10 years’ time, but at some point in the future.  I believe we are at an inflection point. As we grow legacy giving, we are planting seeds for growth that will bear fruit in the future. I hope to encourage Singaporeans to give when we are alive and able to enjoy giving.

But this is my own vision. Over the next few months, we will be transitioning to a new chair.  We already know who the new chair is but will announce only a little later. So the new chair, together with the board, will develop and own the vision for the next 10 years. I can only step back and cheer them on.

All I know is this. CFS has come so far. Moving forward, CFS is well-positioned to continue to grow from strength to strength. We count on you present today, to continue journeying with us, to grow this community of givers. We all are part owners of CFS because we are all the part of the Singapore community. Be engaged. Broaden and deepen our community. Give more. And invite me back in 2028.

Thank you.

Laurence Lien
Chairman
Community Foundation of Singapore

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.

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