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CFS Philanthropy Forum 2019: Looking to the future of community philanthropy
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CFS Philanthropy Forum 2019: Looking to the future of community philanthropy

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At the CFS Philanthropy Forum 2019 held on 18 March, over 100 guests – including donors, charities and partners – gathered to hear from leaders and experts on what lies ahead for community philanthropy.

Headlining the evening was keynote speaker Eileen Heisman, President and CEO of National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), the largest independent donor advised fund (DAF) administrator in the United States. In her dynamic speech, Eileen – a founding member of CFS’s international advisory committee – shared NPT’s amazing journey to raising more than US$13 billion in charitable contributions, and encouraged all in attendance to rise to the challenge of taking local philanthropy to new heights.

Following her speech, Eileen was joined by Dr June Lee, Honorary Research Fellow, Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy (ACSEP) at the National University of Singapore, and moderator Laurence Lien, Chairman of CFS, in an engaging panel discussion on how DAFs enable smarter, better giving by helping donors give more thought to the purpose of their charitable dollars.

Referring to how DAFs are gaining rising interest in Asia, Eileen commented, “A lot of people have chosen donor advised funds because they want something that’s easy, turnkey, relatively inexpensive and can be adapted to changing interests. Donors have many different types of philanthropic goals, so with a DAF, they can shape the fund according to their preferences and they can change their giving focuses over time.”

June noted DAFs offered specific advantages for families looking to give. “In a recent research paper published by ACSEP, we found that one of the biggest question families ask is ‘how do we engage family members in our giving?’” Setting up a DAF allows a founder to set aside funds for philanthropy without burdening his or her children financially, she adds, while also allowing flexibility down the line when a founder’s children wish to pursue to a different charitable cause from their parents.

Remarking on the opportunities ahead for community philanthropy, Eileen cited the growth of two major trends: micro donor advised funds targeting millennials, and new services enabling direct payroll deductions into donor advised funds. “These trends will change the face of donor advised funds as we go forward,” she said.

She challenged CFS to tap on these wider trends to expand its offerings, “As someone who’s very much invested in CFS’s success, I would like to see CFS be creative and thoughtful about expanding the horizon for donors and the community of Singapore to express their philanthropy in different and new ways.”

In his closing remarks, Laurence commented, “It’s clear DAFs are a trend that can’t be turned back. DAFs are there for us to use, to promote, and the only direction is up.”

The evening ended on a poignant note as CFS announced the handover of its chairmanship from Laurence to Christine Ong who takes over as Chairman on 1 April.

Indeed, CFS has come full circle and we are so grateful for the guidance, trust and support we have received over the last decade.

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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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Business Times: Preserving a century-old legacy of giving

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A snapshot of a newspaper Business Times: Preserving a century-old legacy of giving

Following his great-grandmother’s footsteps, Keith Chua set up a charitable fund to carry on his family’s legacy of giving through the generations.

To Keith Chua, the boy, she was the stern matriarch of their large, Peranakan family, to be approached with deference. To the older and bolder teenager, she drew closer – the great-grandmother glad to chat about his day over tea or a shared meal.

But only years after, as an established entrepreneur with a family of his own, did Mr Chua truly feel the impact of her life on his own, thanks to the impact Mrs Lee Choon Guan had had on others.

“It was a rediscovery,” Mr Chua says, about encountering in the pages of a 1920s history book a side to his great-grandmother that he had not known, years after her death in 1978.

Growing up, naturally, he had heard stories from his mother. One of these, about Mrs Lee’s role in raising funds to contribute a fighter plane to the World War 1 effort, made it into a school composition of his on “A Person You Most Admire”.

But it was not till the mid-1980s, after being appointed as a co-trustee to the Mrs Lee Choon Guan Trust Fund his mother started that Mr Chua read for himself the book she had spoken so much about.

Discovering a legacy of giving

“It became quite clear that she was a pioneer in many ways,” Mr Chua, 65, says.

In One Hundred Years’ History of the Chinese in Singapore, he learnt of how, as one of the few Chinese girls to get an English education and a member of high-society, Mrs Lee sought to open doors for other women in the early 1900s.

Also known as Madam Tan Teck Neo, she was the founding president of the Chinese Ladies Association (now the Chinese Women’s Association), running classes for young women and raising funds for charities.

Women and children, healthcare and education – these were causes Mrs Lee cared deeply for. She gave out numerous scholarships to girls, donated to the building of the St Andrew’s Hospital for Women and Children, and funded the activities of the Society for the Protection of Women and Children. For her volunteer work and giving during the First World War, she was the first Chinese woman to be made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1918.

Moved by the glimpses of her trailblazing giving recorded in the book, Mr Chua has since acquired an autographed edition that is now a treasured possession for what it symbolises – a legacy of giving to be kept alive.

“To me, the process of discovery, rediscovery, has been a continuing one,” says Mr Chua. The family is still adding to what they know of Mrs Lee’s life and legacy, “all these little pockets of seeds that were planted”. Such as the family giving funds in 1924 to start Katong Girls’ School (today’s Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Primary School) – a fact they only recently stumbled upon.

Among other causes, the trust fund supports tertiary-level programmes on philanthropy at the NUS Business School’s Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy (ACSEP).

Down through the generations
In 2011, he set up the Mrs Lee Choon Guan Fund with the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) to carry on his family’s legacy of giving through the generations. Managed as an endowment, the fund’s principal amount is invested and income earned is then given to various causes.

The aim is not merely to build historical knowledge, but to perpetuate the legacy of giving. “I have the opportunity, at this point in time, to put some thought and action into encouraging the continuation of her legacy. So that, hopefully, it will continue with some degree of active participation by future generations,” says Mr Chua.

“In continuing the legacy of my great-grandmother, I looked at how she approached philanthropy in her time and tried to include some of her practices in what I’m doing today. It has indeed come full circle.”

Some of the causes the fund supports today bear the mark of Mrs Lee’s charitable interests – education and healthcare initiatives. Others reflect evolving needs in society that Mr Chua himself is passionate about.

Indeed, Mr Chua is known as much these days for his work in philanthropic circles as he is in business ones.

The executive chairman of ABR Holdings, which owns Swensen’s and Chilli Padi among other food and beverage brands, Mr Chua is also managing director of the Alby group of companies in Singapore and Australia. He hails from a line of businessmen too – his grandfather, the late Chua Cheng Liat, is one of the Chua brothers behind car dealership Cycle & Carriage.

Today, actively involved in various community, church and missions agencies, he sits on the boards of the National Council of Social Service and CFS.

“Part of why I’m doing this today, is in the hope that the wider family, beyond just my siblings and children through to my cousins, my nephews and nieces, and their children, will come to appreciate the legacy that my great-grandmother has left for all of us.”

Apart from his great-grandmother, Mr Chua cites the influence of his parents’ generosity and his Christian faith as two other defining forces behind his philanthropy journey.

“[With my parents], it wasn’t so much them saying, ‘This is how you do it.’ It was watching them in action, responding generously to requests for help, seeing how they lived their lives,” says Mr Chua.

And that was the starting point for him and his wife too: sharing with their four children what they do and why, modelling a life of giving in the hope that their children would themselves see the value of giving.

One reason Mr Chua decided to set up the fund with CFS was to ensure that future generations would be able to continue the family’s philanthropic work. He says, “The objective of CFS flowed nicely with ours of wanting to continue the legacy of giving. It allows family members to be involved and ensure that funds for the community will carry on.”

Taking it a step further, he has been intentional about involving his children, whose ages now range between 22 and 32, in his philanthropic engagements. In recent years, this has included trips across Southeast Asia to learn from and explore partnerships with non-profits, charities and social entrepreneurs.

Having sown those seeds, he has since had the satisfaction of watching each child “doing something in their own way”, whether via professional or personal pursuits, to give to the community.

An evolving philosophy of giving
Mr Chua says his own approach to philanthropy has evolved over the years.

From viewing philanthropy primarily as responding to appeals for monetary gifts, he began getting involved with charities and volunteering his time. That involvement got him thinking about how he could make a difference with his own skills.

“Coming from a business, finance background, I felt I was able to bring that to the area of social entrepreneurship to encourage entrepreneurship, and help to share business models, my personal experiences,” says Mr Chua.

Asked what he has gained from years of intentional giving, Mr Chua is first introspective: “I would like to think that the engagement in all these years of philanthropy has gradually moved me from thinking more of myself, to thinking more of others.”

“Along with that, of course, is that it brings a wonderful feeling if you can bring joy and help someone else,” he adds.

“I believe everyone can give. Whether in terms of resources, time or talent… I would embrace all forms of participation. The most important thing for me is to encourage others to take that first step, whatever that first step is.”

Looking forward, Mr Chua says, “The seed of philanthropy was planted by the generations before me. Now, with the structure of CFS, the funds will carry on past my lifetime. Once you’ve set certain things in place, you can bring the next generation along for the ride, and trust them with the responsibility when it’s their turn.”

After all, Mrs Lee Choon Guan’s first steps into philanthropy led to her leaving a century-old legacy of giving that has spanned four generations and, if Mr Chua has his wish, countless more to come.

Source: Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings 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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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

The Funding Network (TFN)

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Bright moon illuminating serene city park.

The Funding Network (TFN) is an innovative, inspiring and rewarding way for donors to make a real, positive difference to the community. The programme offers charitable organisations the opportunity to pitch their cause to a group or corporation to secure crowdfunding and mentoring as well as expand their donor base and network. TFN makes it possible for individuals, foundations and corporations to give collectively in increments starting from S$50, with an aim to raise at least S$10,000 for the non-profit. Here are some projects TFN successfully supported:

  • GoLi – The Moving Theatre

GoLi is a travelling theatre that goes around Singapore transforming community spaces into vibrant places for arts and culture. In 2014, the group secured funding from The Funding Network and other sponsors to kickstart the design and construction of an inflatable pop-up theatre. After a technical trial conducted in November 2014 to test its robustness, GoLi embarked on designing a second structure with a larger and more flexible capacity. The inflatable theatre finally made its official debut outside Toa Payoh Community Library at the Singapore International Festival of Arts in July 2015. 

  • Groceries With Love on Wheels (GLOW)

The National University of Singapore Society (NUSS) initiated Groceries With Love on Wheels in 2010 to deliver basic necessities to low-income and house-bound residents. On 7 June 2014, more than 550 volunteers distributed grocery bags to 3,000 needy recipients identified by People’s Association.

  • Lunch treats for the elderly

Dignity Kitchen takes the elderly and needy out for meaningful city tours and meals. The tours bring them to places of interest and nostalgia complete with a special lunch prepared by Dignity Kitchen. In April 2014, the social enterprise secured funding through TFN which enabled them to work with 18 eldercare centres and nursing homes to bring some 708 seniors out for a treat. 

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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News

Our Annual Report 2022 is now available for download

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We are proud to announce that the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) Annual Report 2022 has been published.

Download your copy here to learn more about the year’s highlights and our impact on the community.

Amid continued disruption from COVID-19 and the uneven recovery that followed, we took transformative action to push forward with our donors, charities and partners. We saw a record number of new funds and unprecedented donor generosity. Together, our grantmaking supported the immediate and emergent needs of our beneficiaries and partners.

For the financial year ended 31 March 2022, CFS received a record of $46.6 million in donations. We welcomed 37 givers to our community through the establishment of 24 new donor-advised funds (DAFs). $18.3 million in grants was made to 240 organisations and 14 individuals during the financial year.

The Annual Report contains the following information:

  • Corporate Information
  • Growth in Recent Years
  • Impact Highlights and Transformation
  • Corporate Sustainability
  • Forward Vision
  • Governance and Policies
  • Financial Statements
  • Grantees List

CFS is committed to working with donors, charities, partners and various sector leaders in the ecosystem to build a more vibrant, inclusive and caring Singapore. To find out more about CFS, get in touch with us.

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Fresh off the press

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Annual report 2018
In financial year 2018, CFS received a total of $9.7 million in donations. We disbursed $12.4 million worth of grants to 186 charitable organisations supporting various causes. This year’s annual report also showcases CFS’s latest donor advised funds, grantmaking highlights, collaborative giving initiatives and recent events.
Download your copy here.

A Call for Collaborative Giving
This first Colabs publication – a collaboration between CFS and NVPC – sheds light on the challenges disadvantaged young persons face at home, and the impact of the family environment on educational attainment and social mobility. The guide offers suggestions on collaborative action to help givers close the gap for these individuals.
Download your copy here.

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”。

Picture of 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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