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CFS signs Memorandum of Understanding with the Bank of Singapore
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Events

CFS signs Memorandum of Understanding with the Bank of Singapore

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cfs and bank of singapore memorandum signing ceremony

The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) is pleased to share that we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Bank of Singapore. Through this collaboration, Bank of Singapore clients can partner with CFS, where we will provide them with the expertise and insight into Singapore’s charitable landscape to support their clients’ philanthropic goals and make an impact in local communities. The MOU aims to inspire philanthropic giving to help address the social and environmental challenges in Singapore.


The photo was taken at the MOU signing ceremony between Bahren Shaari, CEO of Bank of Singapore and Catherine Loh, CEO of The Community Foundation of Singapore. The ceremony was witnessed by Theresa Cheong, Head of Partnerships of The Community Foundation of Singapore and Zubin Dabu, Market Head & Chair of Bank of Singapore ESG Forum. Fund raising appeals will not be conducted by Bank of Singapore for CFS.

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Events

Giving through the generations

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Increasingly, individuals and family businesses are consciously looking at ways to create positive social impact through philanthropy – but in today’s world, what does creating a legacy mean from divergent perspectives, from individuals to families, from parent to child?

Last November, the CRIB x CFS Legacy and Impact cocktail event brought two prominent families, with extensive histories of giving, together with philanthropists and social capital investors to reflect upon these questions.

Moderated by Patsian Low, the panelists included Richard Eu, Chairman of Eu Yan Sang and his daughter Rebecca; and Keith Chua, Executive Chairman of ABR Holdings (and CFS board member), and his daughter Sharon.

To kick off the evening, Catherine Loh, CEO of the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS), reflected upon the challenge facing families today. “When it comes to creating a family legacy, it’s about understanding how to bridge the different concerns and interests of each generation, and trying to align giving to key values,” she commented.

While members of the older generation might be more focused on passing on family values, Catherine observed, the younger generation is keen to explore new approaches to giving. “Many of our next generation donors have a strong social consciousness and feel they don’t need to wait until they’re richer, older and retired to start thinking about giving back,” she said.

Though her family has traditionally supported education and healthcare, Rebecca Eu struck a chord when she shared how she started social enterprise Love, Mei in a vastly different field, helping victims of human trafficking in the Phillipines. “I don’t think legacy is limited to your blood ties,” she proposed, “Instead, legacy moves on with the project you adopt and the people that you work with.”

Reflecting today’s shift towards strategic philanthropy, Sharon Chua shared how her professional experience with philanthropy advisory has empowered her to become a better steward of her family’s wealth. “I learnt how to evaluate impact, the sustainability of projects, and how to forage good partnerships, and that helps with my own family’s philanthropy. I’ve always believed philanthropy is something you need to be personally engaged and committed to,” she shared.

One audience member posed a question to both fathers on how they would manage their children’s future giving decisions to avoid conflict.

Richard espoused offering broad guidelines to one’s children and suggested “storytelling” as a way of passing on family values. “When your family is used to hearing stories, such as why your great grandfather did certain things, it becomes ingrained in your family’s DNA. The legacy you leave behind is not about having a building or place named after you, but the lives that you impact.”

Keith reflected on his role as a trustee for the giving of earlier generations, and proposed older family members play a key role in “setting mechanisms in place” for the next generation.

Keith said, “CFS provided us with an avenue to create a fund to leave something behind for the next generation and share it with our wider family. Under this structure, the funds will carry on for a certain period of time. 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.”

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Business Times: UBS, CampVision mentor 100 youths

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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.

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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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Events

CFS wins Charity Transparency Award for the second time

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It is important that we continue to work together to foster a safe giving environment for Singaporeans, so that we can support the causes we believe in. So that Singaporeans can step forward to support the causes that they believe in with a peace of mind.

For the second time, the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) is greatly honoured to have won the Charity Transparency Award at the Charity Transparency and Governance Awards 2022. The accolade, given out by the Charity Council, recognises CFS’s exemplary disclosure and transparency practices. 

CFS was one of 85 charities that received the Charity Transparency Awards this year. This is the highest tally since the awards were launched in 2016 and is an encouraging sign that more charities are implementing better transparency practices. The record number also indicates that disclosure and accountability standards are strengthening in Singapore’s philanthropic sector. 

The ceremony was held on 9 November 2022 and Mr Edwin Tong, Minister of Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Law graced the occasion. Our Chairperson, Ms. Christine Ong, received the award from the Commissioner of Charities, Mr. Desmond Chin. Organised by the Charity Council, the Charity Transparency and Governance Awards lauds nonprofits for their stellar efforts in upholding governance and building public trust in the sector. 

At CFS, transparency is a critical element of the philanthropic equation. “Transparency builds trust and ultimately leads to better engagement and giving,” says Catherine Loh, CEO of CFS. “We believe in being open about our organisation, performance, priorities, and impact and communicating this clearly with all stakeholders. As a leading foundation and grantmaker, CFS is grateful to be a repeat winner of the Charity Transparency Award. We will continue to strive for the highest standards of transparency to honour the trust placed in us by our donors and to continuously improve to better serve our charity partners, funders, and the wider public,” she adds. 

Since our inception in 2012, good corporate governance has been a central pillar of our operations and management. CFS is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of experienced and dedicated professionals from the private, public, and social services sectors. The Board ensures that CFS’s work is effective and responsible, monitors outcomes, and is accountable to donors and regulators. 

As an organisation that bridges donors and charities, CFS is committed to uplifting standards and sharing knowledge within the philanthropic ecosystem in Singapore. We regularly make available information about our activities, programmes, operations, audited financials, Board, and management through our annual reports, website, and social media pages. 

CFS is thankful to our Board of Directors for their expert guidance and leadership, which has helped transform us into a leading philanthropic intermediary in Singapore. We would also like to thank our many partners, our growing community of donors, and our supporters for their continued trust in our work to make giving more accessible and impactful.

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CFS is 3rd largest philanthropic foundation in Singapore

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They were immigrants who became titans of industry and philanthropists in their own right. Now the legacies endowed by and named for some of Singapore’s richest tycoons – the Lee, Lien and Shaw foundations – continue to be some of the biggest givers to charity here.

All three were among Singapore’s 10 largest philanthropic foundations, according to a report released last month.

The report found that the 10 spent a total of $189 million in their latest financial year to support a range of causes, from community service to education, to disaster relief.

The study by Soristic Impact Collective, a consultancy firm, said the Lee Foundation, founded by the late rubber tycoon Lee Kong Chian in 1952, topped the list.

In its latest financial year, it spent $52.8 million, of which $52 million was given out in grants and donations.

The Lee Foundation is said to give to a wide variety of causes, including education, healthcare and social services.

Temasek Foundation Innovates, one of six Temasek foundations, was second on the list. In its latest financial year, it had an annual expenditure of $29.2 million, of which $28.6 million was given out in grants and donations, according to the report.

Taking third place was the Community Foundation of Singapore, which spent $23.3 million in its latest financial year. Of the sum, $20.2 million was given out in grants and donations.

Donors pledge at least $200,000 to set up a fund with the foundation, which then manages the money, advises donors on various needs in the community and disburses the funds according to the donors’ wishes.

Ms Pauline Tan, principal consultant of Soristic Impact Collective, said the study is the first to rank philanthropic foundations in Singapore by expenditure.

Ms Tan said that countries like the United States and Britain have reports that rank their top philanthropic foundations, but there was no such research in Singapore.

She said: “Thus, we took on the challenge to work on gathering data to bring more transparency into this sector.

“The research will also be useful for charities in Singapore who can potentially use it to know which philanthropic foundations they can approach for funding.”

The consultancy scoured the annual reports and other public documents of foundations registered as charities with the Commissioner of Charities.

It found 91 philanthropic foundations whose work was funded by the founders’ personal wealth or by donations made by the company that set up the foundation.

Among the 91 foundations, 55 were set up by individuals or families and 20 were started by companies. The rest include other set-ups like The Hokkien Foundation and the Community Foundation of Singapore.

About a third of the 91 foundations spent at least $1 million in their latest financial year – this could be from 2018 to last year, depending on the foundation. The rest of the foundations spent less than $1 million.

Ms Tan said the foundations’ expenditure included grants and donations as well as manpower costs and other expenses to carry out the philanthropic work.

The report stated: “Philanthropic giving through foundations is set to grow as more wealthy individuals and companies set up foundations.

“Hence, the influence and role of philanthropic foundations in addressing needs in the community is set to grow.”

To make an impact with your giving, read more here.

This article was originally published in The Straits Times here. Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

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