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

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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.

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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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Stories Of Impact

Life after winning the 2020 Goh Soon Tioe Centenary Award: Natalie Koh’s pursuit of a career in musical excellence

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a woman playing a violin

Winning the Goh Soon Tioe Centenary Award in 2020 was a pleasant surprise for talented violinist Natalie Koh, who was not usually recognised for her solo performances and had to prepare for the Award’s audition just after last year’s circuit breaker without any formal instruction.

“I am deeply honoured to have received the Goh Soon Tioe Centenary Award in 2020. Violin playing has always been something that I am very passionate about, although my growth and achievements have not always been a given,” says Natalie. 

“A lot of conscientious and diligent work was put into moulding myself into the musician that I am currently and that I am proud to be.”

Since then, the budding musician has kept herself busy and forged determinedly ahead in her musical career. These included performing in digital concert recordings, teaching the violin at Forte Musicademy as a private violin teacher, and engaging with the special needs community through various community art activities.

Apart from keeping a hectic schedule as a performer, Natalie also spends much time imparting her love of music to the next generation of budding musicians — serving as a Teaching Assistant in her Alma Mater, the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, and as an Assistant Director for classical music concert recordings and productions by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, alongside other local organisations.

The promising young musician was also able to present her solo recital at the Awards, for which she was extremely excited and thankful for, as her graduation recital was put off last year due to the pandemic’s restrictions. “Overall, I would say that my recital was a success, and I hope that I fared well as a representative on behalf of the Award and the music community,” Natalie recalls with pride.

The Award’s prize money has enabled Natalie to realise her dreams of going overseas to attain a Master’s in Violin Performance, which will broaden her horizons as a performing violinist, music educator and community artist. She hopes to take the experience and knowledge gained from the two years abroad and expand her musical practice upon her return to Singapore.

Natalie recognises that living and studying in Chicago will prove to be expensive, but with the $10,000 award money, she will be able to defray some of her living costs. With the reduced financial burden, the young musician will be able to focus on learning to the fullest of her abilities in the States.

The Goh Soon Tioe Award has supported yet another promising young musician in paving her way to a brighter future towards a career in music, and adding another valuable gem to the flourishing music scene in Singapore.

“I am deeply thankful for the recognition and the support from the Goh Soon Tioe Centenary Award and the Community Foundation of Singapore. This Award has raised my profile as an emerging musician in Singapore, and I sincerely hope that I can be one to shape and grow the classical music scene in Singapore,” says Natalie.

Read and learn more about Natalie’s first steps into music and how she grew to become the talented musician that she is here.

If you would like to contribute towards the arts or support causes that you are passionate about, please visit our website at https://www.cf.org.sg/

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News

Coutts million dollar donor report 2015

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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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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

KidsExcel – Leaving no child behind

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a group of children in a classroom

At a time when after school tuition and enrichment programmes have become the new norm, children from less affluent backgrounds are increasingly disadvantaged by their inability to afford these lessons. This creates an educational landscape that places each child at different starting points by virtue of their socio-economic backgrounds.

KidsExcel is a values-driven, academic and sports enrichment programme that aims to support schools and parents in providing a holistic education for kids. Its mission is to provide a holistic, well-rounded programme that develops healthy minds, healthy bodies and strong character, using sports and academic enrichment to nurture the physical, intellectual and social skills of children.

“KidsExcel seeks to address the prevailing asymmetry in educational opportunities for underprivileged children. The programme aims to develop these children holistically through a structured integration of sports and drama with academic enrichment,” said Victor Pok, Director of Vivakids which runs the programme.

By providing primary school students under the Ministry of Education (MOE)’s Financial Assistance Scheme access to a year-long enrichment programme, KidsExcel hopes to inculcate in students an intrinsic motivation to excel, which will hopefully follow them through their lives.

At a recent site visit to Fuhua Primary School – one of KidsExcel’s school partners – the Community Foundation Singapore (CFS) and its donors bore witness to the work they do. Each week, students spend three hours on academic enrichment and an additional three hours on sports as an added incentive for them to turn up for classes.

At the after school programme, students learn through interactive and engaging lessons that provide effective development opportunities. Math classes saw students engaging in friendly competition to solve problem sums flashed out by their teacher. Speech and drama lessons visibly instilled in them a sense of confidence. Frequent proficiency testing also helped facilitate differentiated lesson plans to suit the varied capabilities of students.

While the sports component was conceived to encourage students’ attendance, it plays a pivotal role in developing them holistically. A range of carefully designed and modified games provides opportunities for the students to learn values – such as teamwork and self-confidence – that are beneficial for their intrinsic development.

And the overall results are encouraging. The programme at Fuhua has seen full attendance since its inception. Through timely and consistent tracking of exam results, statistics from KidsExcel’s school partnerships reflect overall improvements in students’ literacy and numeracy levels.

In a spirited sharing of the school’s experience, Fuhua’s co-ordinating teacher-in-charge praised it as an affordable programme that provides sustainable value-add to students. “I have seen an improvement in many of the students and they really enjoy the time they spend with their friends during the programme. Many of them often come to my office just to ask me if the programme is on this week, the following week, or even in the following year. It really speaks to how the programme has given them something constructive to look forward to. Otherwise they will probably be doing nothing at home or gallivanting at the malls.”

“The support of CFS and its donors has been crucial in realising our aims, providing the platform to engage even more in the future.” said Victor.

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News

Business Times: As they received, they now give

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A snapshot of a newspaper Business Times: As they received, they now give

Education is a force for good and a cause that Trina Liang-Lin and Edmund Lin are passionate about supporting.

Education has been pivotal in both their lives, paving stones to their successful careers. Ms Liang-Lin, 47, is the managing director of investment research consulting firm Templebridge Investments, and married to Mr Lin, 49, partner and founding member of Bain & Company’s Singapore office.

She is known for her passion for women’s empowerment. The past-president of the Singapore Committee for UN Women sits on the boards of several non-profits including the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations and Victoria Junior College. He has devoted time and expertise to the Singapore Management University (SMU), serving on its boards.

“Both of us, we see education as the ultimate leveller. We saw it in both our lives,” says Ms Liang-Lin.

A giving shaped by education
Thinking back to her days as a St Joseph’s Convent schoolgirl, Ms Liang-Lin recalls walking through the school compound each morning, climbing the flight of stairs to the school hall and seeing a bronze plaque bearing the name of philanthropist Tan Kah Kee who had given money to build that hall.

“It made an impression on me,” she says, that someone with no obvious ties to the school and its students would decide to give. For that school still means much to her today. It was where some of her deepest friendships were forged.

That plaque led her to notice similar plaques elsewhere, such as a list of donors and their donations towards the building of what is today’s Singapore Art Museum. The three-digit figures seem insignificant now, yet, helped raise buildings of such significance. “It impressed upon me that for a sum like that you can leave such an important legacy,” says Ms Liang-Lin.

Later, she would receive a scholarship to study abroad – an opportunity that would have been out of reach without a scholarship. “It did change my life,” she says.

Education, and the generosity of others, changed Mr Lin’s life too.

His parents arrived in the United States as struggling graduate students from Taiwan and Hong Kong. But they were shown hospitality and care. Mr Lin remembers one American couple that looked out for his mother, offered their backyard as a venue for his parents’ wedding, and then hosted his family for numerous Thanksgiving dinners.

“From a young age, I always felt that my parents, my brother and I all benefitted from the kindness of others,” he says.

His parents’ education was a gateway to a comfortable life in the U.S. for their family. And eventually, Mr Lin himself was awarded scholarships that secured him a high-quality college education without any financial burden.

How much is enough?
The couple acknowledge that the volunteering they did during their college years – Ms Liang-Lin served at nursing homes while Mr Lin volunteered as a mentor at college and with San Francisco’s Chinatown YMCA – came to a halt when they first joined the workforce in demanding jobs.

Their 20s were intensely focused on work and establishing their careers. “It was really more in our early to mid-30s that we said, okay, we’re at a certain level of accomplishment and comfort. Now is a good time to have a more purposeful life,” says Mr Lin.

One question they had discussed, Ms Liang-Lin says, was: how much is enough? “I think the secret of success in a lifetime is knowing when enough is enough for you.”

“Enough” is not about an amount, nor a specific age. “It is very different from person to person, family to family, but it’s a state of mind – that you feel you are content and it is now time to give back to the society that allowed you to become who you are,” she says.

And so, they began giving their time and resources.

Six years into working life, Ms Liang-Lin helped found the Financial Women’s Association Singapore to provide women in finance with a support network. The association soon searched for charities to support, kicking off her philanthropic work in earnest. Mr Lin too, began contributing his time and expertise, starting with SMU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Business Advisory Board and subsequently joining the SMU Board of Trustees.

And as a couple, they began giving to causes they felt strongly about: education, gender equality, animal welfare and the arts.

The multiplier effect of structured giving
It was while they were looking for a meaningful way to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary that Ms Liang-Lin and Mr Lin began to mull over taking things a step further to formalise their giving.

“We spoke with Mr Teng Ngiek Lian of the Silent Foundation, who encouraged us to start our philanthropy journey now, rather than wait. He also gave us a better sense of what was needed to set up a private foundation – staffing, resources, expertise and governance,” says Ms Liang-Lin.

They also had a serious chat with Laurence Lien, chairman of the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS), and eventually decided to set up the Lin Foundation, a fund managed by CFS, with an initial six-figure sum.

“As busy professionals and younger philanthropists, CFS saves us the work and resources needed to set up our Lin Foundation. CFS provides us with philanthropy management and grant-making expertise, ensuring that our grants are effective and meaningful,” says Ms Liang-Lin.

Other draws were how CFS works with a broad range of charities, offers donors a structured charitable vehicle that provides relevant tax deductions on donations, and, importantly, offers the flexibility to grow their fund over time.

Mr Lin cites the Lin Foundation’s scholarship for SMU students lacking the finances to pursue a semester abroad, as one initiative that could be scaled up. “CFS helped us with the selection of candidates, disbursement, administration, etcetera. I can imagine, with the help of CFS, expanding on homegrown initiatives like this, scaling them up.”

They may have chosen to set up their foundation at a relatively young age, but Ms Liang-Lin believes they are a part of a growing trend.

“Increasingly, people are realising that they don’t have to wait till they are older and richer to give back and make an impact. The proliferation of new media platforms is reshaping attitudes and approaches to giving. There is a growing awareness of social problems, and how these can be tackled by contributing funding support, knowledge and expertise,” she says.

To Mr Lin, giving adds much to his life. “Giving creates for me a lot of meaning in my life. The pursuit of economic goals will only take you so far. The time one spends giving back to a community creates great energy. Yes, it takes time. But this is time that creates more energy and the capacity to do more.”

And, he likes being able to give together with his wife. “We both, professionally, have quite a lot going on. But this is one thing we can share, do together, and find great pride and meaning in.”

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”。

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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