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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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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.

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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

Why billionaires are setting up family offices in Singapore

John Doe
John Doe
a person standing on a boardwalk in front of a glass dome building

Asia’s billionaires are getting ready to hand over to the next generation, and Singapore is benefiting from the rush to set up new or satellite family offices with an increased focus on philanthropy and impact investing.

In recent months, Horizon Ventures, a private investment firm associated with Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing opened an outpost in Singapore.* Oppenheimer Generations, the family office of former De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer, is also in Singapore while Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio and Google co-founder Sergey Brin both set up shop in late 2020.

Singapore’s Economic Development Board is doing everything in its power to reel them in. It has enlisted the private banking sector to help family offices’ interest in philanthropy and impact investing, which seeks to generate a social or environmental impact as well as a financial return.

Two years ago, the Singapore government introduced variable capital companies (VCC), fund management vehicles with tax incentives and other benefits. These are appealing for family offices, particularly those with an interest in changing the world.

“Philanthropy is the new black in Asia,” said one private banker who advises the wealthy. “Singapore prides itself on being a financial hub and to keep that reputation, it needs to set the pace on new trends like green investing and impact investing.”

Asia is behind Europe and the United States, where philanthropy has long been a business that’s expected to generate measurable returns and the likes of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have pioneered impact investing.

This is likely to shift with the looming generational change in wealth, said Peter Golovsky, managing director and head of family office services, Asia Pacific, at Alvarium, a global multi-family office.

“Some 85 per cent of Asia’s billionaires are first-generation wealth creators, founders of family businesses.

“Their average age is 65, so they are looking at succession strategies. Family office allocations in impact investments sit at around 12 per cent, but we expect that to double in the next few years, and it will be driven by the next generation.

“Singapore has attracted a lot of wealth through structures like VCCs and other tax incentives, including residency options and paths to citizenship.

“As global families and entrepreneurs, including philanthropists, think about where they want to set up and run their businesses, and where they want to live, I think there will be another step up,” he said.

One measure of interest in social investing is a sold-out conference on the topic, organised by industry group AVPN, that kicks off next Tuesday in Bali.

Despite this increased interest, impact investing structures have a long way to go, according to Mette Ekeroth, managing director and group head of philanthropy at the North-East Family Office, who will be at the conference.

NEFO was established by the founders of the Pandora jewellery brand, Winnie Liljeborg and Per Algot Enevoldsen, in Denmark in 2013. They opened a Singapore office three years later.

“Regulatory systems all over the world treat philanthropy and investment as very, very separate. Now everyone is realising there is an area between these two categories where a lot of the solutions lie to the problems the world faces,” Ms Ekeroth said.

“I have faith that Singapore is going to be the place that comes up with the structures we need. The authorities are engaging and consulting as they work multiple angles to try and address the gaps. We’ve seen in the past that when Singapore really wants to develop an ecosystem, it does, and it does it at high speed.”

*Clarification: After this story was published, CK Asset Holdings has advised Horizons Ventures is owned by Ms Solina Chau. Mr Li has collaborated with the firm on technology projects.

This article was originally published in The Australian Financial Review here.

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Stories Of Impact

Restoring the Mental Health of Girls Who Have Survived Abuse: HCSA Dayspring Residential Treatment Centre

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John Doe
A festive gathering of individuals seated around a beautifully adorned Christmas tree, radiating warmth and joy.

Clara* was just fifteen when she attempted suicide for the first time. She had believed her father’s violence was normal. It was not until she spoke to a psychiatrist that she realised violence and sexual abuse were not something that happened in every family. On her sixteenth birthday, after a second suicide attempt, Clara entered Dayspring Residential Treatment Centre (DRTC).

Our teenage years are when we develop crucial social and self-management skills, a time when the foundation for a successful adult life is laid. Survivors of childhood trauma often grapple with its long-term effects throughout their lives, underscoring the critical need for early intervention.

“Children are precious gems. For the ones who could not grow up in a safe and caring environment, they are placed into therapy group homes like HCSA DRTC. We work in teams to help the girls manage their trauma. I also do whatever simple ways I can in their recovery journey to help them see that the world is not as bad as it seems.”

Child Abuse: A Growing Problem

Regrettably, cases of child abuse have been rising annually for the past decade. In 2021, the Ministry of Social and Family Development investigated 2,141 cases of child abuse, marking the highest number in 10 years.

The majority were cases of neglect, which jumped 143 percent from 375 cases in 2020 to 910 cases in 2021. Physical abuse, usually the most common form of abuse, was the second-highest form of abuse in 2021, and child sexual abuse cases also saw a 70 percent increase in 2021.

 

HCSA DRTC: Healing Trauma and Nurturing Futures

HCSA Dayspring Residential Treatment Centre (DRTC) was established in 2011 to provide a caring, safe, and therapeutic environment for teenage girls who have suffered neglect, physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.

DRTC’s beneficiaries include girls aged 12-18 assessed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to have moderate to high trauma needs and who are facing persistent difficulties with behavioural and emotional issues.

By employing effective clinical therapies, the centre aims to help these girls become healthy individuals capable of successfully reintegrating into their schools, families, and society.

The girls live at the centre for 12 to 18 months and undergo a clinical programme that comprises three key phases to work through their trauma and restore their mental health.

The initial phase focuses on safety, stabilising the child while building trust and a sense of security. Following this, the regulation-focused treatment aids in teaching coping techniques to manage emotions and behaviours effectively. Finally, the beyond-trauma treatment provides tools to prevent relapses.

A value-based system guides each girl to align her actions with her values and aspirations, empowering her to take charge of her life. When she is ready to graduate, a six-month aftercare programme prepares the girl to rejoin her family, if it is safe for her. If her family home is unsafe, the programme prepares her to live with a foster family or assists her in transitioning to independent living.

An Urgent Need for Capacity Increase

As a certified Trauma Systems Therapy organisation, the most severe cases of complex trauma and abuse are referred by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to DRTC.

Owing to the extensive resources and continuous, vigilant care necessary for these cases, MSF has imposed a limit, allowing DRTC to cater to a maximum of 12 girls concurrently. The operational expenses for maintaining this capacity amount to approximately $1.5 million annually.

With the rising number of child abuse cases and the urgent need for specialised trauma treatment services, DRTC is pushing to increase its resident capacity from 12 to 29.

To aid this expansion in services, DRTC will require additional funding and is calling for volunteers to help as befrienders and trainers.

“Caring for these young survivors is not just about healing wounds; it’s about shaping resilient futures,” says Gerard Wong, Senior Executive, HCSA Community Services. “We appeal to the generosity of CFS donors to join hands with us in expanding our outreach, impacting the lives of these young women, and offering them the chance to heal from adversity and rewrite their stories.”

Shining a Light on a Worthy Cause

CFS has supported DRTC since 2020. To date, CFS donors have contributed $70,000 to support the centre’s operating costs. The contributions go towards the salaries of therapists and staff, running costs of the residence, and food for the residents.

As testament to the programme’s impact, Clara says, “Dayspring turned out to be a strong pillar of support, helping me through difficult times in school and with my family. Even when I experienced suicidal thoughts, the staff never gave up on me and remained understanding and patient.”

“Surprisingly, when I saw my father for the first time after entering Dayspring, I was not angry at all. I felt at peace. I realised I had forgiven him. I told him that I believed he was a good person deep down. I understood: it is through forgiveness that we free ourselves and others from the invisible shackles that once held all of us down. This was when I knew how much Dayspring had changed me.”

To find out how you can support HCSA DRTC, please contact CFS.

* ‘Clara’ is not her real name. Her full story can be found at The Birthday That Changed My Life.

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News

The Straits Times: New youth collective to level playing field for disadvantaged young

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John Doe
Two people seated at a table with a 'City of Good' sign in the background.

By Seow Bei Yi

SINGAPORE – To help youth from disadvantaged backgrounds transition from school into the work environment, a new year-long programme will be launched this year to offer them workshops and vocational training.

Dubbed the “youth collective”, the initiative comes after a series of discussions involving 56 groups in the social service sector concluded that while education can help bridge social gaps, not every youth can fully tap its benefits.

Led by the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) and the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), the discussants found that economic, social and cultural differences contribute to a greater variance in academic performance among Singaporean students, compared to elsewhere.

The social gap may hence widen if disadvantaged youth here are not further helped, CFS and NVPC said.

Participants deliberated over the multiple challenges that disadvantaged youth face, with parents tending to work long hours or on shifts.

This leaves them little time to attend to their children’s learning needs, while the children often shoulder more adult responsibilities. It can result in poorer literacy and academic performance, and may lead to psychological issues such as depression and other conditions, CFS and NVPC said.

Contributing to the youth collective are a multi-national corporation, a Singapore firm, non-profit groups and researchers, CFS deputy chief executive officer Joyce Teo said yesterday. More details will be available when the project is launched later this year.

CFS and NVPC also released yesterday a 17-page guide on closing the gap for disadvantaged youth.

The youth collective is an early initiative sparked by Colabs, a series of discussions beginning last year that gathers disparate stakeholders across the social service sector to exchange ideas, including philanthropists, businesses, non-profit groups and sector experts. Colabs is led and funded by CFS and NVPC.

Explaining the need for it, NVPC Director of Strategic Partnership Darrel Lim said that, among other things, these discussions are designed to “uncover gaps in the current system and collectively devise ways to plug these gaps”.

“The challenge lies in what we call ‘wicked problems’, or very complex problems, that don’t lend themselves very well to any single party’s intervention. The only way to solve them is to bring together various parties and look at how we are working currently to serve beneficiaries, what are some of the problems that still exist, and why they exist despite everybody’s work,” he said.

Besides obtaining inputs from experts, beneficiaries and donors, the Colabs process involved a field trip and a poverty simulation exercise.

Following this first Colabs series, a second one ending in May looked at how to help those with disabilities. A third will focus on seniors. Spin-off projects from these series are likely to be announced later.

“There is information out there, but it is disparate,” said Ms Teo. “What we try to do is eventually distil that and say, there is something that we can do, and how can we go about doing it.”

“Collaboration is the way forward as the scale, scope and complexity of social issues today make it impossible for a single player or the Government to solve alone,” she added. Read more

Read the Colabs media release here.

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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.

Events

Partnership with the Asia Philanthropy Circle: The pitch for social inclusivity

John Doe
John Doe
A diverse group of individuals gathered around tables in a well-lit room, engaged in conversation and collaboration.

By Genevieve Ding of APC

On 10 January 2019, the Asia Philanthropy Circle (APC) convened a Singapore roundtable on the topic of ‘Inequality’. This time, to spur dialogue to action, APC, in partnership with the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS), selected three intervention initiatives which aim to promote social inclusivity in Singapore, and organised a pitch session to invite member partnership and funding of these projects.

Members were presented with a proposed primary research to establish living income benchmark, an integrated programme supporting disadvantaged children and a collective impact model that addresses youth unemployment.

This event is a follow-up from a roundtable in 2018 exploring the state of inequality in Singapore, with Assoc. Prof Teo You Yenn from Nanyang Technological University, discussing the lessons from her bestselling book, ‘This is what Inequality Looks Like’. In the book, Assoc. Prof Teo eloquently gives voice to the realities of unequal life circumstances in Singapore. To further unveil the lived realities of Singaporeans at all levels of society, Assoc. Prof Teo, together with Asst. Prof Ng Kok Hoe from the National University of Singapore, presented their proposed study on the budgets that different types of household need for a basic standard of living in Singapore. Their study would inform a benchmark of how much people need in order to live adequately, which could guide the planning of welfare schemes in Singapore.

On the topic of inclusive education, Ms Ng Kar Yee from the People’s Association and Ms Wu Meiling from SHINE Children and Youth Services presented their holistic education model for children from disadvantaged families. In Singapore, education has high aspirations as a social leveller but stumbles in the face of an uneven playing field. The presenters highlight the lack of collaborative approach from organisations to provide holistic, integrated care for primary school children. The Integrated Care Programme that they have been running aims to create a child-centric ecosystem of care for at-risk children.

The pitch session ended with the presentation of a collective impact initiative – the Singapore Youth Impact Collective – to improve the work-readiness of disadvantaged young people through skills development and vocational training. Representing CFS, which has taken on the project as the backbone organisation, Ms Joyce Teo shared that youths at-risk make up approximately 17% of the total population in Singapore. Significantly, those in the low income brackets have the least educational pathways, and young people from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds find it very challenging to find employment with promises of job stability and upward career progression.

In his concluding remarks, Mr Laurence Lien, APC CEO and CFS Chairman shared the sentiment behind hosting the pitch session at the Community Foundation of Singapore. The vision of CFS is for the community to take initiative and lead efficacious ground-up interventions. Mr Lien emphasised that a community of supporters sends a much stronger message for social intervention. He explained that while the exit strategy of most initiatives is for the government to adopt large-scale intervention, there is a need for philanthropists to first try new, innovative models and blaze paths not ventured by the government. Philanthropy needs to explore and show new ways of doing things.

Members who are interested to know more are encouraged to either approach the organisations directly or contact APC to coordinate further follow up: membership@asiaphilanthropycircle.org

This article was originally published on Asia Philanthropy Circle’s newsletter at: http://www.asiaphilanthropycircle.org/singapore-roundtable-the-pitch-for-social-inclusivity/

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
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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.

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