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Inspiring thoughts from our anniversary speeches
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Events

Inspiring thoughts from our anniversary speeches

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At CFS’s 10th anniversary event, it was the perfect moment to reflect on the sea of change in the philanthropy landscape over the past decade. But what lies ahead? Our three distinguished speakers – Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Catherine Loh, CEO of CFS, and Laurence Lien, Chairman of CFS – all struck home the point on philanthropy’s potential for growth in Singapore – through driving impact via new giving channels, collaboration and innovative approaches.

Here are three inspiring thoughts from the evening’s speeches:

Working together to build a caring Singapore.
The work at CFS contributes to SG Cares, because an impactful philanthropy landscape is a hallmark of a caring society, where those with resources give back effectively to help those in need. Collaboration is the way to go, and donors today are taking more initiative, and seeking more meaningful engagement opportunities. CFS is well positioned to seize these opportunities and provide the platforms.”
Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth
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Philanthropy will need to continue to evolve.
“While Singapore has progressed rapidly, the social challenges we face, from an ageing population to social inequality, have become more complex and interconnected. While the government tackles social issues on a large scale, there are always gaps that are in need of more support. It’s crucial for philanthropy to evolve to tackle these diverse issues within our community innovatively.”
Catherine Loh, CEO, CFS
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There’s room to dream bigger and beyond.
“I hope that in 2028, we will see mini community foundations in our neighbourhoods, in places like Toa Payoh, Queenstown and Punggol. (I hope) 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. I hope to see CFS raise $1 billion in donor funds, maybe not in 10 years’ time, but at some point in the future.”
Laurence Lien, Chairman, CFS
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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

S’poreans donated $90m in first five months of 2020, equal to whole of last year’s donations

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Many pedestrians walking on a bustling city street, surrounded by tall buildings and bustling activity.

SINGAPORE – Singaporeans have stepped up to help those in need and those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

From January to May this year, $90 million was donated to the Community Chest, the Community Foundation of Singapore’s Sayang Sayang Fund which was set up in February, and through online donation platform Giving.sg.

This amount was about equal to the overall donations received by the Community Chest and Giving.sg throughout the entire 2019, said the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and Ministry of Social and Family Development in a joint statement on Monday (June 22).

The ministries added that more than 13,300 people signed up to volunteer through Giving.sg during the first five months of 2020, compared to 11,300 in the same period last year.

This was despite a decrease in volunteering opportunities during the circuit breaker period.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu said that the pandemic had not dampened the spirit of caring among people here but instead brought out the best in Singaporeans and showed that many in the community care about the country deeply.

“Let us to continue to grow this spirit of Singapore Together and partner one another to overcome our challenges. By doing so, we will make it through this difficult period and emerge as a stronger society,” said Ms Fu.

Of the $90 million, $42.2 million was donated to the Community Chest, of which 40 per cent went to Covid-19-related causes.

Donations also came from companies such as security and aerospace firm Lockheed Martin.

The company donated more than $280,000 from its Job Support Scheme payments to The Courage Fund and The Invictus Fund, both of which are managed by the Community Chest.

During the same period last year, the Community Chest collected $22.9 million in donations.

Under the Sayang Sayang Fund, more than 4,500 donors – individuals, multinational corporations and small and medium-sized enterprises – contributed $7.6 million from February to May.

These include pro-wrestling fitness school Grapple Max, which raised $6,000 during an online fundraiser while showing a wrestling match, and home-based skincare start-up Soul Good Project that donated a month’s worth of profits.

“These smaller but equally valuable contributions to the Sayang Sayang Fund reflect the charitable nature of many Singaporeans who are still willing to donate, even in times of adversity,” said the ministries.

The donations to the Sayang Sayang Fund have funded over 330 projects that help individuals, families and seniors from marginalised backgrounds who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Giving.sg portal received $40.7 million from January to May, with $20.4 million donated in April, after the first tranche of $600 Solidarity Payments was given out.

The bulk of donors contributed to causes related to Covid-19, such as to help migrant workers and healthcare staff.

The ministries noted that while donations to Covid-19-related causes increased during this period, causes not directly related to the coronavirus experienced a decline in donations.

They added that the Community Chest projected a 20 to 30 per cent drop in donations in 2020 for its funded programmes.

To aid these charities, the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre has launched the City of Good Show, an online game show fundraiser.

Episodes will air every Wednesday at 8pm on the centre’s Facebook page from this week on.

Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee said that he was encouraged that the community spirit is strong and Singaporeans from all walks of life have pitched in to help fight against the coronavirus.

He added though that it was imperative to focus on community needs that go beyond the Covid-19-related causes.

“Our social service agencies need our sustained support so that they can continue to deliver critical services, as well as meet growing and more complex needs in our society,” said Mr Lee.

“With everyone lending a helping hand and looking out for one another, Singapore will emerge stronger from Covid-19.”

Source: The Straits Time

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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

2020 Goh Soon Tioe Centenary Award winner Natalie Koh: A talented musician with a heart for children with special needs

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John Doe
A woman gracefully plays the violin, showcasing her talent, dressed in a captivating blue gown.

Natalie’s first steps towards becoming a professional musician weren’t the easiest. Although she began learning violin at the tender age of five at her mother’s behest, Natalie barely passed her ABRSM exams in the fledgling years of learning the instrument. Nevertheless, it was her love for classical music and the violin that allowed her to persevere in her music-learning journey.

It was in her secondary and junior college years that she started developing a more well-rounded education in music.

‘I was in my school’s Higher Music Programme and Concert Band, instead of the obvious choice of String Ensemble. I also decided to involve myself in playing more orchestra and chamber music. I believe these experiences ultimately contributed to my growth as an aspiring musician, and allowed me to be more creative and expressive,’ Natalie explains.

Consequently, it was to her delight that Natalie successfully auditioned into Yong Siew Toh Conservatory back in 2016, where she spent four fruitful and rewarding years.

It was through the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory that the young musician broadened her horizons interacting with children with special needs. The Conservatory was working on a joint project with Superhero Me, an inclusive arts organisation that harnesses the creativity of art to empower children with and without special needs.

‘I realised that there were so many people whom I did not know about and that I did not interact with enough,’ says Natalie.

‘I felt compelled to learn more about the special needs community and connect with them more through art. Hence, I’ve been working primarily with Superhero Me since 2017 to facilitate art workshops and conduct music workshops. This December 2020, we are looking to stage a multi- sensory theatre production for children with autism, of which I am the composer and live musician.’

Whilst pursuing her undergraduate degree, Natalie received opportunities to perform in Japan and Canada in 2019 and 2020; two of the most memorable ones being the Chofu International Music Festival and the Musical Chairs Chamber Music Festival. The Chofu International Music Festival is led by renowned conductors Masaaki Suzuki and Masato Suzuki, and comprising professional musicians from top Japanese orchestras, like the NHK Symphony Orchestra and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.

‘I was thoroughly inspired and motivated by the high calibre of orchestra playing, and working side-by-side with professional musicians was unforgettable. The Musical Chairs Chamber Music Festival was held earlier this year in Montreal, Canada and was also coincidentally my last ‘live’ and most memorable performance before the COVID-19 restrictions,’ says the 22 year old musician.

Winning the 2020 Goh Soon Tioe Centenary Award is a great honour for the young musician, and has definitely provided her with a boost of confidence. With the prize money, Natalie plans to fund part of her graduate studies in September 2021.

‘As a recipient of the Award, I will also have the opportunity to perform my own recital. I was supposed to have one as my graduation recital in April 2020 but alas, because of COVID-19 this was not meant to be,’ says Natalie regretfully.

‘I am glad that this opportunity to perform one last time is given to me, before I leave Singapore to pursue my further studies. After completing my Masters, I will return to Singapore and continue to teach the violin. I plan to start my own studio, and continue to perform as a freelancer in orchestras. I also hope to grow my portfolio as a community artist, to continue to share my passion for music with the special needs community and with people from all walks of life.’

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.

News

Our Annual Report 2021 is now available for download

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cover of CFS annual report

We are pleased to share that the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) Annual Report 2021 has been published. Download your copy here to learn more about the year’s highlights and our impact on the community. 

Even as the pandemic gripped our nation, we are humbled to report that – together with our donors, charities, and partners – CFS delivered a year of bold action and made tremendous progress on our mission to facilitate impactful giving.

CFS delivered a record of $24 million in grants – the highest since our inception – disbursed to 291 organisations and 13 individuals, and a total of $5.7 million via the establishment of 19 new funds for the financial year ended 31 March 2021.

The Annual Report contains the following information:

  • Corporate Information 
  • Key Highlights
  • Forward Vision
  • Governance and Policies
  • Financial Statements
  • Grantees List

Regarding the year under review, the report reflects the information contained in CFS’ annual results, as well as the audited consolidated financial statements. 

CFS stands ready to work alongside all of you to champion greater giving and create a better world for future generations. To find out more about CFS, get in touch with us.

About CFS

The Community Foundation of Singapore is a non-profit organisation founded in 2008 to encourage and enable philanthropy in Singapore. We match donors’ interests with causes and offer ways for them to make a greater impact through their charitable funds. We also collaborate with charity partners to identify and develop programmes that support diverse communities. 

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Stories Of Impact

Championing inclusive employment for youths with special needs

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John Doe
a person in a mask mixing food in a mixer

For more than 10 years, CFS donors have supported the Metta Welfare Association and its trailblazing Metta Café through the Work Readiness Programme, which equips youths with special needs with the vocational and soft skills they need for the workplace. CFS is commemorating 15 years of giving and this story is one of a three-part series that highlights the strong relationships CFS has fostered with charities over the years.

I am grateful to my trainers for guiding me along patiently. I’ve learnt many things here and I hope to become a baker one day.

Toh Ming Yi hopes to become a baker one day. The 26-year-old is an apprentice at Metta Café. Under the guidance of patient teachers, he is learning to make cookies, muffins and other baked goods. He is also picking up valuable and complementary life skills like managing money and communicating with customers, which will help him in the working world. 

Like the other Metta School graduates with mild intellectual disability and/or autism who work at this inclusive café, cheerful Ming Yi has the right support to help make his dreams come true.

Building a long and fulfilling relationship

Metta Café is part of Metta Welfare Association (MWA), a charity set up in 1992 which has uplifted countless lives of those with special needs. The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) has had a long and valuable relationship with MWA since 2011. To date, CFS donors have generously contributed over $736,000 to MWA and have been a pillar of support for Metta Café’s Work Readiness Programme.  

CFS’ continued support has enabled us to continue empowering more individuals in need. Besides equipping our youths with life skills that will better facilitate their integration into society, we were also able to fund programmes that develop social and communication skills to increase their employment opportunities.

Felicia Wee, Deputy Executive Director

Creating employment opportunities through the Work Readiness Programme

The Work Readiness Programme provides apprenticeship opportunities, on-the-job training, job attachments, life-skills training, internship training and open employment to young adults with special needs to prepare them to contribute to the workforce. 

Initially offered solely to Metta School graduates, the programme has delivered such positive outcomes that students with special educational needs from other institutes such as the Institution of Higher Learning and the Institute of Technical Education also seek out internships at Metta Café. 

In 2020, the café became a WSQ In-house Approved Organisation to conduct the Food Safety Level 1 certification. This enables a wider range of participants to upgrade their skills, creating greater inclusiveness and opportunities for them in society. 

Metta Café’s Work Readiness Programme resonates with CFS as it is designed to improve employability, one of our key focal areas for grant making. We look for causes that empower marginalised job seekers to become contributing members of society. This can be through education, exposure to career pathways or advocating for more inclusivity.

CFS has been giving out grants to the programme since it began in 2016 and this enduring support has enabled Metta Café to increase its apprenticeship numbers.

“We value CFS as our long-term partner,” says Felicia Wee, Deputy Executive Director of MWA. “Their donors’ contributions to MWA have been significant. With their collective support, we have been able to help more youths with special needs maximise their potential.”

Encouraging long-term support through legacy giving

More recently, CFS and Metta have been working closely to encourage more legacy giving. Legacy gifts are planned future gifts such as bequests of assets or memorial funds, which offer a more sustainable and reliable source of fundraising for charities. It also opens up ways for donors to create an impact well beyond their lifetime.

With guidance from CFS, Metta has been actively engaging donors on its long-term plans and accepting all forms of legacy gifts including CPF and insurance nominations.

We are proud to maintain a long-term relationship with Metta and are committed to working with other like-minded charities to bring greater impact to youth with special needs under the CFS cause Improving Employability.

CFS is celebrating our anniversary throughout 2023—15 years of empowering donors to make a meaningful impact. Since our inception in 2008, we have received over S$292 million in donations in Singapore and disbursed over S$157 million in grants to over 400 charity partners.  

To discover how you can make a difference, please visit www.cf.org.sg/contact-us/get-in-touch/. 

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