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The case for philanthropy in the arts
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Events

The case for philanthropy in the arts

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At the second edition of Art World Forum 2017: Creating Markets: Opportunities, Challenges and the Mainstream held on 27 September, the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) was invited to present the significance of philanthropy for the arts to an audience of art, thought and business leaders from the sector.

Moderated by Anne-Marie Clavelli, Head of Development and Strategy at CFS, along with Kola Luu, Director of Partnership Development from the National Gallery Singapore, the panel session on Art x Philanthropy: An Opportunity touched on two key questions: What is the value of the arts in a dynamic society like Singapore? Can philanthropy play a more strategic role in increasing a city’s cultural capital?

Both Anne-Marie and Kola backed up the discussion with statistics showing that while giving to the arts has been on the rise, it has also yet to mature to its full potential. Arts and Heritage only accounted for 7.1% of philanthropic donations in 2016, as compared to Social and Welfare (32.2%) and Education (25%)*.

“Why is it important for the private sector to become more involved in funding the arts?” asked Anne-Marie, “What we’ve seen across our work in CFS is that philanthropic efforts do not “substitute” government funding for causes, but address the gaps within an eco-system that the government might not be able to tackle.”

“The private sector can deliver a much-needed boost through sustained giving to the arts sector. This is particularly important as it takes time to cultivate and nurture the next generation of artists and audiences.”

Kola also noted foundations such as the Li Ka Shing Foundation and Temasek Foundation have recently added ‘building social capital’ as a key philanthropic goal. He added that art institutions could work towards demonstrating that their cause goes beyond mere art appreciation, and the arts contributes to future proofing the economy by nurturing a new generation of thoughtful, critical thinkers.

Charlotte Koh from the National Arts Council posed a question to the panellists regarding the need for strategies to sustain giving to the arts, in the face of yearly fluctuations in donations. While Kola highlighted that philanthropy to the arts should be viewed as a long-term endeavour which naturally has its ups and downs, Anne-Marie sounded an optimistic note, “Ultimately, giving to the arts is about the value of creativity in society. Singapore is a creative society, and donors will want to reflect that in how they spend their charitable dollars.” 

News coverage on the event by Luxuo can be read here.

* Source: Commissioner of Charities Annual Report 2016
Photo: Art World Forum

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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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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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News

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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Opinion

Charting your legacy

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CFS CEO Catherine Loh giving a speech

I think we can all agree every individual has something unique to give back and offer to society. And yet, when thinking about legacy, how often do we realise that every action we take, however large or small, is actually creating our legacy? Perhaps some of us believe legacy giving is only for wealthier individuals, or that legacy giving can only be defined in financial terms.

It’s important to realise legacy is much more than just financial in nature. Your legacy also includes your personal or business values, the values you have inculcated in your children. It encompasses the giving of your time, expertise and even your resources to empower someone in need. Think about creating a legacy as living a life of generosity, in ways that make meaningful social impact while aligning to your values.

If you’re passionate about a cause, you don’t need to wait until you’re richer, older and retired to start thinking about taking action. Today, with technology, new giving channels and opportunities for collaboration with a wider community are already available and being created each day. As a donor in this exciting era of knowledge-sharing, there are many opportunities to learn about causes you care about and how you can contribute.

For some of you, you might be moving on from ‘success’ to ‘significance’. “How will I be remembered in a hundred years’ time?” “How can I leave a better world for future generations?” As two prominent families shared at our recent CRIB x CFS Legacy and Impact event, leaving a legacy also means preparing your next generation to become responsible stewards of your family’s culture of giving. This often means setting up a framework and sharing your family’s values, so that your children are empowered to continue the good work you have begun.

If you’re wondering how you could start to plan for legacy giving, here are three key ideas to help you along your journey:

Start the conversation
Identify your interests, values and the impact you want to make, so that you can find a focus for your giving.

Consider your structure
Setting up a fund helps to structure your philanthropic activity, improve strategic decision-making and better measure outcomes.

View philanthropy as a journey of learning
Learn more about issues on the ground, what the real needs are, and what are more strategic ways to make a change.

Many of our donors at CFS began from a place where they may not have had extensive histories in giving, but they have embarked on a journey to learn how they could chart their legacy, one action at time. I hope you will discover how philanthropy can be your way of life.

Catherine Loh
CEO
Community Foundation of Singapore

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News

Learning Initiatives for Employment (LIFT) Community Impact Fund – Training and placing marginalised individuals into stable jobs

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People in masks and aprons preparing food in a restaurant.

The Learning Initiatives for Employment (LIFT) Community Impact Fund (CIF) was launched in 2019 by The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS), which provides vocational training and socio-emotional support for marginalised individuals in Singapore before placing them into jobs.

CIFs are flagship programmes established by CFS in partnership with charities to address unmet needs or under-supported social issues in Singapore. It takes a ground-up approach to understand the needs of care recipients and outcomes they care about to ensure that they would truly benefit from these programmes.

LIFT is designed to leverage the expertise of social enterprises in terms of job coaching and job matching. These programmes support persons with disabilities, persons recovering from mental illnesses, disadvantaged women and youth-at-risk who face challenges finding jobs and keeping them. 

In partnership with Bettr Barista and Project Dignity, LIFT saw 115 people receiving training at Bettr Barista Coffee Academy or Dignity Kitchen from April 2020 to March 2021. Ninety-one participants completed the training, and of those who had completed the course, 73 people were successfully hired, with 55 managing to remain employed for more than three months.

To support the LIFT Community Impact Fund, visit here. Read the 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”。

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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