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Bank of Singapore partners Community Foundation of Singapore to provide clients with philanthropy services
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Bank of Singapore partners Community Foundation of Singapore to provide clients with philanthropy services

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Bank of Singapore, the private banking subsidiary of OCBC Bank, has partnered with non-profit organisation Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) to provide its clients with philanthropic services. 

 With this partnership, CFS will work with the bank’s clients to translate their interests, values and goals into philanthropic strategies that meet giving goals of the clients and match the needs of the local community. To develop these strategic giving plans, CFS will use insights from its Charities and Grants team and consult its philanthropy advisors.

In a press release on Monday (May 23), Bank of Singapore stated that the partnership comes at an “opportune time” as philanthropic activities amongst ultra-high and high net worth individuals are on the rise. 

Headquartered in Singapore, the bank serves high net worth individuals and wealthy families markets of Southeast Asia, Greater China, Philippines, India Sub-Continent and other international markets. 

Based on statistics from Knight Frank, 54 per cent of global family offices, a strategic client segment that the bank is focused on building, were increasing their philanthropic activity in 2021. 

Bahren Shaari, chief executive officer of Bank of Singapore, believes that CFS’ expertise and insights into Singapore’s charitable landscape will help the bank’s clients to map out charitable-giving goals that align with their values and ambitions.

This article was originally published in The Business Times here. Source: The Business Times © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

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Leaving a legacy of giving

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Leaving a legacy of giving

Four prominent personalities in the community tells us why they desire to make a long-term impact on society by giving back in their own ways.

Nadia Ahmad Samdin

What is the gap you’ve seen in society’s support of at-risk youth?

Serving as a panel adviser to the youth court and later as a befriender of girls who have done reformative training, I’ve witnessed how at-risk youth and juvenile offenders, who have experienced difficulties, were overcome with feelings of dejection, lack of direction and, oftentimes, betrayal by adults who could have better supported them.

For many, time in institutions or shelters is the difference between being able to access resources such as a safe place to sleep and participate in programmes that build discipline, and getting mental health support.

As a community, we must nurture and empower at-risk youth, especially girls, so they will be able to make better choices and have access to ongoing support. I am an advocate for earlier, consistent intervention followed by better rehabilitation and reintegration upon release. How we embrace them as a society matters.

Why do you feel that being a donor is important, especially for the youths in our society?

A dear mentor once said to me, “Youths are approximately 25 per cent of our resident population today – but 100 per cent of the future.” Giving a young person a chance can be life-changing. It also builds confidence to face the future.

As a donor, beyond the actual funds channelled to scholarships, bursaries, or programmes, your act demonstrates to the youths that someone believes in their potential and provides motivation.

How have your personal experiences impacted your mindset as a lawyer as well as your support of underprivileged families?

I would not have been able to go to law school without financial aid, motivation from mentors and the sacrifices of my family.

Minority women are sometimes under-represented in some of the spaces I serve in. I hope that, in a little way, my efforts will build on the paths of those who came before me and encourage more people to step up and contribute to building Singapore and the future we wish to see.

How do you feel the pandemic has affected the lives of the at-risk youths you work with and their families?

Home-based learning and working from home has been tough for all – and especially for those in one- or two-room flats, adding considerable pressure for sole breadwinners. A number of these families live pay cheque to pay cheque and some bad decisions can feel insurmountable and irreversible. For example, some young mothers are unable to make ends meet and resort to mixing hot water and condensed milk to feed their babies.

The pandemic has also forced those who never had to ask for help before to reach out for aid. The way we live has shifted radically and support must be calibrated for different families in need, ensuring people are not priced out of opportunities here in Singapore.

Hian Goh

What is the gap you’ve seen in society’s support of innovators and entrepreneurs in Singapore?

Today’s Singapore is a developed and well-educated country with strong industries and a bedrock of good law and order built on the foundation of centralised state planning and effective government. Talented Singaporeans have thrived and have many options to be a working professional and make a good living. However, we are also risk-averse.

For Singapore to continue its journey of prosperity and economic development, we need more people to execute new ideas, disrupt industries and create new markets. To do that effectively, we need capital to support these ideas. That is why I decided to become a venture capitalist after my entrepreneurial journey.

How have your personal experiences impacted your mindset in supporting the next generation of gamechangers?

When I was an entrepreneur, there were many times I faced seemingly insurmountable challenges, and it looked like there was no way to solve the problem at hand.

However, through sheer persistence, tenacity and, more importantly, mentors and investors who supported me, I managed to conquer those challenges. This proved to me that a support network of like-minded individuals is essential to increase the probability of success in life.

How has legacy giving changed the way in which you are able to contribute to the support of innovators and entrepreneurs in Singapore?

Once you decide to embark on the legacy journey, it is very important to focus on the programmes which you feel will help your chosen cause. In my case, innovation in Singapore.

To that extent, having someone to guide you on this journey is very important. The Community Foundation of Singapore provides such guidance on a wide range of issues that allows someone like me to work on starting a foundation which, ultimately, will become my legacy and impact many people in the years to come.

Do you feel that age impacts who can be the next greatest innovators or gamechangers?

No. It’s a mindset. I’ve seen older people with flexible minds who can learn from their mistakes. I have also seen younger people too scared to take the leap even though they have nothing to lose. It’s really not a relevant factor.

Dr Audrey Looi and Dr Ang Beng Ti

What is the gap you’ve seen in society’s support of the visually impaired?

When our son James was diagnosed with Stargardt macular dystrophy in 2009, we discovered that support services for children with low vision were not available in Singapore.

In other developed nations, structured low vision programmes already exist. These allow a child’s remaining functional vision to be assessed so a tailored programme can be crafted to facilitate his or her integration into mainstream schools, and to function in a sighted society.

This would include access and training to assistive technology, training in orientation and mobility, and the learning of Braille where indicated. iC2 PrepHouse was set up with these initiatives in mind.

Why do you feel that being a donor and contributing to a cause is important?

Although low vision is a low-incidence disability, affected families are severely impacted. Without the right support by trained vision teachers, there is little chance for the affected child to reach his or her full potential. Our contributions make a difference.

How have your personal experiences impacted your work with healthcare and your support of iC2 PrepHouse?

We have been fortunate that through our combined efforts with our fellow iC2 Board members – all of whom are professionals in the areas of education, law and finance – we have been able to surmount the challenges faced by James as he successfully navigated his way through mainstream school and currently through his undergraduate studies.

Knowing the kind of support needed for this journey, it was not difficult to actively contribute to keep iC2 resources available to other children and families in need. Not just in terms of dollar contribution but also in the oversight of administrative, fundraising and ground initiatives.

As for our work in healthcare, we haven’t stopped striving to be kind and compassionate with our patients as we do our best to solve their medical problems. This journey has certainly deepened our understanding of how important that aspect of medical care is. As medical doctors, we all need to take time to listen and care.

In your opinion, are there groups that need extra support within and surrounding the visually impaired community?

Within the visually impaired group, we know that those with multiple disabilities present greater challenges. Take for example, the child with both low vision and autism or low vision with impaired hearing. A dedicated, thoughtful approach is needed. We have to work with other agencies to coordinate care and support, not just for the child but also for the caregivers.

How has legacy giving changed the way in which you are able to contribute to the support of the visually impaired?

We have and will continue to support iC2 financially through our major fundraising events. So what happens after our demise? Legacy giving provides an avenue to do so for perpetuity.

This is not just for individuals. It can be tailored to couples, families, foundations or companies. Zooming out, if more commit to legacy giving, the charity sector will receive more sustainable donations and be empowered to further improve the groundwork. How truly wonderful that would be for our Singapore society.

Stanley Sia

What is the gap that you saw in Singapore’s healthcare system that led you to SATA CommHealth?

I’ve been involved in SATA CommHealth since 2012. Being in the private sector for all of my career, I’ve always had the desire to contribute in some way to society.

SATA CommHealth, in particular, interested me for its legacy and its resilience in adapting with the times to continue serving the community for more than 70 years. This resonated strongly with me, and has kept me in service at SATA CommHealth for the last eight years. In my time here, I’ve held several portfolios, with the role of chairman being the most recent.

Why do you feel that being a donor is important, especially in the healthcare sector?

While Singapore’s healthcare sector is well developed and provides comprehensive services, more can be done for the seniors and vulnerable through the encouragement of a sustainable donation system beyond simply relying on government support.

About one in every four Singaporeans will be 65 and above by 2030. Singapore’s low fertility rate and its rapidly ageing population will pose an economic and demographic stress to the nation and this is something we need to start preparing for.

Why did you decide to take up the position of chairman of the board in SATA CommHealth?

Covid-19 has changed the way we live, work and interact with each other. It has surfaced new challenges among the seniors and the vulnerable in the community.

When I took on the appointment in July 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in Singapore, my immediate priority was to start laying the foundations of a sustainable charity, even as we were steering ourselves through the challenging times.

How has legacy giving changed the way in which you are able to contribute to the support of the healthcare sector?

In the past, the idea of legacy giving was relegated to high-net worth individuals, the ultra-rich and affluent. While few of us are in that position, there is no reason to exclude charitable giving from our estate planning. All gifts, large or small, are important. Charitable giving is life giving to the poor and vulnerable in our society and healthcare sector forms the backbone of a country’s well-being.

Legacy giving lets you make a lasting impact on the lives of future generations, far beyond the measure of your lifetime. It is the best way to benefit a cause or charity that you care about now and in the future.

Source: The Peak

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Events

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

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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/

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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

Visit by Moscow-based non-profit organisations

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A Russian delegation comprising heads of various non-profit organisations and foundations recently visited the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) as part of a study trip organised by the NGOs Resource Centre of the City of Moscow.

The group’s main purpose was to meet with local non-profit organisations, exchange views and experiences as well as understand the impact the non-profit sector has on Singapore’s sustainability and quality of life.

The group represented various Moscow-based non-profit organisations providing support to disabled, sick or disadvantaged children, war veterans, environmental issues as well as promoting volunteerism and inclusive education and training with the help of new technologies.

During the lively two-hour session, we shared about our work with donors and charitable organisations, governance and marketing outreach. The participants and CFS team exchanged views on government support, tax benefits, fundraising and sustaining donor support – all of which are crucial to ensuring the long term survival of non-profit organisations around the world. The group was particularly interested in learning about how endowment funds generate sustainability for charities. They were also impressed by our recent ‘Portraits of generosity‘ campaign and how the role of marketing was important to achieving awareness and growth.

All in, it was an engaging and enriching experience with both sides gaining a better understanding of the common challenges non-profit organisations face. We hope to take up on the group’s invitation to make an exchange trip to Moscow one day

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

Singapore Tatler: Community Foundation of Singapore Celebrates 10th Anniversary

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A group pf individuals from CFS posing together

The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) was founded during a tumultuous time. Chairman Laurence Lien recalled that it was during the global financial crisis of 2008 and Lehman Brothers had just collapsed—hardly good news for a non-profit organisation that was set up to encourage and enable philanthropy in Singapore. But now, 10 years later, 113 charitable funds have been established with CFS, which has raised more than $100m and disbursed around $60m to over 400 charitable organisations in Singapore, said CEO Catherine Loh at its 10th anniversary celebrations at The Arts House, which was graced by minister Grace Fu as its guest of honour. Lien and Loh also paid tribute to its donors and charity partners, and encouraged one and all to not only give more, but give well and channel them for impact. CFS’ three-pronged focus in the coming years—collaboration, legacy and impact—will guide its purpose of building a philanthropic culture in Singapore.
Read more.

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

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”。

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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