News
CEO Catherine Loh goes on MONEY FM 89.3 to speak about the Sayang Sayang Fund with Michelle Martin
wavy line banner

News

News

CEO Catherine Loh goes on MONEY FM 89.3 to speak about the Sayang Sayang Fund with Michelle Martin

John Doe
John Doe
Financial management by Catherine Loh

Michelle: Let’s start with CFS and the work that it does. How does it support charities and why did the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) start the Sayang Sayang Fund?

Catherine: The Community Foundation of Singapore is also a charity. We were founded in 2008, and our main objective is to inspire philanthropy in Singapore. We do that by helping donors achieve a greater impact with their giving in communities through charitable funds. Donors can establish their own funds or if they wish, they could support one of the Community Impact Funds that we’ve started up.

The Sayang Sayang Fund is one of such Community Impact Funds. It was set up in response to the needs that arose from the COVID 19 pandemic. With our understanding of the needs on the ground, our network of community partners, government agencies, and charity partners, we were able to quickly see what the needs out there were and who needed help.

We thought that by setting up this Fund, it would be an effective way of garnering financial support from those who want to give and disburse it quickly to those in need. That’s why we started it.

Michelle: I understand the Fund aims to help healthcare workers on the frontlines and the vulnerable, and that the Sayang Sayang Fund has pledged some quarter of a million dollars in taxi vouchers to frontline staff of healthcare institutions. How close is the Fund to meeting that goal?

Catherine: I’m happy to say that thanks to the generosity of our donors that we have actually disbursed over $400,000 of taxi and transport vouchers to 129 public hospitals, polyclinics and community healthcare providers. For that I have to thank ComfortDelGro, Grab and Gojek for partnering with us. And I must say that when we started the Fund, our first objective was the welfare of the healthcare workers on the frontline supporting us.

It is only right that we provide them with some love and care, sayang them a bit; that’s how we started this Fund. That was the first project we were looking to do. But over time, when we raised the money, we reached out to the charities through grants calls to send over their funding requests to us, we found that there were lots of needs. In the first round of grants calls we received almost three million dollars in requests for funding, and that is why we decided to continue with the Fund to raise more money.

Michelle: Where are the urgent needs now Catherine, and how is CFS helping to plug these gaps?

Catherine: With the circuit breaker measures, the loss of work and everybody having to stay at home, I would say that almost everyone in Singapore is affected. So one of the very urgent needs that we are trying to address is really how to support the students that have to study from home, or ‘home based learning’.

Through our Recess@Home programme, we are very grateful that we have the partnership support of the Ministry of Education to quickly reach out to thousands of children who might need financial support. Because these students do get subsidies or free food when they are in school, now these students cannot go to school. We want to provide them with some financial support so at least there is some assurance that they do get their proper meals while they study at home. So that is one need.

We realise too that there are seniors that may be sick and are living alone at home and not getting their usual medical care and support. We would also love to set up an emergency fund for those community nurses or even volunteers who are still allowed to do house visits to provide these vulnerable seniors with any form of support that they might need. We understand that there are lots of groups out there that are already providing food and basic necessities. Community nurses could supply them with medicines, medical support, essentials or anything they might need while they are staying at home on their own.

Even young students from families that might need them to take on a part-time job to supplement the family income are no longer able to do so. We could provide them with financial support so they can focus on their studies and not drop out of school because of the worries of not being able to provide for their family. That is one thing that we would like to do as well. Of course, we also have a lot of foreign guests and workers who are falling sick and how can we help them.

Last but not least, back to our healthcare workers again. With the number of cases that they have to take care of, I think it is very important that they stay physically and mentally healthy so that stress doesn’t get to them. We do wish to be able to continue to support these workers with transport vouchers or even funding so their organisations can charter, say buses to send them home quickly after their long work shift.

Michelle: Given the number and the sheer variety of needs out there, how is the Fund approaching giving? I understand in your initial phase, CFS was seeking donations of a million and above. Right now is pretty much any help welcome?

Catherine: We do have a target of three million, and as we speak there are more needs surfacing, so I do think the Fund will continue to stay open as long as there are needs out there that need support. We do have a team of grant-makers out there to assess the situation.

We don’t work alone; we work with our partners like government agencies, NCSS (National Council of Social Service) and AIC (Agency of Integrated Care). We have our whole network of charity partners and we have our other funders who are active and even volunteer groups. We work with all these groups to gather all this information to see where and how the Sayang Sayang Fund can help.

Michelle: Is there a minimum of a million dollars to be able to donate?

Catherine: No, any amount is welcome. I must say that Singaporeans in general have been very generous because last week when many of us received the $600 of the Solidarity payment, many people have donated online in support of Sayang Sayang and also the other charities that happen to be fund-raising.

Michelle: Singaporeans are so generous, so lovely to hear that. Can you share a little bit of your estimate of how much you’re going to need to meet the evolving emergency needs you anticipate for the next couple of weeks?

Catherine: I do hope we can raise another one to two million dollars so that we can actually provide longer term targeted support. I think this pandemic is not going to go away by early June. The economy will only be slowly cranking up after that, so there will still be people who need support one way or the other.

Listen to the full interview here: https://omny.fm/shows/money-fm-893/influence-lending-a-helping-hand-during-covid-19

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
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.

Stories Of Impact

2020 Annabel Pennefather Award winners Eunice and Wai Yhann: How perseverance and determination helped two young women become champion athletes

John Doe
John Doe
picture of Eunice and Wai Yhann

Every year on the 8th of March, the world celebrates the efforts and achievements of all women both past and present with International Women’s Day. This year, we honour a sports icon, lawyer and woman of the year in 2004 – the late Annabel Pennefather, who was a trailblazer in every sense of the word.

Annabel was a former national hockey player, former Vice-President of Singapore National Olympic Council, former President of the Singapore Hockey Federation, a pioneer of women sports administrators in Singapore and a champion of women in sports globally.

“As her long-time friend, I remember Annabel to be an elegant and warm lady. She combined her passion in sports with her skills as a lawyer to develop Sports Law, its rules and practices both in Singapore and internationally,’’ reminisces Arfat Selvam, Managing Director of Duane Morris & Selvam LLP.

‘’Annabel helped to raise the standards of governance in sports. It is befitting that IWF should honour the memory of a well-loved member by having this award in her name to promote the excellence in sports among our young women.”

Annabel’s legacy continues in the form of the Annabel Pennefather Excellence Award, which is presented annually to two female graduating student-athletes between 16 and 25 years of age, who have outstanding sports achievements. The award honours Annabel and her achievements in encouraging and empowering women in the field of sports.

Funded by International Women’s Forum (IWF) Singapore Education Grant, which is managed by the Community Foundation of Singapore, the Grant aims to recognise deserving young women with character and the commitment to achieve in their respective fields. 

“With quiet confidence, fierce intellect and ever disarming charm, Annabel helped women in Singapore transcend their boundaries through her own experiences as a sportswoman.  She always gave her best always to her family, work and country,’’ recalls Melissa Kwee, President of the IWF and friend to the late Annabel.

‘’IWF Singapore is grateful that her example and inspiration lives on in the lives of the recipients, whom I am sure she would encourage to simply be their best self.”

Besides sporting excellence, recipients of the award should demonstrate strong leadership, passion, integrity, moral character and conduct, and community spirit. The winners of the 2020 Annabel Pennefather Excellence Award are Au Yeong Wai Yhann and Eunice Lim Zoe, two young women who have demonstrated such excellence in their sporting fields.

It was Eunice Lim’s family that provided a nurturing catalyst for the young sportswoman to grow into her table tennis shoes at a young age.

‘’I picked up table tennis because I saw my brother playing against the wall when he got back from his school CCA training. I got curious and asked him to let me try it out and since then, I fell in love with this sport and have never stopped playing since,’’ Eunice remembers fondly.

Being a student-athlete, it was also a challenge for Eunice to maintain that delicate balance between doing well in school and training for competitions.

‘’I recall having to juggle both my studies and sports during major competitions seasons. It was not easy, as I did not take any breaks from school on both occasions. I knew I had to give 200% during my limited training sessions, knowing that my opponents are definitely clocking more training sessions than I can,’’ Eunice mulls in retrospect.

Eunice’s persistent efforts did eventually reap impressive rewards, bagging the 2018 bronze medal in the 11th South East Asian (SEA) Championship and a bronze medal in the 2019 Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship.

Winning the Annabel Pennefather award was an important milestone for Eunice, who had grappled with thoughts of quitting table tennis whilst transitioning to university.

‘’I had thoughts of giving up the sport at some point because I felt that I was not achieving much. However, winning the Annabel Pennefather award really acted as a source of encouragement and gave me one of the many reasons to strive on. It reminds me that one’s effort will be recognised, as long as we put our heart and soul into the things that we love.’’

The Annabel Pennefather Award serves as a reminder that encouragement and acknowledgement is a powerful and indelible source for young athletes in their path towards excellence.

For 21 year old squash athlete Au Yeong Wai Yhann, it was her family’s loving support and an early exposure to different sports that gave her the confidence and techniques to create a solid foundation.

Despite strong support from her parents and a good head start in physical sports, it was still a challenge as a student athlete to study for her International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations and compete for the SEA Games and Marigold Squash Championships, where she won medals in both competitions.

‘’My goal to perform well in both the tournaments as well as my IB examinations motivated me to keep pushing and working even harder. And so, I was extremely pleased to have won 3 medals – two silver and one bronze – in the 2019 SEA games as well as be crowned the Womens’ National Squash Champion in 2020 because I knew it was a result of many years and hours of hard work and sacrifices.’’

Having won the Annabel Pennefather Award has reminded the young athlete as to how fortunate she has been able to pursue the sport that she loves, and also a motivation for her to continue striving for greater heights and inspiring her juniors to chase their dreams.

“Always believe in yourself. You are stronger than you think, and can achieve anything you set out to do, as long as you are willing to work hard for it. But in the midst of it, remember to take little breaks and reward yourself – self-care is extremely important to keep you going.”

“My hope is to see the sport scene grow and see more youths pick up and compete in sport. Sport is not just about winning or losing. The journey of training and competing itself allows one to develop strong values such as perseverance and discipline, as well as forge many friendships with others. It provides opportunities for all and so I hope that more kids will engage in it.’’

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.

News

Sayang Sayang Fund – Let’s do more together!

John Doe
John Doe
Healthcare professionals in scrubs engaged in a variety of tasks.

The Sayang Sayang Fund has reached our initial target of $500,000!

A big thank you to our generous donors, who helped us reach this amount in less than seven days.

From the $500,000 raised, CFS will be distributing transport vouchers to healthcare institutions from 19 February 2020. Grants will also be distributed to charities that help disadvantaged individuals who have been further challenged by the heightened precautionary measures, such as vulnerable seniors and low income families.

The heart-warming outpouring of love and support has motivated us to extend our target to raise another $150,000, to support healthcare professionals like home care nurses, as well as those in nursing homes and shelters. The money will be used to appreciate these equally selfless heroes, who are committed to continuing their services for the vulnerable.

Launched on 11 February, CFS has designated the Sayang Sayang Fund a community impact fund that will support the vulnerable in our community during times of national crises.

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
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.

Events

International Women’s Forum Singapore: Empowering young women for a better future

John Doe
John Doe
picture of poon yu hui, lydia lim yong yee, betty chum, nur ashikin bte rahim, lim pei shan, joyce than jia yi, and laurina tay kai yee

They may come from disadvantaged families, juggling work with school, but that has not stopped them from pursuing their dreams or even helping others. For this, ten young women were presented with the 2016 International Women’s Forum (IWF)’s Education Grants on 30 September.

Managed by the Community Foundation of Singapore, the IWF Education Grants support young women who are currently pursuing a diploma or degree in local polytechnics or universities but face challenges in continuing their studies due to financial difficulties. Many come from low income families and need to work to pay school fees or supplement their household income.

Recipients are selected for their academic performance, as well as resilience and aspirations. During the selection process, the Education Grants Committee also highlighted that despite their difficult circumstances, many of the recipients still found time to give back to the community by taking part in voluntary work such as befriending the elderly and mentoring young children and teens.

At the dinner reception held at CapitaGreen and hosted by IWF Singapore leaders including Dr Aline Wong, Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, Arfat Selvam, Saw Phaik Hwa, Chong Siak Ching, Carmee Lim, Goh Swee Chen and Doreen Liu, recipients and mentors mingled and exchanged anecdotes and advice. The young ladies also took to the floor to share their struggles with work and studies, for some the responsibility of caring for ill or unemployed parents and above all their unwavering quest for further education.

The IWF women leaders applauded the strength and determination shown by the recipients and invited them to be ambassadors at the IWF Singapore 20th Anniversary Conference in 2017 so that they can continue to be an inspiration to others. As part of the mentoring programme, IWF leaders will impart guidance, career counselling and life skills to empower these young ladies for the future.

At the 20th Anniversary Conference, the organisation hopes to raise $250,000 to enable and empower even more young women to change the outcomes of their lives as well as their families’.

About the International Women’s Forum

The International Women’s Forum is a singularly unique organisation comprised of more than 6,400 dynamic women leaders in 34 countries and 75 forums around the world. IWF members span careers, cultures and continents, however, they are wholly aligned in their commitment to building better global leadership.

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.

News

Charitable funds boost donations in a tough year for giving

John Doe
John Doe
"Explore The Straits Times charity news page, highlighting philanthropic efforts and inspiring stories."

SINGAPORE – More wealthy people are setting up charitable funds that give at least six-figure sums to their chosen causes.

There were 143 donor-advised funds set up with the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS), disbursing $20.2 million to charitable causes in the non-profit organisation’s financial year that ended in March.

This is double the 70 funds giving out $11.7 million in the financial year that ended in March 2015.

Donors pledge at least $200,000 to set up a donor-advised fund with the CFS, which manages the money, advises donors on the various needs in the community and disburses it according to the donor’s wishes.

Its chief executive officer, Ms Catherine Loh, told The Straits Times there is a greater awareness of the CFS’ work and preference to give through donor-advised funds, which allows donors to give in a more informed, structured and sustained manner over time. And donors get to name their fund.

For example, the donated sum can be held at the foundation in perpetuity and invested, with invested returns going to the charitable causes over time.

Ms Loh said more people are also setting up legacy funds, like those in memory of a late loved one, adding to the rise in donor-advised funds. Or donors may set up a fund to be disbursed after their deaths.

So far, the largest sum donated to start a fund has been $24 million, set up by a family in their late father’s name, Ms Loh said without giving more details.

She noted that such funds have been especially needed during the current Covid-19 pandemic, where more people are in need and many charities say donations are falling.

Since February, the CFS’ donor-advised funds have given out about $1.2 million for purposes related to Covid-19, such as topping up phone cards for migrant workers and buying masks for charities caring for seniors.

Many donor-advised funds, however, are set up to give to specific causes that donors and their families care about.

Mr Lien Ber Luen gave $200,000 in 2018 to set up the Lien Shih Sheng Foundation, which gives to educational causes among others, in memory of his late grandfather, the editor-in-chief of Chinese newspaper Nanyang Siang Pau. Mr Lien Shih Sheng was a literary pioneer here, involved in many arts, education and cultural activities, his grandson said.

The Lien Shih Sheng Foundation has funded scholarships at Raffles Institution for children from low-income families and it will also support a new programme to give financial aid to children from underprivileged families to attend preschool regularly.

Mr Lien, who is in his 40s, works in a local asset management firm and is married with two children, said: “He was a doting grandfather and a role model for me. I set up this fund to remember him and to continue his legacy of contributing to the community.”

Like Mr Lien, over half of the funds at the CFS were set up by donors aged between 40 and 60, ranging from working professionals to those with inherited wealth, Ms Loh said.

While supporting education and helping the sick and the poor are evergreen favourites, causes relating to environmental and sustainability issues are also becoming more popular. Donors are also more savvy.

She said: “We have seen donors asking more questions and moving away from just chequebook philanthropy over the years.”

Instead, they are keen to understand the root causes of social problems and to find ways to tackle them, instead of simply handing over their money.

Besides the CFS, the SymAsia Foundation, which is established by private bank Credit Suisse for its clients, also offers donor-advised funds.

The SymAsia Foundation did not reveal the number of such funds, but said its clients “typically make a commitment of $1 million for donations”.

Ms Young Jin Yee, CEO of SymAsia Foundation, added: “I would say no other cause has brought our donors together like the current Covid-19 pandemic.”

She said about a third of its donors from across the Asia-Pacific region have stepped up to alleviate the difficulties brought about by the virus. This includes giving financial aid to students in Singapore whose families were affected by Covid-19, and supporting the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus being jointly developed by the Duke-NUS Medical School and an American pharmaceutical firm.

Source: The Straits Times

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
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.

Trending Stories

Scroll to Top