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CFS welcomes new Chairman Christine Ong, succeeding Laurence Lien
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CFS welcomes new Chairman Christine Ong, succeeding Laurence Lien

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(From left) Catherine Loh, Christine Ong and Laurence Lien.

The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) welcomes new Chairman Christine Ong on 1 April 2019, succeeding outgoing Chairman Laurence Lien. The handover was announced at the CFS Philanthropy Forum 2019 held on 18 March.

Signalling a new phase for CFS as the organisation looks to the future, Christine brings extensive experience spanning 30 years from the banking and finance industry, with key leadership positions in Citibank and UBS. She has long been involved in volunteering and mentoring in community regeneration, education and the arts. At UBS, she started a community affairs programme which raised $3 million to support various causes around the region including educating disadvantaged young people in East Java and saving children from being used as drug mules in the Mekong sub-region.

Christine is a current board member of Focus on the Family. She most recently served as Chairman of Arts House Limited and was previously on the board of The Esplanade Co Ltd (2015–2018).

Said Christine, “It is an honour for me to step into Laurence’s giant shoes at CFS. Laurence has not only built a successful organisation but his inclusive leadership has helped forge strong relationships with donors, partners and stakeholders.I am grateful for the opportunity to lead CFS which, over the years, has transformed how philanthropy is approached. As the organisation evolves to respond to an increasingly complex social landscape, I shall continue to build on the trust and meaningful relationships established between donors and charity partners to inspire even more giving and lead CFS into the next decade.”

Laurence was a founding director of CFS when it was launched in 2009, acting CEO from 2009–2013, and has served as its Chairman since 2013. He has been instrumental in introducing the concept of community philanthropy through donor advised funds to Singapore. He played a significant role in helping CFS grow to achieve 126 funds, raising over $134 million and disbursing over $71 million to over 400 charitable organisations in Singapore.

CFS CEO Catherine Loh remarked, “Under Laurence’s strategic leadership, CFS has grown tremendously and established itself as an organisation well-regarded for its community knowledge, professionalism and strategic approach to giving.”

Reflecting on his ten-year tenure at CFS, Laurence said, “When you start a venture in the non-profit sector, you don’t own anything. The rewards are not material but instead a personal satisfaction that comes from knowing you made a difference.”

He cited CFS’s phenomenal four-fold growth in 2018 as a fitting time for his departure, “CFS is really at an inflection point and it is a good time to leave on a high note. I am confident that with a good board and team already in place, and an experienced hand taking over as Chair, CFS will grow from strength to strength, and become a landmark in Singapore’s giving landscape.”

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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 Annual Report 2017

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CFS annual report 2017 cover

The CFS Annual Report 2017 has just been published. This year’s Annual Report sums up CFS’s effective work with donors and charity partners for the year as we continue to impact diverse communities. Download your copy here.

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News

Set up during the covid-19 pandemic, Sayang Sayang Fund raised $9.7m over three years, supporting over 400,000 lives
应疫情设立 Sayang Sayang基金三年筹970万元惠及40万人

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Established in 2020 as an emergency response fund during the covid-19 pandemic, the Sayang Sayang Fund (SSF) raised $9,700,000 in three years, supporting over 276 organisations and touching over 401,000 lives.

互助团体Mum’s Collective主办康乐与交流活动,旨在为低收入家庭的母亲建立支援网络,去年获得Sayang Sayang基金的部分资助。(中南社区家庭服务中心提供)

Established in 2020 as an emergency response fund during the covid-19 pandemic, the Sayang Sayang Fund (SSF) raised $9,700,000 in three years, supporting over 276 organisations and touching over 401,000 lives. 

According to the Sayang Sayang Fund report published on CFS’s website, the fund disbursed $6,542,000 (67% of donations) in 2020, $2,060,000 (21% of donations) in between 2021-2022, and $1,11,900 (12% of donations) in 2023. 

CFS CEO Catherine Loh shared that when the pandemic started, CFS recognised the need to provide a platform to pool together resources to help those that required support, including frontline healthcare workers, students from lower-income families, rough sleepers, and migrant workers. Through collaboration with community care organisations and various agencies, CFS was able to better understand the needs of the people and allocate assistance more efficiently.

Read our Sayang Sayang Fund report.

因应冠病疫情推出的Sayang Sayang基金过去三年筹集的约970万元,支持了276家社会服务、医疗和教育机构的援助项目,惠及约40万人。

Sayang Sayang基金由新加坡社区基金会于2020年设立,已全数拨款支持各援助项目。根据社区基金会在网上发布的Sayang Sayang基金总结报告,2020年拨出的基金款项占67%,达654万2000元;2021年至2022年拨出的基金占21%,达206万元;其余的12%在2023年拨出,达111万9000元。

2020年,基金主要用来支持前线医疗人员,以及低收入家庭、年长者和客工等有需要群体应对冠病疫情。2021年至2022年,社区基金会扩大基金的使用范围,资助慈善机构提升数码能力,适应新常态。

2023年,基金着重于加强社会在后疫情时代的韧性,例如资助有关露宿街头者、最低收入标准等社会研究项目,以及社区保健计划。

新加坡社区基金会总裁罗佩仪指出,冠病疫情暴发时,基金会意识到须集合各方的专长,并提供一个平台汇集善款来帮助有需要的群体,因此设立这个新基金。通过与各社服机构的协作,基金会能更好地了解民众的需求,更有效率地拨款协助。

Sayang Sayang基金2020年2月11日正式推介时,最初的筹款目标为50万元,其间获得企业和民众的踊跃支持,同年6月就筹得690万元。

基金共资助11项计划,这些计划包括为前线医疗人员提供德士礼券和礼包、为低收入家庭的孩子提供经济援助、为街友提供住宿和经济援助、为客工填补电话卡储值等。

当中,CommunityGrants@Work计划的拨款最多,达205万7000元,旨在帮助慈善机构应付疫情期间增加的开销,并协助机构转变运作方式,推动数码化进程。其次,是获得192万2000元的SeniorsOK@Home计划,这项计划资助可惠及弱势年长者的项目,照顾乐龄的福祉与身心健康。


基金疫后侧重加强社会支援

步入2023年的后期阶段,基金侧重加强社会支援,支持人民坚韧地走出疫情。民间团体Mum’s Collective去年获得基金的部分资助。这个互助团体由居住在红山租赁组屋的妇女组成。活动由受惠者倡导并策划,中南社区家庭服务中心为团体提供所需的协助。

Mum’s Collective旨在为低收入家庭的母亲提供一个交流平台,吐露彼此面对的问题,并一起参与烘焙等休闲活动。参与者诺希达雅(33岁)说,她通过互助团体获得力量,明白自己不是唯一面对生活困难的。有了这个支援网络,她如今能更好地处理压力,也变得更加自信。

信用:联合早报©新报业媒体有限公司。复制需要许可

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

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Stories Of Impact

#MyGivingJourney x Trina Liang-Lin: Investing in a sustainable future 

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#MyGivingJourney is a series by CFS to celebrate inspiring women and their work in the philanthropy sector. We are proud to feature Trina Liang-Lin, Managing Director at Templebridge Investments and Board of Director at CFS. 

Trina had a back to nature, farm to table experience growing up. Right up to the late 80s, her father’s family-owned farms in Lim Chu Kang, raising chickens, ducks and cultivating vegetables. That gave her a front row seat to the benefits of producing our own food and using natural resources thoughtfully.  

Today, Trina is investing her time and resources to push eco-consciousness to the top of our agenda. In November 2021, she led the launch of Women in Sustainability and Environment (WISE), the first women’s society in Singapore to focus concerted gender action towards Singapore’s Green Plan 2030 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 12. 

WISE hopes to educate and empower a community of women who, in their roles as consumers, business owners and professionals, can move the needle on creating a greener world. This will be done through lectures, mentorships and awards. “Climate change disproportionately affects women and girls around the world so it is important for women to be represented in eco leadership circles and in green economy jobs. We need greater participation, inclusiveness and visibility of key female stakeholders in sustainability and climate advocacy,” says Trina, who works for a US$5 billion global fund where she focuses on clean energy investments in Southeast Asia. 

Trina has been elbow-deep in social and community work for much of her professional life. The causes she champions are decidedly diverse: she has given her time and expertise to uplift women, the arts, education and animal welfare. She helped found the Financial Women’s Association Singapore, which offers women in finance a support network, and was a past-President of UN Women (Singapore). She is currently Singapore’s representative to the G20 for Women.  

Her giving journey has seen her serve on the boards of the National Volunteer and Philanthropy CentreSingapore Council of Women’s Organisations and Sentosa Development Corporation. In line with her passion for conserving wild species and their habitat, she currently volunteers on the boards of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF-Singapore) and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. That’s not all: Trina is also a board member of Victoria Junior College and the Singapore Repertory Theatre.  

For their 20th wedding anniversary in 2016, Trina and her husband Edmund Lin established a foundation to give back in a more strategic and effective way. They explored different avenues but opted to go with CFS as it works closely with over 400 charities across a wide spectrum and can establish philanthropic funds seamlessly and quickly. Their Lin Foundation has supported causes that resonate with them, such as education, where they fund scholarships at Singapore Management University.   

“We decided to start giving back relatively early as we want to start making an impact now rather than later,” says Trina. “This is a long-term commitment for us and with CFS expertly guiding us in managing a foundation and making grants, our giving is optimised and can be scaled up further.” 

Begin your own journey of giving with CFS. Read more stories about the #MyGivingJourney series here. 

This article was written by Sunita Sue Leng, a former financial analyst and journalist, who believes that the written word can be a force for good. She hopes to someday write something worth plagiarising. 

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Events

Colabs: doing more for persons with disabilities

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As persons with disabilities reach age 18 and exit the school system, they face new life challenges, including living their desired life and gaining access to care and support. With a keen eye on identifying opportunities to improve the lives of these individuals, we kicked off the Colabs Disability series which focused on engagement pathways and employment through catalysing cross-sector collaboration.

As part of the series, participants were recently invited to the MINDS’ Idea Employment Development Centre to understand what a sheltered employment workshop in Singapore would look like. Made up of a diverse group, including social enterprises, corporates, philanthropic institutions, government agencies and non-profits, the group bonded over a common desire to learn and do more for persons with disabilities.

The group took part in various work stations at MINDS, where they interacted and worked alongside their clients. On a daily basis, clients were engaged in a wide range of activities, from seeding, retail, craft and kitchen work, to the packing of edible gifts, bottled water, and disposable earphones.

Next, participants gathered to share their aspirations for persons with disabilities, and their ideas on how the current model of sheltered employment could be improved. For many in the room, it was an eye-opening experience and a great chance to explore opportunities to contribute and collaborate.

Within the context of the sheltered workshop, companies and philanthropists can:

Create greater variety in jobs in workshops, or increase the number of jobs available, by connecting sheltered workshops with potential employers to explore and implement job re-design matched to the abilities of persons with disabilities, or encouraging companies to outsource certain tasks to persons with disabilities (e.g. event decoration, gift preparation, logistics). Much of this can be enabled by education and outreach to potential partners.

Provide a variety of social activities outside of work tasks in sheltered employment workshops, through partnerships with existing non-profits.

Improve the financial sustainability of running sheltered workshops by funding wages or subsidies, providing pro-bono services or skill-based volunteering to sheltered workshops in the marketing of existing products such as bottled water, food and gifts.

Companies and philanthropists interested in understanding how to work together with MINDS can contact the Idea Employment Development Centre to explore possibilities.

If you’re interested in what can be done to support persons with disabilities and their caregivers, the DesignSingapore Council has published an ethnographic study documenting how persons with disabilities live, work and interact with society, along with an illustrated overview of services supporting persons with disabilities. 

Some suggestions for collaborative solutions – based on the collective feedback of over 80 participants in the series – are outlined in the Colabs publication ‘A Call for Collaborative Giving: Bridging the Divide for Persons with Disabilities’ which can be downloaded here.

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