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Charitable funds boost donations in a tough year for giving
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Charitable funds boost donations in a tough year for giving

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"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

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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

National Legacy Giving initiative to inspire philanthropic culture in Singapore

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The three-year national Legacy Giving Initiative aims to make planned gifts more common and frequent as another avenue for Singaporeans to make their giving meaningful.

Private philanthropy has an important role to play in providing much needed support for the community. The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) kicks off this initiative today with “A Greater Gift” campaign, to boost awareness and drive conversations for legacy giving and its value to the community.

According to a Social Pulse Survey 1, there is a disconnect between awareness and action when it comes to legacy giving. While the majority of respondents (83%) flagged awareness on what legacy giving is, only 33 per cent is considering legacy as a means of giving, but only 3 per cent would take action.

CFS’ “A Greater Gift’’ campaign, which is digitally-led, will run over the next three months, inviting individuals, professional advisors, and charities to consider ways a legacy gift can provide meaningful support and leave a lasting impact. As part of the campaign, CFS has partnered with ambassadors to highlight the causes they support, capturing what inspired their interests in a particular cause and the legacy they wish to leave.

Going forward, CFS will work with professional advisors by providing them with resources to help them ignite conversations with clients. We will support charities, especially the smaller ones, which may not be equipped to engage legacy donors.

Legacy gifts can be broadly defined as planned, future donations to charities. While up to the individual, the gift can be cash, marketable securities, insurance payouts, CPF monies and marketable assets. Individuals looking to support a cause over a period of years can establish a donor-advised fund (DAF) with CFS, to manage grant distributions

CFS was selected to lead the Legacy Giving Initiative with its strong track record and deep experience in advisory and grant making. As a neutral entity not attached to a specific cause, CFS complements the philanthropy landscape by bridging donor intentions to causes and charities.

Mr. Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Law said, “Legacy giving enables Singaporeans to leave a lasting and meaningful gift to society. We hope that more Singaporeans will consider planning their donations for the future, as it can help support our charities, and spread the spirit of SG Cares across generations. Thank you to the Community Foundation of Singapore for leading the Legacy Giving Initiative, and encouraging Singaporeans to contribute to a more caring and inclusive society.”

CFS Brand Ambassadors

  • Dr. Audrey Looi and Dr. Ang Beng Ti – An eye specialist and neurosurgeon respectively, this husband and wife duo have made it their mission to equip children with low-vision with skills and resources. After personally experiencing a gap in supporting their son who has a degenerative eye disorder, they committed to supporting the visually impaired via iC2 PrepHouse.
  • Nadia Ahmad Samdin – A lawyer whose own personal journey of receiving financial assistance in school has led her to championing support for at-risk youth and their families, who will particularly benefit from having steady care.
  • Dipa Swaminathan – A lawyer and TEDx speaker, her passion to improve the welfare of migrant workers here has led her to set up social initiative ItsRainingRaincoats in 2015, which has especially increased society’s kindness and compassion for this community at the height of the pandemic.
  • Hian Goh – An entrepreneur and venture capitalist who wants to contribute to the future of society by identifying the next big game-changers and creating opportunities for innovators to reach their full potential.
  • Kris Tan – A philanthropist dedicated to empowering the arts in Singapore. She set up a charitable fund with CFS, Kris Foundation, in 2009 to support young classical musicians in Singapore and will expand it to the wider arts community.

About Legacy Giving

The legacy giving campaign is part of a three-year Legacy Giving Initiative (LGI). This campaign will highlight that everyone can contribute to the community through a legacy gift, either through CFS or directly to a charity. The LGI will build awareness by helping individuals understand the ways to give and the value of planned gifts to charity. It will also support professional advisors working with clients and charities engaging their donors in philanthropy conversations. CFS is well placed to drive this initiative.

As Singapore’s only community foundation, it is a neutral philanthropy resource with experience in grantmaking advisory. Visit legacygiving.sg

1The Social Pulse Survey was started in 2016 as an on-going survey carried out by The Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) to gather Singaporeans’ opinions and involvement with regard to matters such as sports, arts, culture and community living. Each month, about 500 interviews are conducted face-to-face with randomly selected households, and residents aged 15 and over across Singapore. The survey sample is representative of Singapore’s resident population.

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

Fresh off the press

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Annual report 2018
In financial year 2018, CFS received a total of $9.7 million in donations. We disbursed $12.4 million worth of grants to 186 charitable organisations supporting various causes. This year’s annual report also showcases CFS’s latest donor advised funds, grantmaking highlights, collaborative giving initiatives and recent events.
Download your copy here.

A Call for Collaborative Giving
This first Colabs publication – a collaboration between CFS and NVPC – sheds light on the challenges disadvantaged young persons face at home, and the impact of the family environment on educational attainment and social mobility. The guide offers suggestions on collaborative action to help givers close the gap for these individuals.
Download your copy here.

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

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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.

Events

Lunar New Year 2018 – Celebrating a decade of growing giving to impact

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a man holding a microphone speaking

CFS’s 10th anniversary celebrations kicked off to a wonderful start with a Lunar New Year lunch on 1 March.

Themed “A decade of giving and gratitude”, the event was a testament to CFS’s journey from a quiet start-up a decade ago to a thriving organisation today.

Attended by some 120 donors, charities and partners, the room was filled with a spirited sense of bonding. In his opening speech, Chairman Laurence Lien reflected on CFS’s beginnings during the 2009 Global Financial Crisis when few prospects wanted to talk about philanthropy. “Surviving the first five years was an achievement,” he expressed, citing the setting up of the Outing for the Elderly Fund and the S R Nathan Education Upliftment fund as early endorsements of CFS’s capabilities.

Striking a poignant note in his last year as CFS’s Chairman, Laurence also left several memorable parting thoughts – from inviting donors to be part-owners of CFS to encouraging all to embrace collaboration through their own donor communities.

There were endless conversations in a convival atmosphere as old ties were renewed and new connections were made between donors and charities. In the spirit of collaboration, Deputy CEO Joyce Teo provided an update on Colabs – an initiative between CFS and NVPC announced a year ago.. Her speech shone a light on Colabs’ objective of tackling social issues by bringing together diverse players and signalled forthcoming initiatives focused on disadvantaged children and youth, persons with disabilities and seniors.

Rounding off the lunch, CEO Catherine Loh thanked donors for their trust in CFS, which has resulted in many donors embracing new and innovative approaches to philanthropy. She signalled CFS will focus on Collaboration, Legacy and Impact to tackle issues arising from a rapidly ageing population, technological disruptions and income inequality. To this end, CFS will build on its strong foundation to help even more donors experience the benefits of committed and sustained giving.

We look forward to the exciting months ahead as we continue to mark this milestone year and drive community philanthropy forward.

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News

The Community Foundation of Singapore launches new Sayang Sayang Fund

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Image of Sayang Saing Fund logo. WIth a young and old lady holding hands

The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) has established Sayang Sayang Fund to provide support for frontline healthcare workers as well as vulnerable communities impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

“Many people have approached us asking how they can help. They want to recognise and show appreciation to the healthcare staff who work tirelessly during this period of the novel coronavirus outbreak. As the only community foundation in Singapore, we are best placed to connect donors and community partners, and come together to support the needs of the communities,” said Catherine Loh, CEO of CFS.

The target amount to be raised for the Sayang Sayang Fund is $500,000. $250,000 will be given in the form of $5 transport vouchers, as a gesture of appreciation, for healthcare frontline staff in public healthcare institutions such as hospitals and polyclinics to ease their commute to and from work. CFS has secured $84,000 in donations to-date. ComfortDelGro, the first transport provider to support the Fund, has pledged an initial batch of 1,000 taxi vouchers.

“We read with some distress that healthcare staff in uniforms have been ostracised, not just by the public but by the cabbies. Whilst we have yet to receive any complaints about such incidents, we want to reinforce the message that we appreciate all that the medical profession has been doing. Our gesture is small compared to what they have been contributing on a daily basis,” said Tammy Tan, Group Chief Corporate Communications Officer, ComfortDelGro Corporation Limited.

The remaining $250,000 will be disbursed across community partners supporting vulnerable communities such as seniors and families who are impacted by the heightened precautionary measures. CFS has received requests for funding to cover additional manpower costs for home visits for needy seniors and alternative food distribution channels to low income families.

Given the evolving nature of the situation, the Fund will adapt to the changing needs. CFS will work closely with community partners to address gaps ensuring that those in disadvantaged situations will still be able to get the aid they need.

The name Sayang Sayang is chosen because it is a local colloquial term that most people are familiar with. It is in line with the idea of showing love and appreciation to healthcare professionals who work hard to care for us, as well as to other communities who may be impacted by the COVID-19 situation.

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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