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Donations to CFS increased by 60% over the past two years
新加坡社区基金会 两年多善款增六成
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Donations to CFS increased by 60% over the past two years
新加坡社区基金会 两年多善款增六成

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Over two years, the number of Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) managed by the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) has increased from 162 to 235, and total donations received since inception has risen from $192 million to $311 million. As of 31 December 2023, CFS has disbursed over $169 million in grants, a big jump from the $114 million disbursed as of 31 March 2021. 

Speaking to Zaobao, CEO Ms Catherine Loh, shared that one reason for the significant increase in donations was due to a few large donations exceeding $10 million over the past three years. She also highlighted the introduction of Legacy Giving by CFS, and the organisation’s efforts to work more closely with financial and legal advisors to promote philanthropy. Notably, about 15% of CFS’s DAFs are memorial in nature, including the recently established Adrian Tan Memorial Fund in 2023. 

Learn more about our DAFs at https://cf.org.sg/donors/donor-advised-funds/.

截至2023年12月31日,新加坡社区基金会发放的善款超过1亿6900万元,比截至2021年3月31日的超过1亿1400万元多,造福更多人。(档案照片)

Over two years, the number of Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) managed by the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) has increased from 162 to 235, and total donations received since inception has risen from $192 million to $311 million. As of 31 December 2023, CFS has disbursed over $169 million in grants, a big jump from the $114 million disbursed as of 31 March 2021. 

Speaking to Zaobao, CEO Ms Catherine Loh, shared that one reason for the significant increase in donations was due to a few large donations exceeding $10 million over the past three years. She also highlighted the introduction of Legacy Giving by CFS, and the organisation’s efforts to work more closely with financial and legal advisors to promote philanthropy. Notably, about 15% of CFS’s DAFs are memorial in nature, including the recently established Adrian Tan Memorial Fund in 2023. 

Learn more about our DAFs at https://cf.org.sg/donors/donor-advised-funds/.

过去两年多,新加坡社区基金会管理的慈善基金从162个增至235个,善款从1亿9200万元提高到3亿1100万元,增约六成,显示国人对慈善的意识不断提高。

截至2023年12月31日,新加坡社区基金会(The Community Foundation of Singapore,简称基金会)发放的善款超过1亿6900万元,比截至2021年3月31日的超过1亿1400万元多,造福更多人。

新加坡社区基金会总裁罗佩仪答复《联合早报》询问时说,过去三年,基金会接到几个超过1000万元的慈善基金,这是善款增加的其中原因。

另一原因是因为基金会积极推广遗赠项目,并且与财务专员和律师更紧密合作,让更多人认识基金项目,所以取得积极成效。

基金会在2008年成立,通过可持续、妥善和具透明度的方式,协助个人、家庭或企业设立或管理慈善基金。

捐款者能以自己、家人或公司名义设立基金,或为逝者设立基金。遗赠可包括现金、提名基金会为受益人的保险赔付或公积金存款,以及有价证券或房地产等。

捐赠者可指定受惠者,基金会将与相关慈善团体配对,制定有效的行善策略。

基金会与超过400个慈善伙伴合作,协助对象广泛,包括孩童、年长者、客工或社会边缘人,援助范围包括医疗、教育、艺术和动物福利等。

罗佩仪说,基金会管理的“捐献者指示基金”(Donor Advised Funds)分三类,一种是捐赠基金(Endowment fund),慈善资产将永久保存在社区基金会并进行投资,投资收益直接用在所选择支持的慈善机构和项目。

第二种属于流转基金(Flow-Through Fund),在特定时期内支持个人选定、所喜爱的慈善机构和项目,占总指示基金约75%。另一种是可投资流转基金(Investible Flow-Through Fund),捐款用于投资,投资回报和本金都可用于个人选择的慈善事业。

 

捐献者指示基金 目前最大款项超过2000万元

 

在捐献者指示基金中,目前款项最大的超过2000万元,而总指示基金也有约15%属于纪念性质的基金,包括去年设立的陈锦海纪念基金。

她说,陈锦海纪念基金是陈锦海妻子为了向亡夫致敬,并支持他生前热衷的慈善事业而设的。

“纪念基金是缅怀亲人的绝佳方式。我们当中的许多人都是读陈锦海的书长大的,很荣幸能与陈太太合作向他致敬。陈锦海纪念基金确保他的遗赠得以延续,支持他生前关心的公益事业。”

罗佩仪也指出,可投资流转基金是一种新的基金类型,“我们看到捐助者的需求不断增加,他们希望利用捐款投资获取回报,并灵活使用捐款和投资回报,支持所选择的慈善机构。”

 

已故前总统纳丹生前设立“纳丹教育提升基金”

 

已故前总统纳丹于2011年卸下总统职务时,通过社区基金会,以他的名义设立“纳丹教育提升基金”。

属于捐赠基金的纳丹教育提升基金,两年多前累积逾1000万元资金。

纳丹生前委任一个拨款咨询委员会,负责就基金可支持的项目提供建议,通过助学金、奖学金,以及各项经济援助计划,支持工艺教育局以下工艺教育学院和高等教育学府的贫困学生顺利升学。纳丹2016年逝世,享年92岁。

 

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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Opinion

Our Annual Report 2023 is now available for download

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CFS Annual Report 2023

We are excited to share the release of the Community Foundation of Singapore’s (CFS) Annual Report for 2023.

With the overarching theme of ‘Creating a Better Tomorrow Together’, the report highlights the work done to inspire and facilitate strategic giving to benefit our local community. We showcase the enhancements we have made to our service offerings, governance standards, and operational efficiencies over the past year. It stands as a testament to CFS’s unwavering commitment to proactively identify and address emerging community needs, and our experience and expertise that enables us to drive tangible impact.

Here are some key highlights from the Annual Report 2023:

A Year of Steady Progress:

Against a backdrop of slower economic growth in 2022, donations remained high and our rolling three-year average continued on an upward trend. Our community of dedicated philanthropists continued to grow. Through strategic partnerships with corporations such as Accenture, Endowus, and other institutions, we harnessed a wealth of expertise to amplify our impact. 

The past year marked a significant milestone, with 47 new donors establishing 27 Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs). Their generous contributions allowed us to allocate $16.8 million in grants to 212 organisations spanning diverse causes, demonstrating the incredible power of collective giving.

In collaboration with the Agency of Integrated Care (AIC), we launched the FUN! Fund, a community impact fund focused on improving the well-being and happiness of our seniors through innovative programmes designed to infuse fun into their lives.

Making a Greater Impact:

In 2022, CFS took significant strides towards ensuring outcome-driven grantmaking. Our grant framework now places a strong emphasis on measurable change, ensuring greater impact for both our donors and charity partners.

Throughout the year, CFS’ Centre for Applied Philanthropy (CAP) played a pivotal role in fostering collaboration across public, private, and community sectors to address complex social challenges. This collaborative approach will gain even more momentum in 2023.

With sustainability advocacy being one of our key focal areas, we strengthened our ESG framework. This involved aligning our programmes with the United Nations’ Social Development Goals, a move that underscores our commitment to making a lasting positive impact.

The potential of philanthropy lies in its capacity to bring about enduring, positive change. As we look back on the year and observe the significant impact made possible by the support of our donors, we find inspiration to continue our efforts. Our grants have helped to improve the lives of many, including refugees seeking to rebuild their lives, youths in need of mental resilience, disadvantaged students receiving evidence-based after-school tutoring, dementia patients receiving specialised care, marginalised job seekers receiving coaching and training, and nurturing the next generation of climate champions. 

Connect with Us: 

CFS is deeply committed to advancing strategic philanthropy, and positioning Singapore as Asia’s philanthropy hub. To achieve this, we actively serve as an Enabler, Steward, Convener, and Advocate.

We are eager to connect and collaborate with donors, charities, partners, and sector leaders to build a more compassionate, caring, and inclusive Singapore. To learn more about CFS or join us on our mission, we welcome you to get in touch.

For an in-depth exploration of the year’s milestones and the impact of our contributions to the community, click here to download your copy.

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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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Opinion

Accessing Quality Education: Three Areas Where Donors Can Make A Difference

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Smiling children wearing orange shirts sitting at a table with notebooks

Students without means often do not enjoy the same opportunities as their well-to-do peers. Some are forced to give up their studies to support themselves and their families. Others struggle throughout school without realising they have a learning disability. Some younger children are less school-ready, leading them to fall behind academically. With grants from CFS donors, at-risk students can get the right support to access quality education, one of five focal outcome-centred causes that CFS champions.  

We firmly believe education can boost a person’s employability, and promote inclusivity and integration within society. However, we recognise that not every child has an equal shot at obtaining the education they need. With targeted philanthropy, we bridge critical gaps and improve social mobility for our most vulnerable young.

CFS curates evidence-backed programmes that stretch from pre-school to tertiary level. In this article, we focus on three essential areas where, together with our donors, we continue to make a tangible impact. These are financial assistance for living expenses, helping children with learning differences and building skills for primary-level pupils. 

Letting Students Focus on Learning Through Financial Assistance

At the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), students gain diplomas and valuable skills in a variety of industries, from food science to nursing to IT.  The majority of ITE students, however, come from challenging backgrounds: 46% are from families with a per capita income of under $1,000, more than twice the national average. Many then have to work part-time, leaving less time for their studies.

ITE lends a helping hand to these youths through the Monthly Financial Assistance Scheme (MFAS). Beneficiaries receive $150 per month for six months to help with their food and transport costs. 

ITE is only able to help some of their students with MFAS and relies on donor support to ensure greater coverage. This would help even more students on their quest to graduate and find gainful employment. 

Similar financial assistance schemes are also offered by AMKFSC Community Services Ltd, Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic. Numerous students with limited family support stand to benefit from your generosity.

Support for Dyslexia Assessments

Children with learning differences often have difficulties keeping up in school. This can severely impact their academic life and hurt their career opportunities. Some have dyslexia without knowing it: global incidence rates suggest that up to 10% of the school-going population may suffer from dyslexia.

In Singapore, the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) conducts close to 1,000 psycho-educational assessments each year, based on referrals by teachers and parents. These assessments are important in identifying the needs of struggling learners to make appropriate recommendations for learning support. However, about 35% of these children come from low-income families, who will not be able to afford the costly assessment fees.

Donor support from CFS directly funds psycho-educational assessments by trained psychologists at DAS. Once diagnosed, the children will be able to receive support tailored to their learning abilities. Through early intervention, donors are helping disadvantaged children overcome their learning differences, allowing them to fulfil their potential.

After-School Enrichment Builds Skills and Confidence

Each child starts at a different point in primary school based on their socio-economic background. Those from families facing challenges may have weaker literacy or numeracy skills and thus be less prepared for school.  Being placed into lower-performing classes may demoralise and frustrate these children, leading to disinterest and reduced academic motivation.

KidsExcel works closely with primary schools to reach out to students from families with a gross household income below $2,750 or per capita income below $690. It runs regular enrichment sessions which address learning gaps as well as activities centred on sports and life skills. This includes drama, public speaking and robotics. The programme boosts resilience and character-building while helping the kids academically. It also empowers parents to participate in their children’s educational journey.

In 2022, KidsExcel served 350 primary school children across 11 centres. An encouraging number of children were able to improve their grades, while 87% of Primary 6 pupils passed their PSLE. Through KidsExcel, donors are helping to level the playing field for underprivileged children in primary schools. 

We could spark change with far-reaching effects by funding a programme that improves access to quality education. Drawing on our experience working with charities and partners over the years, CFS is here to offer advisory and administrative support so that you can focus on the transformative power of your giving to educational causes.  

Learn how CFS can help you support access to quality education at https://www.cf.org.sg/giving/ways-to-give/.

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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

Business Times: As they received, they now give

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A snapshot of a newspaper Business Times: As they received, they now give

Education is a force for good and a cause that Trina Liang-Lin and Edmund Lin are passionate about supporting.

Education has been pivotal in both their lives, paving stones to their successful careers. Ms Liang-Lin, 47, is the managing director of investment research consulting firm Templebridge Investments, and married to Mr Lin, 49, partner and founding member of Bain & Company’s Singapore office.

She is known for her passion for women’s empowerment. The past-president of the Singapore Committee for UN Women sits on the boards of several non-profits including the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations and Victoria Junior College. He has devoted time and expertise to the Singapore Management University (SMU), serving on its boards.

“Both of us, we see education as the ultimate leveller. We saw it in both our lives,” says Ms Liang-Lin.

A giving shaped by education
Thinking back to her days as a St Joseph’s Convent schoolgirl, Ms Liang-Lin recalls walking through the school compound each morning, climbing the flight of stairs to the school hall and seeing a bronze plaque bearing the name of philanthropist Tan Kah Kee who had given money to build that hall.

“It made an impression on me,” she says, that someone with no obvious ties to the school and its students would decide to give. For that school still means much to her today. It was where some of her deepest friendships were forged.

That plaque led her to notice similar plaques elsewhere, such as a list of donors and their donations towards the building of what is today’s Singapore Art Museum. The three-digit figures seem insignificant now, yet, helped raise buildings of such significance. “It impressed upon me that for a sum like that you can leave such an important legacy,” says Ms Liang-Lin.

Later, she would receive a scholarship to study abroad – an opportunity that would have been out of reach without a scholarship. “It did change my life,” she says.

Education, and the generosity of others, changed Mr Lin’s life too.

His parents arrived in the United States as struggling graduate students from Taiwan and Hong Kong. But they were shown hospitality and care. Mr Lin remembers one American couple that looked out for his mother, offered their backyard as a venue for his parents’ wedding, and then hosted his family for numerous Thanksgiving dinners.

“From a young age, I always felt that my parents, my brother and I all benefitted from the kindness of others,” he says.

His parents’ education was a gateway to a comfortable life in the U.S. for their family. And eventually, Mr Lin himself was awarded scholarships that secured him a high-quality college education without any financial burden.

How much is enough?
The couple acknowledge that the volunteering they did during their college years – Ms Liang-Lin served at nursing homes while Mr Lin volunteered as a mentor at college and with San Francisco’s Chinatown YMCA – came to a halt when they first joined the workforce in demanding jobs.

Their 20s were intensely focused on work and establishing their careers. “It was really more in our early to mid-30s that we said, okay, we’re at a certain level of accomplishment and comfort. Now is a good time to have a more purposeful life,” says Mr Lin.

One question they had discussed, Ms Liang-Lin says, was: how much is enough? “I think the secret of success in a lifetime is knowing when enough is enough for you.”

“Enough” is not about an amount, nor a specific age. “It is very different from person to person, family to family, but it’s a state of mind – that you feel you are content and it is now time to give back to the society that allowed you to become who you are,” she says.

And so, they began giving their time and resources.

Six years into working life, Ms Liang-Lin helped found the Financial Women’s Association Singapore to provide women in finance with a support network. The association soon searched for charities to support, kicking off her philanthropic work in earnest. Mr Lin too, began contributing his time and expertise, starting with SMU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Business Advisory Board and subsequently joining the SMU Board of Trustees.

And as a couple, they began giving to causes they felt strongly about: education, gender equality, animal welfare and the arts.

The multiplier effect of structured giving
It was while they were looking for a meaningful way to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary that Ms Liang-Lin and Mr Lin began to mull over taking things a step further to formalise their giving.

“We spoke with Mr Teng Ngiek Lian of the Silent Foundation, who encouraged us to start our philanthropy journey now, rather than wait. He also gave us a better sense of what was needed to set up a private foundation – staffing, resources, expertise and governance,” says Ms Liang-Lin.

They also had a serious chat with Laurence Lien, chairman of the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS), and eventually decided to set up the Lin Foundation, a fund managed by CFS, with an initial six-figure sum.

“As busy professionals and younger philanthropists, CFS saves us the work and resources needed to set up our Lin Foundation. CFS provides us with philanthropy management and grant-making expertise, ensuring that our grants are effective and meaningful,” says Ms Liang-Lin.

Other draws were how CFS works with a broad range of charities, offers donors a structured charitable vehicle that provides relevant tax deductions on donations, and, importantly, offers the flexibility to grow their fund over time.

Mr Lin cites the Lin Foundation’s scholarship for SMU students lacking the finances to pursue a semester abroad, as one initiative that could be scaled up. “CFS helped us with the selection of candidates, disbursement, administration, etcetera. I can imagine, with the help of CFS, expanding on homegrown initiatives like this, scaling them up.”

They may have chosen to set up their foundation at a relatively young age, but Ms Liang-Lin believes they are a part of a growing trend.

“Increasingly, people are realising that they don’t have to wait till they are older and richer to give back and make an impact. The proliferation of new media platforms is reshaping attitudes and approaches to giving. There is a growing awareness of social problems, and how these can be tackled by contributing funding support, knowledge and expertise,” she says.

To Mr Lin, giving adds much to his life. “Giving creates for me a lot of meaning in my life. The pursuit of economic goals will only take you so far. The time one spends giving back to a community creates great energy. Yes, it takes time. But this is time that creates more energy and the capacity to do more.”

And, he likes being able to give together with his wife. “We both, professionally, have quite a lot going on. But this is one thing we can share, do together, and find great pride and meaning in.”

Source: Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings 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”。

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News

Business Times: Preserving a century-old legacy of giving

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A snapshot of a newspaper Business Times: Preserving a century-old legacy of giving

Following his great-grandmother’s footsteps, Keith Chua set up a charitable fund to carry on his family’s legacy of giving through the generations.

To Keith Chua, the boy, she was the stern matriarch of their large, Peranakan family, to be approached with deference. To the older and bolder teenager, she drew closer – the great-grandmother glad to chat about his day over tea or a shared meal.

But only years after, as an established entrepreneur with a family of his own, did Mr Chua truly feel the impact of her life on his own, thanks to the impact Mrs Lee Choon Guan had had on others.

“It was a rediscovery,” Mr Chua says, about encountering in the pages of a 1920s history book a side to his great-grandmother that he had not known, years after her death in 1978.

Growing up, naturally, he had heard stories from his mother. One of these, about Mrs Lee’s role in raising funds to contribute a fighter plane to the World War 1 effort, made it into a school composition of his on “A Person You Most Admire”.

But it was not till the mid-1980s, after being appointed as a co-trustee to the Mrs Lee Choon Guan Trust Fund his mother started that Mr Chua read for himself the book she had spoken so much about.

Discovering a legacy of giving

“It became quite clear that she was a pioneer in many ways,” Mr Chua, 65, says.

In One Hundred Years’ History of the Chinese in Singapore, he learnt of how, as one of the few Chinese girls to get an English education and a member of high-society, Mrs Lee sought to open doors for other women in the early 1900s.

Also known as Madam Tan Teck Neo, she was the founding president of the Chinese Ladies Association (now the Chinese Women’s Association), running classes for young women and raising funds for charities.

Women and children, healthcare and education – these were causes Mrs Lee cared deeply for. She gave out numerous scholarships to girls, donated to the building of the St Andrew’s Hospital for Women and Children, and funded the activities of the Society for the Protection of Women and Children. For her volunteer work and giving during the First World War, she was the first Chinese woman to be made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1918.

Moved by the glimpses of her trailblazing giving recorded in the book, Mr Chua has since acquired an autographed edition that is now a treasured possession for what it symbolises – a legacy of giving to be kept alive.

“To me, the process of discovery, rediscovery, has been a continuing one,” says Mr Chua. The family is still adding to what they know of Mrs Lee’s life and legacy, “all these little pockets of seeds that were planted”. Such as the family giving funds in 1924 to start Katong Girls’ School (today’s Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Primary School) – a fact they only recently stumbled upon.

Among other causes, the trust fund supports tertiary-level programmes on philanthropy at the NUS Business School’s Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy (ACSEP).

Down through the generations
In 2011, he set up the Mrs Lee Choon Guan Fund with the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) to carry on his family’s legacy of giving through the generations. Managed as an endowment, the fund’s principal amount is invested and income earned is then given to various causes.

The aim is not merely to build historical knowledge, but to perpetuate the legacy of giving. “I have the opportunity, at this point in time, to put some thought and action into encouraging the continuation of her legacy. So that, hopefully, it will continue with some degree of active participation by future generations,” says Mr Chua.

“In continuing the legacy of my great-grandmother, I looked at how she approached philanthropy in her time and tried to include some of her practices in what I’m doing today. It has indeed come full circle.”

Some of the causes the fund supports today bear the mark of Mrs Lee’s charitable interests – education and healthcare initiatives. Others reflect evolving needs in society that Mr Chua himself is passionate about.

Indeed, Mr Chua is known as much these days for his work in philanthropic circles as he is in business ones.

The executive chairman of ABR Holdings, which owns Swensen’s and Chilli Padi among other food and beverage brands, Mr Chua is also managing director of the Alby group of companies in Singapore and Australia. He hails from a line of businessmen too – his grandfather, the late Chua Cheng Liat, is one of the Chua brothers behind car dealership Cycle & Carriage.

Today, actively involved in various community, church and missions agencies, he sits on the boards of the National Council of Social Service and CFS.

“Part of why I’m doing this today, is in the hope that the wider family, beyond just my siblings and children through to my cousins, my nephews and nieces, and their children, will come to appreciate the legacy that my great-grandmother has left for all of us.”

Apart from his great-grandmother, Mr Chua cites the influence of his parents’ generosity and his Christian faith as two other defining forces behind his philanthropy journey.

“[With my parents], it wasn’t so much them saying, ‘This is how you do it.’ It was watching them in action, responding generously to requests for help, seeing how they lived their lives,” says Mr Chua.

And that was the starting point for him and his wife too: sharing with their four children what they do and why, modelling a life of giving in the hope that their children would themselves see the value of giving.

One reason Mr Chua decided to set up the fund with CFS was to ensure that future generations would be able to continue the family’s philanthropic work. He says, “The objective of CFS flowed nicely with ours of wanting to continue the legacy of giving. It allows family members to be involved and ensure that funds for the community will carry on.”

Taking it a step further, he has been intentional about involving his children, whose ages now range between 22 and 32, in his philanthropic engagements. In recent years, this has included trips across Southeast Asia to learn from and explore partnerships with non-profits, charities and social entrepreneurs.

Having sown those seeds, he has since had the satisfaction of watching each child “doing something in their own way”, whether via professional or personal pursuits, to give to the community.

An evolving philosophy of giving
Mr Chua says his own approach to philanthropy has evolved over the years.

From viewing philanthropy primarily as responding to appeals for monetary gifts, he began getting involved with charities and volunteering his time. That involvement got him thinking about how he could make a difference with his own skills.

“Coming from a business, finance background, I felt I was able to bring that to the area of social entrepreneurship to encourage entrepreneurship, and help to share business models, my personal experiences,” says Mr Chua.

Asked what he has gained from years of intentional giving, Mr Chua is first introspective: “I would like to think that the engagement in all these years of philanthropy has gradually moved me from thinking more of myself, to thinking more of others.”

“Along with that, of course, is that it brings a wonderful feeling if you can bring joy and help someone else,” he adds.

“I believe everyone can give. Whether in terms of resources, time or talent… I would embrace all forms of participation. The most important thing for me is to encourage others to take that first step, whatever that first step is.”

Looking forward, Mr Chua says, “The seed of philanthropy was planted by the generations before me. Now, with the structure of CFS, the funds will carry on past my lifetime. Once you’ve set certain things in place, you can bring the next generation along for the ride, and trust them with the responsibility when it’s their turn.”

After all, Mrs Lee Choon Guan’s first steps into philanthropy led to her leaving a century-old legacy of giving that has spanned four generations and, if Mr Chua has his wish, countless more to come.

Source: Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings 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”。

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