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The Peak Power List 2016 honours 10 leaders in philanthropy and social enterprise
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The Peak Power List 2016 honours 10 leaders in philanthropy and social enterprise

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John Doe
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Congratulations to CFS Board member Keith Chua and donor Lim Siong Guan of the Leading Foundation on being selected for The Peak Singapore Power List 2016. This year, The Peak honoured 10 leaders in philanthropy and social enterprise who have worked tirelessly towards building a sustainable future for the public good.

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All about legacy giving

John Doe
John Doe
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LEGACY giving is not the prerogative of the ultra-wealthy alone. That is the mindset the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) wants to inculcate with its latest movement – the Legacy Giving Initiative (LGI) – which was launched by a campaign called A Greater Gift last November.

According to a Social Pulse survey, while the majority of respondents (83 per cent) flagged awareness on what legacy giving is, only 33 per cent considered legacy as a means of giving, and just 3 per cent indicated they would take action.

Legacy gifts can be broadly defined as planned, future donations to charities, which include cash, marketable securities, insurance payouts, and CPF monies. Those looking to support a cause over a period of years can establish a donor-advised fund (DAF) with organisations such as CFS to manage grant distributions. Now, about six months after the Legacy Giving Initiative was launched, CFS is shifting into the knowledge phase of its initiative.

CFS chairperson Christine Ong said the foundation “will drive this phase by engaging with prospects and partners, conducting targeted research to gather data insights, and building formal alliances with multipliers”.

“The digitally-led campaign, A Greater Gift, has introduced people from different walks in life in Singapore to legacy giving,” she said.

CFS’ microsite on legacy giving has reached out to three key audiences – individuals, professional advisers and charities – receiving over 33,000 page views from 19,000 visitors since its launch and offering information on legacy giving.

Radio spots were also featured in the campaign, reaching over 1.3 million people.

Gregory Vijayendran, the president of The Law Society of Singapore, said that for the gift-giver, legacy giving has four advantages.

First, it allows the donor to give their own voice to their unique personality, values and beliefs for a cherished cause. Secondly, it creates a meaningful memorial to perpetuate the legacy of the donor, he said. Thirdly, it positively impacts subsequent generations through sustained giving. And, lastly, he said it deepens and lengthens the connection between the charity and the donor.

Ms Ong is keen to build on the momentum gained so far. She said that donors’ profiles with CFS have evolved over the last 12 years since it was set up.

“The younger generation is more interested to identify problems, or be more involved with understanding the issues and identifying the cause before they decide to set up a fund,” she said.

CFS is looking into ways to measure the social impact of the research programme.

“We hope to see how this can be done on a more standardised national level. We want donors to be more focused on the impact of their giving and, at the same time, allow charities to upscale, to make them better stewards to their donors,” said Ms Ong.

“CFS will be sharing knowledge on legacy giving, to empower and enable more individuals to plan and make legacy gifts. In addition, we will work with professional advisers by providing them with resources to help them ignite conversations with clients, and share its knowledge on legacy giving, as well as the potential of DAF, to empower and enable more individuals to plan and make legacy gifts.”

To date, CFS has cultivated over 400 professional advisers and charity representatives, through online events, seeding a network of conversation starters and multipliers for legacy giving.

Ms Ong said the aim is to send the broader message that “everyone can give”.

“Giving is not about the amount and you can start at any stage of your life. For those who can set up their own DAF, they can make a pledge – we will take pledges of S$200,000 and create funds for them,” she said.

“Regardless of one’s background and lifestyle, everyone can play a part in the shared ambition for a fairer and more sustainable Singapore.”

This article was originally published in The Business Times here. Source: The Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction

To find out more about Legacy Giving, kindly visit our Legacy Giving website or contact us here.

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Start a donor-advised fund: plan your giving flexibly and sustainably

John Doe
John Doe
The breakfast huddle with Catherine Loh: A group of individuals gathered around a table, engaged in a morning discussion.

CEO Catherine Loh goes on Money FM 89.3 to speak about the donor-advised funds.

Elliott Danker: Funds such as DAFs are especially needed during the current COVID-19 pandemic because that’s where you have more people in need. Many charities have shared that donations have been falling.

Manisha Tank: A DAF allows donors to give in a more informed, structured and sustained manner over time. As of March 2020, there are 143 DAFs set up with CFS, which is double the number in March 2015. How does a DAF actually work and why has there been an increase in the number of DAFs over the years?

Elliott: With us is Catherine Loh, CEO of the Community Foundation of Singapore. We’ve been trying to describe and nail down the meaning of donor-advised funds or DAFs. It’s like a personal charitable savings account; is there anything more you could tell us about DAFs?

Catherine Loh: It’s easier to give you a concrete example. One such DAF is the SR Nathan Education Upliftment Fund, which was set up by our late president when he retired in 2011. As he had received help himself back when he was young, Mr Nathan wanted to set up a fund to help students at risk of dropping out of school due to financial difficulties.

So through this one endowment fund established with us, he was able to reach out to many educational institutions like ITE (Institute of Technical Education), various polytechnics and universities to support students in need. Some special schools like the Mountbatten vocational school and even the four self-help groups have benefitted.

Even though he is no longer with us, we work with a committee comprising a family member, close friends and those who have a deep interest in the community to guide the fund. Over the years, thousands of students have obtained their diplomas and degrees with the support from the Fund. Hopefully from the example you can see that for a donor-advised fund, donors get to name their fund, to choose the causes that they are interested in supporting, and they can use the fund to support more than one charity. There’s a lot of flexibility here.

Manisha: Is a DAF only for the wealthy?

Catherine: There is a minimum amount to set up a donor-advised fund. The minimum amount is $200,000 but a donor can start off with $50,000 and fulfil the pledge over a period of time.

Elliott: How big is the concept of a DAF in Singapore when compared to the rest of the region or the world?

Catherine: This concept is pretty new. In Southeast Asia, we are one of the few established community foundations. However, in the US community foundations are very well established and donations into donor-advised funds are large.

Manisha: If you’re someone who’s decided on having a DAF to take care of your charitable causes and your contributions, is the due diligence all done for you?

Catherine: Before we talk about a charity or their programmes to a donor, we would have done the basic due diligence; checking up on their finances, making sure it is a charity that is doing good work. When we recommend, we try to match the donor’s interest with what the charities can offer and really helping the donors achieve their objectives.

Manisha: Do the donors come to you for different reasons, or some have just come into money and have decided to do something useful with it?

Catherine: People come with their personal reasons, but most do want to do good and they do want to give. The whole purpose is to ensure that their money is put to good use. They want to have the peace of mind that the charities are doing the work that they are supposed to do. This is where we can help to provide the professional advice and to give them the peace of mind.

Elliott: You talked about the minimum amount to start a DAF. How do you start one, and if I’m opening one with CFS, do I have to pay a fee?

Catherine: It is signing a deed and that’s it. It takes about two to four weeks depending on the complexity of the donor’s unique circumstances and what their requirements are. But it is definitely easier than setting up your own family foundation or a corporate foundation.

Manisha: Why has there been an increase in the number of DAFs?

Catherine: We have seen an increase in awareness as we have also been more active in explaining this concept to the public. Over the years, we’ve had happy donors referring their friends and colleagues to us and we’re glad that we’ve gained the trust of our donors and charity partners alike

We’ve also seen an increase in demand because this structure meets the needs of many donors. We’ve established funds for both individuals and businesses; individuals set up memorial funds to remember a loved one or to celebrate significant events like retirements, birthdays and wedding anniversaries. DAFs are useful for financial and legacy planning as well, because donations into a fund can be eligible for two and a half times deduction off taxable income. It can be used as an instrument for tax planning. It can also be named as a beneficiary in a will or a trust. Increasingly, we work with lawyers and executors of wills to administer money left behind for charity.

Very often executors are left vague instructions to just gift the money to charity, and by working with us they have the peace of mind that there are professionals working to identify the right charities and programmes for them.

Manisha: What are the differences between giving to charity and setting up a DAF?

Catherine: If the donor is interested in accountability and transparency and they want to keep track of the donations for regular, long term and more strategic giving, then a DAF is very useful. What we want is for the donor to understand the cause or causes that they are interested in, to get to know the charities and the types of programmes that are out there. Once the donor gets involved, they are more likely to support their causes for a long period of time.

Manisha: One of the best things to donate is time; does that happen and do the donors get involved with these causes and turn up in person to see what’s on the ground?

Catherine: We do have donors who do that whenever they have the time. They are busy professionals who may not have a lot of time and they just give with money first. But we do encourage them to get involved and not just themselves but with their families. Very often we want to not only engage the donors but their family members as well, to get them to understand what they are really helping. In so doing, they would be the ones coming up with new ideas and working directly with the charities to create positive social change. This is a culture that we want to build in Singapore.

Elliott: Some charities are suffering during this COVID-19 pandemic, unable to have fundraising dinners; what has the impact of the pandemic been on DAFs? Should people consider going into a DAF during this pandemic because it’s more focused and safer with due diligence all done?

Catherine: We have seen activity throughout this whole year, so activity hasn’t slowed down for us at all. In fact, donors are talking to use because they want to know how they can help over the longer term; they want to know what are the underfunded sectors and the pressing issues that need
support going forward.

What this pandemic has taught is that it is good to be prepared. As the pandemic continues, we have rising unemployment, health risks and donations from the general public that have decreased. For the donors who have planned their giving and established their donor-advised funds in the past with us, this is an opportunity where they have stepped up. Over the past few months, we have seen a very significant amount being given out from our existing donor-advised funds to COVID-19 related causes.

Manisha: What about businesses?

Catherine: We have quite a few businesses who have established donor-advised funds with us as well. There are many reasons for doing so. There is more marketing mileage with a named fund; this can be a starting point to learn about philanthropy before setting up their own corporate foundation. They use it for planning and tracking their charitable budget, and also to give more strategically by tapping on our knowledge, experience and network in the sector.

Elliott: Is it more high network individuals that are taking part in donor-advised funds?

Catherine: For the Community Foundation of Singapore, a donor-advised fund is just one product which we offer; these are targeted at those who have more to give and they want to give in a longer term manner, so their own named fund is suitable. However, we established our own Community Impact Funds (CIF) in response to social issues that we want to address; you may have heard of the Sayang Sayang Fund which was set up in February as an emergency response fund in the wake of COVID-19.

These kinds of Community Impact Funds receive thousands of donations with thousands of donors donating to these funds. These people could be anywhere from students to retirees, anybody who is linked or feels close to the cause.

Listen to the full interview here:
https://omny.fm/shows/money-fm-893/the-rise-of-donor-advised-funds-in-singapore

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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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The CDA top-up programme: Giving support to pre-school children from low-income families

John Doe
John Doe
A diverse group of children and adults, all wearing masks, gather together in a united display of safety and responsibility.

Pre-schools are especially essential in providing a solid foundation for children to get an education, and to also build confidence and impart social skills, which will stay with them for life. As such, The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) is partnering with EtonHouse Community Fund (ECF) and the Ministry of Education (MOE) on a Child Development Account (CDA) top-up programme which will benefit around 1,300 pre-schoolers from low-income families this year.

This programme is facilitated by the inter-agency taskforce Uplifting Pupils in Life and Inspiring Families (UPLIFT) to provide eligible pre-schoolers with $500 this year and up to a cap of $1,500 over the next three years, with the government providing dollar-for-dollar matching contributions for the top-ups.

To qualify, the children must be enrolled in 57 pre-schools under seven selected operators, and their families must have a gross household income of $4,500 or less. CFS and ECF will be contributing a total of $1 million to the CDA top-up programme over the next three years.

The seven operators are: E-Bridge Pre-School, Iyad Perdaus Child Development, Kidz Meadow Childcare and Development Centre, PPIS Child Development Centre, Presbyterian Community Services, Super Talent Childcare and YWCA Child Development Centre.

Along with Second Minister for Education Dr Maliki Osman, CFS CEO Catherine Loh paid a visit to partner operator E-Bridge Pre-School’s Punggol Large Childcare Centre on 8 October 2020 to mark the launch of the programme and to celebrate Children’s Day.

“We have a responsibility to strengthen our social safety nets to ensure no child gets left behind. This is why this collaboration is such a wonderful opportunity for CFS and our donors to uplift children from low-income families,” says Catherine.

“I hope that this CDA top-up programme can encourage more low-income families to enrol their children into pre-schools. I also hope that it can provide additional support to needy families during this difficult period by defraying child-raising expenses,’’ says Dr Maliki Osman.

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The competition was organised by City Harvest Community Services Association and received support from FUN! Fund, a Community Impact Fund jointly established by the Community Foundation of Singapore and the Agency for Integrated Care, with the aim of addressing social isolation among the elderly.

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of National Development Mr Tan Kiat How attended the event. He encouraged the elderly to stay physically and mentally well, as well as urging them to participate in community activities and enjoy their golden years together.

Learn more about FUN! Fund at https://www.cf.org.sg/fun-fund/.

 

The programme provides the children with a non-threatening platform to connect with peers and have positive conversations. In addition, it exposes them to different people who can assist to broaden their perspectives.

L.S., a volunteer with the Reading Odyssey programme @ Spooner Road

中心“常胜将军”胡锦盛:比赛限时反应要快

现年92岁的胡锦盛是最年长的参赛者。自2017年退休后,他几乎每天都到活跃乐龄中心报到,从此爱上了玩拉密,每次可玩上三个小时,在中心是“常胜将军”。

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Events

Singapore Youth Impact Collective helps youths progress from classroom to working life

John Doe
John Doe
A diverse group of individuals standing united in front of a sign displaying the empowering message "Together We Can.". (From left) James Tan, Tan-Wu Mei Ling, Justina Tan, Joyce Teo, Dr Ang Kiam Wee, Pang Sze Khai and Jacky Ang.

Despite the heavy rain on the morning of 9 October 2018, hearty drumbeats and festive excitement filled the air at Level 5 of Block A, ITE College Central.

It was the much-awaited launch of the Singapore Youth Impact Collective, a first-in-Singapore initiative that uses the collective impact model to empower disadvantaged youths to progress more smoothly from the classroom to fulfilling careers.

The Collective also launched two youth empowerment programmes – A.P.T.I.T.U.D.E by TOUCH with a new centre at ITE College Central and Youth Forte by SHINE.

Guests were treated to a rousing performance by ITE College Central’s Brazillian percussion group Batidas Centro whose energetic drumming could be heard even at Level 1.

CFS Deputy CEO Joyce Teo gave a short inspirational speech, saying: “We believe disadvantaged youth have the ability to achieve their maximum potential. We promise that we will work together to improve youth work-readiness by enabling our youth to have the academic and vocational qualifications, personal assets, and opportunities to succeed.”

After the Collective was launched, guests were invited to tour the new centre and try their hand out at its various recreational activities, such as video games and darts.

Students from the Adventure Facilitation interest group were also on hand to demonstrate some outdoor tips while the Barista interest group youths satisfied thirsty guests with the delectable gourmet coffee they had brewed themselves.

The Collective, which comprises Changi Foundation, the Community Foundation of Singapore, Credit SuisseOctava FoundationSHINE Children & Youth Services and TOUCH Community Services, was formed when the members recognised the complexity of social issues disadvantaged youths faced and realised that multiple stakeholders needed to work together to find effective ways to help them.

Industry partners who are able and willing to provide opportunities for internships and job immersion experiences for the youthsare invited to contact youthcollective@cf.org.sg to see how they can support these programmes.

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
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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.

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