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4 Critical Educational Gaps for Disadvantaged Children & Youth in Singapore
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Opinion

4 Critical Educational Gaps for Disadvantaged Children & Youth in Singapore

John Doe
John Doe
a group of people sitting at a table with a group of children

While abilities and talents are distributed equally across the population, access to educational resources is often not. Children from low-income families are the ones who pay the price. Without the right educational opportunities, they underperform in school and end up with lower-paying jobs. Studies show that students from low-income families are more than four times as likely to be low performers than their affluent peers. (OECD, 2016) Without intervention, this cycle of income inequality will persist.

The growing special needs community is also in need of our urgent attention. One key area that we highlight is the need for integration with mainstream students. There needs to be greater awareness about creating better school and work opportunities for this community while preparing them to function independently as adults.

In this article, we highlight critical educational gaps for disadvantaged and vulnerable children and ways to level the playing field and improve their opportunities for social mobility.

#1 Funding for Early Education

The pre-school landscape presents over 1,900 childcare centres and kindergartens. They offer a wide-ranging fee structure that can range from a few dollars to over S$2,000 a month, depending on whether they are full or half-day programmes and with or without subsidies. 

During these early childhood years, pre-school education provides the foundation for children. It helps them develop the confidence and social skills to get them ready for formal education. However, low-income families may struggle even with subsidised fees. 

Children from families that can set aside additional resources for pre-school education have more opportunities to strengthen their social and behavioural skills than those from disadvantaged backgrounds. As the child is placed into a learning environment earlier in pre-school, they are weaned into the academic lifestyle earlier, which also aids their performance in formal education. Studies show that social-economically advantaged children in Singapore outperformed disadvantaged students in reading by 104 points. (PISA, 2018

While pre-school education is not compulsory, it is critical to ensure that all children get off the starting block of formal school without too much difficulty. Therefore, parents must understand the importance of pre-school education and available financial assistance schemes. It ensures that the children have access to critical education in their formative years.

#2 Developing Life Skills

A child’s home environment has a powerful impact on school readiness. Parents or caregivers in low-income homes tend to be busy working or absent; they have little time to support their children’s learning needs. Children often do not receive the stimulation they need and do not learn the social skills required to prepare them for school.

The resulting lower self-confidence, lower motivation, and reduced resilience pose further obstacles in their struggle for social mobility.

Activities such as team sports, drama, and public speaking encourage interaction. They are great for boosting confidence, self-esteem, and socio-emotional skills. We need funding for programmes to provide alternative avenues for these children to develop these essential skills.

#3 Rising Cost of Higher Education

Education has not been spared, with consumer prices increasing steadily over the years. 

Singapore’s average annual education inflation rate from 2001 to 2021 was 2.87%. Higher education, specifically polytechnic diploma fees, rose 20% between 2015 and 2022. The average cost of a 3-year polytechnic education is close to $37,000. (MOE 2022)

Although statistics show that a polytechnic graduate earns 1.4 times more than an ITE graduate, many students will not choose to study at a polytechnic. One reason for this is due to the high school fees. Those who do may drop out of school for the same reason. 

Even with existing public financial aid programmes, students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds still struggle to pay their school and living expenses. More financial assistance from the private sector, in the form of pocket money, bursaries, or scholarships, will help these students bolster the shortfall in higher education expenses.

#4 Lack of Integration

For the special needs community, a critical piece that is sorely lacking is inclusivity. Special education schools are separate from mainstream schools in Singapore, and students do not intermingle.  However, research shows that special needs children benefit from interacting with peers with stronger academic abilities. This benefit goes both ways, as children who have interacted with people with special needs from young develop greater empathy and respect for diversity. (Association for Psychological Science, 2014).

This is a strong push for special education and mainstream schools to work together to create opportunities for meaningful interaction between their students. Children with disabilities are given a chance to develop their potential and thrive in the same environment as their peers.

Funding is required to beef up resources, training and partnerships to facilitate exchange among educators from different backgrounds. We could achieve greater harmonisation across mainstream primary schools, special education, pre-schools and early intervention sectors. An inclusive educational environment would offer a curriculum that caters to different needs, paces of learning as well as provide the facilities and resources required.

Other than school, these children tend to spend less time in public spaces or in recreational activities. Sometimes it is due to practical reasons like access difficulties, which is a great pity as they miss out on opportunities to connect to the larger community. Funding can be directed towards the intentional design of public spaces, sports, and cultural activities so that those with special needs can feel that they are truly a part of society.

Do more with your giving—how CFS can help

To enable every child to shine to their fullest potential and better support the disadvantaged, CFS can help you make a positive impact by aligning your donations with the needs of this community. 

CFS is a cause-neutral organisation that enables us to support grant-making to a wide range of charitable areas that match the donors’ interests and uplift diverse communities in Singapore. These charitable areas include children, youth, education, families, seniors, persons with disabilities, sports, health, animal welfare, environment to arts and heritage.

We partner with charities that focus on clearly identified problem areas or social gaps which might be under-supported. Charities must also demonstrate measurable outcomes and good stewardship of funds.

A simple and effective way to contribute to a variety of causes in Singapore is by setting up a Donor-Advised Fund (DAF). A DAF can be set up by an individual, a beneficiary of a will, a trust, or a family office. CFS will handle all fund administration and leverage our unparalleled insight into Singapore’s charitable landscape to provide philanthropy advice that ensures your giving is targeted, accountable and impactful. CFS strives to ensure that every grant which goes out creates positive change.

As a donor, you will save on legal expenses and enjoy upfront tax deductions at the prevailing rate on eligible donations. Donors will also receive regular statements tracking incoming donations to the DAF and outgoing disbursements to charities. CFS has an established track record when it comes to setting up DAFs and our DAF payout rates outperformed the entire US DAF industry by 12% and their community foundations by two times.

If you would like to begin your giving journey with CFS, get in touch with us.

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Opinion

Helping Earthquake Victims in Türkiye and Syria: Ways to Donate

John Doe
John Doe
a group of people moving a pile of rubble

The earthquake that struck Türkiye and Syria on 6 February 2023 has become one of the top 10 deadliest earthquakes ever. Over 41,0001 people have been killed (as of 15 February), a death toll the United Nations expects will eventually exceed 50,0002. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred near the border of the two countries. Since then, more than 2,000 aftershocks have pummelled the devastated region.

The widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure has left millions of people without homes, access to clean water, and basic necessities.3 The disaster has also led to countless casualties and injuries. First responders from all over the world are working tirelessly to save lives. However, with each passing day, the focus is turning from search and rescue to helping the survivors in desperate need of aid.

Local authorities and international aid groups have rushed to mobilise humanitarian aid, including food, shelter, medical supplies, and clean water. UNICEF estimates that millions of children in the affected regions are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.4 The massive scale of the disaster, however, has stretched their resources thin. There are other serious challenges: freezing temperatures and snow have hampered logistical operations.5

Donations have generously poured in for non-profit organisations providing disaster relief in Türkiye and Syria. In Singapore, there was an outpouring of support through in-kind donations of warm clothing, blankets, diapers, baby food, and other supplies to the Turkish embassy. The Turkish embassy has since stopped accepting such items and encourages Singaporeans to make monetary donations instead, given the manpower and logistical challenges in processing and sending items to Türkiye.6

The sombre reality is that this crisis will have a “long tail”. Humanitarian aid groups warn that the earthquake will have an aftermath of needs that will require donations for months, or even years, after the initial aid missions end.7 For donors in Singapore, the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) is your trusted advisor on how best to deploy your generosity to make a difference to earthquake victims now and beyond. 

For donors who prefer to donate directly to non-profit organisations that are providing aid on the ground, we recommend the following bona fide organisations:

Singapore Red Cross

Established in 1949, the Singapore Red Cross is the global humanitarian organisation’s local arm. It is a credible, transparent, and time-tested charity with a long track record of providing humanitarian aid and responding to emergencies. It is looking to raise $5 million for the Türkiye-Syria earthquake, which will support the needs of those affected by the disaster, including emergency shelter, first aid and food.

Mercy Relief

Headquartered in Singapore, Mercy Relief was established in 2003 to respond to human tragedies and disasters in the Asia Pacific region. Today, it is Singapore’s leading independent disaster relief agency with dedicated leadership, capacity-building expertise, and an affiliate network operating across the entire disaster management cycle. Mercy Relief has launched a fundraiser for the earthquake with a target of $100,000. The money will provide hot meals, ready and instant food, drinking water, hygiene kits, blankets, and shelter tents to the worst affected and vulnerable families.

Philanthropy can play a pivotal role in alleviating the worst of natural disasters. At CFS, we are encouraged by how so many have stepped up to help victims of the Türkiye-Syria earthquake. However, much more needs to be done, given the scale of this tragedy. With our donor-advised funds (DAFs), we enable donors to respond better to unexpected needs. By pooling our resources, knowledge and experience, we convene donors, charities and other organisations in the community to quickly support those in need.   

To learn more about our DAFs, please click here.

References: 

    1. BBC. (15 February 2023). Women pulled alive from Turkey quake debris nine days on. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-64653216
    2. Deutsche Welle. (12 February 2023). Turkey-Syria earthquakes: UN expects death toll above 50,000.
      https://www.dw.com/en/turkey-syria-earthquakes-un-expects-death-toll-above-50000/a-64677847
    3. Channel News Asia. (15 February 2023). Nine survivors pulled from Türkiye’s rubble as earthquake death toll passes 40,000. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/world/nine-survivors-pulled-turkiye-turkey-rubble-syria-earthquake-death-toll-passes-40000-3277481
    4. The New York Times. (14 February 2023). Quake Updates: Toll in Turkey and Syria Surpasses 40,000 Dead. https://www.nytimes.com/explain/2023/02/14/world/turkey-syria-earthquake
    5. Deutsche Welle. (11 February 2023). Turkey-Syria earthquakes: Grief ‘slowly giving way to anger’.
      https://www.dw.com/en/turkey-syria-earthquakes-grief-slowly-giving-way-to-anger/a-64672674
    6. Channel News Asia. (9 February 2023). Singaporeans flood donation centre with supplies in outpouring of support for Türkiye-Syria quake victimshttps://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/singaporeans-flood-donation-centre-supplies-outpouring-support-turkiye-syria-quake-victims-3266161
    7. The Guardian. (12 February 2023). Turkey-Syria earthquake: death toll rises to 33,000; baby girl rescued alive after 150 hours, Turkish health minister says – as it happened. 
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2023/feb/12/turkey-syria-earthquake-latest-news-updates-death-toll
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Stories Of Impact

EDIS Cares Fund – Helping disadvantaged young children reach their full potential

John Doe
John Doe
a man holding a microphone publishing his book

EDIS (Economic Development Innovations Singapore) is an international economic development company that provides strategic advice to other countries by leveraging on its experience in Singapore. Innate to its business is the need for a long-term, strategic view, flexibility and a nimble attitude, which it also applies to its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts.

Its CSR initiative EDIS Cares creates opportunities for disadvantaged children in Singapore by helping them to reach their full potential. From the onset, EDIS Cares adopted a non-traditional CSR model – looking to understand the basic needs of beneficiaries, co-run programmes with community partners and recruit volunteers from outside the company.

For fundraising, it tapped on the book launch of ‘Neither Civil Nor Servant’ – an authorised biography of EDIS chairman Philip Yeo – which raised over $500,000 from book sales and private donations for the EDIS Cares Fund. Managed by the Community Foundation of Singapore, the EDIS Cares Fund is expected to grow and support programme expansion over the next three years.

Some of the programmes that EDIS Cares supports include the Early Learning Programme – a literacy and numeracy intervention programme for 6 to 7 year-olds as well as iShine – a thematic exploratory learning programme that provides children with aspirational experiences.

“CFS worked closely with us to set up our EDIS Cares Fund. They took time to understand our innovative CSR model and helped us realise our goal of creating more opportunities for disadvantaged children. Through CFS, we have been able to focus on growing the impact of our programmes.” said Abel Ang, CEO of Economic Development Innovations Singapore.

So far, EDIS Cares has impacted over 300 children and hopes to double the number of children, volunteers and partners it reaches over the next three years.

Photos: Singapore Press Holdings, EDIS Cares

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Opinion

Pragmatic reasons to engage In philanthropy

John Doe
John Doe
Elderly man lying on grass with sign.

Educator George Jacobs became involved in philanthropy because he wanted to put his money where his mouth is. As someone who feels strongly about contributing to greater food security in Singapore, the passionate advocate for a vegan lifestyle established the Relaxed Fund to promote horticulture in the little red dot.

“My wife and I wanted to encourage people to eat more plant-based foods, as these foods boost human health and address global warming issues. One way to convince people to change their diets is to immerse them in growing greens themselves, so they feel a sense of ownership. Thus, they want the greens to find a good home — in their stomachs,” he says.

In partnership with the Community Foundation of Singapore, which enables philanthropy by matching donors’ interests with causes, the Relaxed Fund has thus far spearheaded the launch of three edible community gardens. Jacobs regards these gardens as a tangible step towards increasing the country’s self-reliance on food, saying, “The government has a 30 by 30 goal, for Singapore to produce 30 per cent of our food needs by 2030. Everyone needs to help if we are to reach this goal and home and community gardening is one method of achieving the target.”

Practically speaking, there is a need for the wealthy, particularly in Asia, to step forward the way Jacobs has. “Asia has amassed one-third of the world’s wealth, but still has two-thirds of the world’s poor,” says Dr Ruth Shapiro, chief executive officer of the Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society (CAPS).

Practically speaking, there is a need for the wealthy, particularly in Asia, to step forward the way Jacobs has. “Asia has amassed one-third of the world’s wealth, but still has two-thirds of the world’s poor,” says Dr Ruth Shapiro, chief executive officer of the Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society (CAPS).

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, international support is on a gradual decline, which means an “Asia for Asia” centric philanthropy has to fill the gap, the Doing Good Index, the latest study by CAPS indicates. “There is now a unique opportunity to use this newly created wealth to alleviate poverty, protect the environment and promote societal resilience,” Dr Shapiro adds.

The advantage of philanthropy in its various forms is that it enables donors to steer the impact they hope to achieve in their field of interest. “Many donors who come to us already have a passion for a particular cause,” explains Catherine Loh, chief executive officer of the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS). To date, its donors have given about $70 million to over 400 non-profit organisations in the areas of education, health, social and welfare, arts, culture, environment and more. “While charity is a natural, emotional impulse to an immediate situation and giving usually occurs in the short-term, philanthropy addresses the root cause of social issues and requires a more strategic, long-term approach.”

She cites former president SR Nathan, who established an education endowment fund with CFS after he stepped down as president, spurred by his personal experiences of overcoming hardships. The endowment fund has since helped many beneficiaries graduate with diplomas and degrees, hence securing a better future for these individuals and their families, an outcome that was close to his heart.

There are also business imperatives that spur some to engage in philanthropy. For starters, Singapore has the highest tax subsidy for charitable giving in the world at a rate of 250 percent for individuals and companies, which offers a strong incentive to give.

It also bodes well that many companies do care about the communities in which they operate, observes Dr Ruth Shapiro of CAPS — and philanthropy gives them an avenue to engage with these local communities in various ways. Funding social delivery organisations is one straightforward way of doing so. According to the Doing Good Index, the average social organisation in Singapore only receives 16 percent of their budget from companies, indicating there is potential for further monetary contributions.

“Businesses can encourage their employees to volunteer and sit on boards of non-profit organisations and social enterprises,” Dr Shapiro adds. She notes that in Singapore, only 55 percent of non-profit board members have corporate experience, hence encouraging volunteering in this form would allow important skills and business rigor to transfer to the social sector. Taking on such roles may also provide individuals with an additional opportunity to develop leadership skills that can benefit the business in turn.

Philanthropy via the establishment of a foundation dedicated to a specific cause can also be instrumental in uniting successors of a business or a family with shared purposes. “This is one way to pass on one’s interests and values and an opportunity to make an impact now in their lifetime and beyond,” says Loh.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, the oft uttered trope that by doing good, one feels good too might be the most powerful motivating factor. This concept, which is advocated by French neuroscientist turned Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, has been proven in many studies that show people who give are significantly happier than those who spend only on themselves.

Jacobs of the Relaxed Fund could not agree more. He says, “My wife and I have already lived for over sixty comfortable years. Taking a little time from our schedules instead of watching Netflix and spending a little of the funds we have accumulated, instead of using them for some products we do not need, is a sweet feeling.”

Source: a.com

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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

Lianhe Zaobao: More companies and individuals seeking professionals to manage their charitable funds

John Doe
John Doe
two men standing and talking with red bags

新加坡社区基金会成立10年来,设立或管理的慈善基金从2008年的两 个增至今年2月的110个,而基金会筹获的善款也已达1亿元,发放的 款项达6000万元,惠及的慈善团体多达400个。

Song Huichun

随着国人对有效行善的意识提高,更多企业和个人善款捐赠者过 去10年来选择与专人合作,协助他们管理和发放善款给希望帮助的机 构或项目。

数据显示,捐赠者透过新加坡社区基金会(Community Foundation of Singapore)设立或管理的慈善基金从2008年的两个 增至2013年3月的47个,到了今年2月已增至110个,10年来增幅超过50 倍。

协助企业或个人捐赠者以可持续、妥善和具透明度的方式管理与 设立行善基金的新加坡社区基金会迈入第10年,多年来,基金会把捐 赠者与他们关注的相关慈善团体妥善配对,制定有效行善策略,让更 多有需要者受惠。

基金会总裁罗佩仪(50岁)接受《联合早报》访问并透露上述数 据时说,基金会成立之初希望做的是通过了解捐赠者关注的课题及行 善动力,协助发展出一套适合捐赠者的有效行善策略。

新加坡社区基金会在本地超过2000个慈善机构中找出适合捐赠 者资助的项目……找出不同群体的需求及捐赠者可提供协助的机会, 让捐赠者可更有效地施予援助,发挥更大影响力。”

罗佩仪说,在为捐赠者与慈善项目或机构进行配对时,捐赠者的 理念、兴趣、愿意承担风险的限度、拨款数额等都会影响基金会所做 的推荐。而基金会发挥的影响力,也随着更多国人了解以有效方式行 善何其重要后,逐年增加。

深入了解慈善机构运作 及善款影响力

基金会提供给本报的数据显示,截至2013年3月,基金会共筹到 5000万元善款,发放的款项约1200万元,惠及130个慈善伙伴。

而到了今年2月,基金会筹获的善款已达1亿元,发放的款项达 6000万元,惠及的慈善团体多达400个。

为了确保善款获得妥善运用,基金会也会深入了解慈善机构的运 作、领导班子、受惠人如何获益、财务状况、个别项目如何进行、有 多少资源、有没有执行能力等。基金会也会为捐赠者跟进汇报善款发 挥的影响力,以及使用后的结果等。

罗佩仪说:“企业一般上会觉得这样的模式很管用,因为他们必 须向股东汇报善款用途。”

她也说,基金会未来会继续透过讲座和活动接触更多群体,让各 方更了解基金会提供的服务。

运输业者发挥“专长” 让派发食物更有效

交通运输企业行善不忘发挥专业,出钱出力出车,协助非盈利组织有效地派发更多食物给有需要的人。

交通运输业者金钟集团(Goldbell Group)自2015年起成立金钟基金会,探讨如何在经营生意的同时尽社会企业责任,选择帮助真正需要帮助的人。

金钟财务服务私人有限公司执行董事蔡满榜(38岁)积极带领金钟集团履行企业社会责任,他受访时说,在和新加坡社区基金会合作行善之前,金钟集团一般都以零星方式回馈社会,有机会就帮忙,没有一个制式的行善结构。

在金钟基金会成立隔年,因刚好有一名新加坡社区基金会成员认识蔡满榜的父亲,从此,金钟集团就透过新加坡社区基金会从旁牵线和指引,确认行善计划和目的,帮助本身关注的群体。

金钟基金会和新加坡社区基金会展开合作初期,计划每年拨出30万元行善,而慈善团体“爱心食品”(Food From The Heart)是金钟基金会资助的团体之一。

蔡满榜说:“与该团体数次接触后,发现我个人的行善理念与他们的管理营运理念不谋而合,尤其是他们去找合作伙伴捐赠食品给他们要帮助的人,而不是花钱购买食品。”

在透过新加坡社区基金会促成更有效的合作之前,金钟集团已免费租借两辆有冷冻设备的卡车给“爱心食品”,方便他们载送易腐食品。

现在,金钟集团允诺资助“爱心食品”三年,支持该组织卡车队的营运和载送食品给有需要者所需的营运费用等。

如此一来,“爱心食品”就能更好地进行预算和营运规划,确保在金钟集团资助期间,有需者可持续获得食品援助。

除了“爱心食品”,金钟集团也资助过不少个别项目,包括绿色生活、援助有需要青年等。

Link to stories: Here and here.

Translation:

More companies and individuals seeking professionals to manage their charitable funds

In the 10 years since the Community Foundation of Singapore was established, the number of charitable funds set up or managed has increased from two in 2008 to 110 in February this year. The donations raised by the foundation have also reached $100 million, with $60 million distributed, benefiting up to 400 charities.
Song Huichun

As awareness of effective charitable giving increases, more corporate and individual donors have spent the past 10 years choosing to collaborate with dedicated professionals to help them manage and distribute charitable funds to the institutions or projects they wish to help.

According to statistics, charitable funds created or managed by donors through the Community Foundation of Singapore increased from two in 2008 to 47 in March 2013 and further increased to 110 in February this year. In 10 years, it has gone up more than 50 folds.

The Community Foundation of Singapore, which assists corporate or individual donors to manage and establish charitable funds in a sustainable, appropriate and transparent manner, is reaching its 10th year. Over the years, the Foundation has properly matched donors with the charities they care about, formulating effective strategies for good practices to benefit more people in need.

When CFS CEO Catherine Loh, 50, accepted the Zaobao interview, she disclosed the data above and added that the Foundation’s initial hope was to help develop a set of donor-friendly products by understanding donors’ concerns and the motivation to do good.

The Community Foundation of Singapore has identified programmes that are suitable for support from more than 2,000 charitable organisations in the country by identifying the needs of different groups to provide opportunities for assistance so that donors can more effectively provide assistance and make greater impact.

Ms Loh said that when pairing donors with charitable projects or institutions, the donor’s ideas, interests, willingness to take risks, the amount of funding, etc. all influence the Foundation’s recommendations. The influence of the Foundation is also gradually increasing as more people understand how important it is to be effective.

Learning more about charity operations and the impact of charitable funds

According to the data provided by the Foundation, as of March 2013, it had raised a total of $50 million in donations, with $12 million grants given out, benefiting 130 charitable partners.

In February this year, the donations raised by the Foundation reached $100 million, with grants amounting to $60 million, benefiting up to 400 charities.

In order to ensure the proper use of donations, the Foundation has an in-depth understanding of charity operations, leadership, impact on beneficiaries, financial status, how individual projects are run, how much resources they have, and whether they have executive capabilities. The Foundation also follow up with donors to report on the impact of charitable donations, as well as the outcomes.

Ms Loh said: “Companies generally feel that this model is very useful, because they must report to shareholders on the use of funds.”

She also said that in the future, the Foundation will continue to reach out to more groups through lectures and events so that all parties can better understand the services provided by the Foundation.

Transport operators use their expertise to make food delivery more effective

Transportation companies have not forgotten their professional role –  using their expertise and money to help non-profit organisations to effectively distribute food to those in need.

Transportation company Goldbell Group established the Goldbell Foundation in 2015 to explore how to conduct social responsibility while running their business and helping those in need.

Alex Chua, 38, Executive Director of Goldbell Financial Services Pte Ltd, actively led the Goldbell Group in fulfilling its corporate social responsibilities. During the interview, he said that prior to collaborating with the Community Foundation of Singapore, the Goldbell Group generally gave back to society in sporadic ways. If there’s an opportunity, they help, there was no structure for doing good.

In the year after the Goldbell Foundation was established, a member of the Community Foundation of Singapore who knew his father William Chua reached out to them. Since then, through guidance provided by the Community Foundation of Singapore, they have a philanthropic plan and goals, helping causes of their choice.

In the early stages of the collaboration between Goldbell Foundation and the Community Foundation of Singapore, it plans to set aside $300,000 a year to support charities, and charity Food from the Heart is one of the groups funded by the Goldbell Foundation.

Mr Chua said: “After several interactions with the organisation, I discovered that my concept of personal goodwill is in line with their management concept. In particular, they approach partners to donate food to the people they want to help, rather than spend money to buy food.”

Prior to promoting more effective collaboration through the Community Foundation of Singapore, the Goldbell Group has already rented two trucks with freezer equipment to Food from the Heart to facilitate the delivery of perishable foods.

Now Goldbell Group has promised to fund Food from the Heart for three years to support the operation of the truck fleet as well as the operating expenses required to transport food to beneficiaries.

As a result, Food from the Heart is able to better budget and plan its operations to ensure that those in need can continue to receive food assistance during the period the Goldbell Group is funding.

In addition to supporting Food from the Heart, Goldbell Group has also funded a number of individual projects, including environment projects, and providing help to young people.

Photo: Lianhe Zaobao

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