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Teach a man to fish — and pay for the rod too
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Teach a man to fish — and pay for the rod too

John Doe
John Doe
Black silhouette of a woman fishing

We have all heard the popular proverb, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. Everyone agrees, but few pay for the fishing rod.

Successful businesses invest in skills, people and infrastructure. In the same vein, donors need to fund these areas for charities to deliver social impact.

The challenge for charities
Donors often prefer funding programmes that support individual recipients directly over charitable overhead* expenses. This leads to negotiations for lower overhead costs or unwillingness to support programmes with high overhead costs. Many charities cave in to such expectations for fear of losing a potential funder.

Understandably, all donors want to achieve maximum impact for their gift, but reducing overheads is only good up to a point where the sustainability of the charity is not affected. All organisations incur manpower, training, rental and administrative costs at the very least. If charities are pressured to keep overhead costs unsustainably low, they will operate at sub-par levels and enter a vicious cycle of starvation.

At the Community Foundation of Singapore, we have learnt that when charities receive limited funding to cover overhead, service delivery is affected because charities have to divert resources to fundraise for the shortfall.

Honest conversations
There is growing recognition that efficiency is not determined by low overhead costs alone. Depending on the type of services or programmes, overhead can vary greatly across charities. For instance, a charity that distributes food rations via volunteers will have far lower overhead than a nursing home that hires skilled staff round-the-clock to provide care.

CFS works with its charity partners to present the true programme costs needed for social impact. With that in mind, we also work with donors to map out sustainable and impactful ways of giving.

We need to continue to have such conversations about true costs; the funding of overhead is just the tip of the iceberg in our search for sustainable social solutions.

Joyce Teo
Deputy CEO
Community Foundation of Singapore

*Overhead typically includes manpower, training, rental and administrative expenses.

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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

Celebrating the journey home through music

John Doe
John Doe
A group of musicians passionately performing on stage, captivating the audience with their melodious tunes.

In celebration of Singapore’s Golden Jubilee, the Community Foundation of Singapore, in collaboration with donor Kris Tan of the Kris Foundation, brought five young Singaporean musicians together in a concert that explores what it means to belong. The concert, which was staged on 26 July 2015 at the Victoria Concert Hall, featured a new work by local composer Phang Kok Jun, specially commissioned for SG50. It also played a selection of compositions by Samuel Barber, Tan Dun and Antonín Dvorák.

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”。

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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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News

Media release: The first Singapore Youth Impact Collective to empower disadvantaged youths

John Doe
John Doe
A group of people posing (From left) James Tan, Tan-Wu Mei Ling, Justina Tan, Joyce Teo, Dr Ang Kiam Wee, Pang Sze Khai and Jacky Ang
  • This is the first initiative in Singapore that uses the collective impact model, which enables funders and non-profits to own and address complex social issues in a coordinated manner.
  • The Collective aims to increase the ability of disadvantaged youths to progress to working life through training and skills development.

Singapore, 9 October 2018 – The Singapore Youth Impact Collective (the “Collective”) launched two youth empowerment programmes and opened a new A.P.T.I.T.U.D.E. Centre at ITE College Central today, to help disadvantaged youths transition more successfully from the classroom to working life.

The Collective was formed when its members attended a Colabs series on Children & Youth in 2017, and realised that multiple stakeholders are needed to work together to find effective ways to help disadvantaged youths across various life stages.

They recognise that while education can help bridge social gaps, the environment and other socio-economic factors can affect some youths’ socio-emotional development, academic performance, aspirations and employability. This may hinder them in reaching their full potential and transitioning into independent working adults

The Collective comprises six members, namely Changi Foundation, the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS), Credit Suisse, Octava Foundation, SHINE Children & Youth Services (SHINE) and TOUCH Community Services (TOUCH). To date, the funders have pledged close to $1 million towards the programmes.

“The Singapore Youth Impact Collective is the first such collaboration in Singapore to use the collective impact model,” highlighted Joyce Teo, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, CFS. “This approach acknowledges the value of collaboration in the face of complex social issues that requires the coordinated efforts of multiple entities, usually from different sectors.

“CFS is glad to contribute as a backbone organisation by providing dedicated staff and resources to support this initiative and its participating partners to act in concert along mutual goals.”

Members of the Collective were drawn together through a common vision for change and formed an action plan that coordinates mutually agreed-upon activities which allow members to leverage on each other’s expertise and resources to achieve a set of shared outcomes.

The Collective aims to understand and establish the elements within its programmes that are effective in improving work-readiness for disadvantaged youths. It hopes that non-profits working with youths can then use this knowledge to achieve better outcomes in the future.

They also want to advocate for organisations across different sectors to adopt a collaborative ownership of social issues and be an example or model on how financial and non-financial resources can be provided to complement and build non-profits’ capabilities.

The Collective’s programmes are curated for youths aged 17 to 25 who may require support in school or after graduation as they seek employment. Their aim is to empower 230 youths to be work-ready over the next three years.

“It is a strategic decision for Changi Foundation to join the Collective,” said Ivy Choo, Head, Changi Foundation. “Apart from deepening our learning in the giving space, more importantly, it allows us to better address current needs in the community. By aligning our efforts with that of the other members in the Collective, we can create greater impact for the youths and their future.”

Jacky Ang, Singapore COO and Branch Manager of Credit Suisse AG, Singapore Branch,shared that Credit Suisse is a strong advocate for the collective impact model, having seen success in HK and Malaysia. “The Collective enables companies like Credit Suisse to play an active role as a corporate citizen beyond funding. Every member brings something different to the Collective, be it expertise, networks or in-kind contribution, thus increasing efficiency and avoiding duplication of efforts.”

“Apart from providing funding, Octava Foundation has discovered other ways to contribute towards work-readiness for disadvantaged youth. We realise that there are opportunities to connect the non-profits to businesses that we work with—some of these companies may be potential industry partners for SHINE and TOUCH,” noted Debbie Fang, Head, Octava Foundation.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for TOUCH to work together with like-minded partners to enhance youth development work and develop better training programmes,” shared Anita Low-Lim, Senior Director (Children and Youth Group), TOUCH. “We value the culture of open communication and trust because it allows everyone at the table to learn from each other and explore better ways of working.”

“Through the Collective, SHINE hopes to extend its work to address needs that we were not previously able to on our own,” affirmed Benjamin Teo, Centre Director for Yishun Centre, SHINE. “The collective impact model brings us all to the table equitably, and allows non-profits to tackle operational challenges alongside funders. I believe this will help us work towards a more lasting impact for our youths and their families.”

With the launch of the programmes, TOUCH and SHINE welcome moreindustry partners andcompanies who are willing to provide opportunities for internships and job immersion experiences for the youths.

Interested parties who would like to help with training and work opportunities are invited to contact youthcollective@cf.org.sg for more information on how they can support this programme.

ABOUT THE PROGRAMMES

The Collective’s goal is to improve work-readiness for disadvantaged young persons by:
–      encouraging their attainment of educational or vocational qualifications;
–      developing their socio-emotional skills and personal assets; and
–      changing their aspirations and providing them access to employment opportunities.

TOUCH and SHINE’s programmes include these elements in their programme design, and are targeted at youth at different stages of transition to work. TOUCH works with students in school, while SHINE will work with youth who may have finished their national service or graduated from school, who can benefit from additional support in gaining employment.

A.P.T.I.T.U.D.E @ ITE College Central
TOUCH’s A.P.T.I.T.U.D.E is based in ITE College Central. The programme complements the vocational training that ITE students are learning in school. It develops students’ interests into practical market skills through close mentorship from industry experts and TOUCH youth coaches.

Through this framework, the students are able to form a secure attachment with mentors and be guided in the right direction in terms of developing their passions into practical market skills. A.P.T.I.T.U.D.E involves seven Interest Groups in areas such as Barista, Adventure Facilitation, Adventure Sports, Outdoor Events Management, Wedding Planning, Culinary Arts and Photography.

YOUTH FORTE
SHINE’s YOUTH FORTE programme targets youths 17 to 21 years’ old who are not in school or training, or sustainable employment of longer than six months, and are facing transition issues to workforce.

YOUTH FORTE takes the youths through various stages including evaluation, individual coaching, socio-emotional training, employability skills training, internships or project-based experience, and vocational training leading to WSQ certification. Throughout the process, youths receive individual life coaching.

Youths are deemed to have completed the programme when, armed with better socio-emotional competencies and the confidence to deal with work challenges, they stay in employment for at least six months.

ABOUT THE SINGAPORE YOUTH IMPACT COLLECTIVE MEMBERS

Changi Foundation
Changi Foundation was launched in April 2012 to support and reach out to disadvantaged youths, a social cause that Changi Airport Group (CAG) has supported since 2010. Each year, CAG allocates a percentage of its net profit to the Changi Foundation, which supports youth community efforts. Through the programmes and projects funded by the Changi Foundation, CAG aims to touch the lives of 600 youths each year.

Community Foundation of Singapore
The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) is a non-profit organisation founded in 2008 to encourage and enable philanthropy in Singapore. CFS matches donors’ interests with causes and offer ways for them to make a greater impact through their charitable funds. CFS also collaborates with charity partners to identify programmes that support diverse communities. Its purpose is to enable real and meaningful change while inspiring a philanthropic culture in Singapore. CFS is a registered charity with Institution of a Public Character status.

Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse AG is one of the world’s leading financial services providers. At Credit Suisse, we believe that education is one of the keys to inclusive economic growth. Credit Suisse’s Global Education Initiative and our regional education activities support a variety of programs improving access to education and quality educational opportunities. At Credit Suisse Asia Pacific, our philanthropy work supports selected organisations that provide disadvantaged children and youth with access to quality education and employability skills that pave their entry to the workforce. We also support programs that build the entrepreneurial mindset in young people across all societal groups.

Octava Foundation
Founded in 2016, Octava Foundation seeks to provide access to education and opportunities for children and youth from economically disadvantaged families to enable them to have sustainable livelihoods, achieve their aspirations and achieve self-efficacy.

SHINE Children & Youth Services
SHINE believes in the right of every child and youth to shine. Towards this end, it reaches out to children, youth and their families through school-based, centre-based and community-based social work and educational psychology programmes so as to enable children and youth to maximise their potential.

TOUCH Community Services
TOUCH Community Services is a not-for-profit charitable organisation, dedicated to meeting the needs of children from low-income or single parent families, youths-at-risk, needy families, people with special and healthcare needs, and frail elderly. Through its network of 18 services, TOUCH is committed to serving people of all ages, races, religions and backgrounds. Each year, its programmes and services meet the needs of more than 31,000 clients.

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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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Stories Of Impact

How Collaborative Philanthropy is Powering Support for Mental Health

John Doe
John Doe
a group of people posing for a photo

No friends, no job, and no confidence. That’s what one person grappled with when he first attended a Growth Circle run by Growth Collective SG. By the end of the year, he had built some friendships and was weighing new career opportunities. His self-worth soared. 

Growth Circles are a powerful means to open up mental wellness support to anyone in need. With the backing of philanthropic dollars and like-minded partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, Growth Collective SG is sparking a movement for accessible well-being that is gaining momentum.

Growth Collective SG grew out of the Community Mental Health Champions initiative. A collaborative project by CFS and Empact that was generously funded by the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, it began in 2021 with the aim of building a pool of people equipped to help others access mental health support. Mental wellbeing is one of five focal areas that CFS has identified as a priority for grant making in the coming years.

Growth Collective SG is made up of the following organisations:

  • Growthbeans, a social enterprise that provides coaching-infused programs, products and services to equip individuals and leaders with self-awareness, compassion andkey people skills to grow resiliently, connect authentically, and give meaningfully for their well-being.
  • SG Assist , which supports caregivers and their loved ones through an app and volunteers;
  • Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), whose mission is to transform society through applied social science and to inspire lifelong education;
  • Psychosocial Initiative, a social enterprise that promotes psychological first aid skills and emotional/mental health literacy awareness;
  • Empatho, a consultancy that provides social, emotional and mental wellness training to organisations and schools and wants to shift the mental health paradigm from a remedial model to a preventive one;
  • Singapore Anglican Community Services, the community service arm of the Diocese of Singapore;
  • Community of Peer Support Specialists, (CPSS) is a ground-up collective made up of professionally trained and certified Peer support specialists interested in growing Singapore’s mental health peer support movement. They leverage on their lived experiences to provide support to persons with mental health challenges while engaging them in clinical, community and workplace settings.

The idea of Growth Circles for mental health came from Growthbeans, which has been running sharing circles and coaching circles since 2015. These are psychological safe spaces for sharing, reflecting and building meaningful relationships. Each Growth Circle is led by a trained facilitator, who empower individuals through active listening and asking effective questions. “Mental health is a state of wellbeing. To empower individuals to better support their personal wellbeing, we want to provide them with more than a safe space to belong. We want to provide a platform for people to gain self-awareness and perspectives, and have a guided way to practise and grow their person-centric skills with the support of others. And, we have seen the impact that Growth Circles have made,” says Shane Yan, a co-founder of Growthbeans and an ICF certified coach. Shane is the Chair of the steering committee of Growth Collective SG and sits on the steering committee of the SG Mental Well-Being Network.

Drawing upon the varied resources, experiences and competencies of its members who cover the spectrum of the mental health continuum, Growth Collective SG came up with a framework to support four aspects of personal growth – social, psychological, emotional, and spiritual growth. It then set about training Growth Facilitators to lead the Growth Circles. They set boundaries, offer psychological first aid and help participants develop soft skills such as questioning skills, empathy, compassion and emotional intelligence.

Growth Circles typically comprise four to five individuals and take place in person or online. The very first one, held at SUSS, garnered a good response from curious students. “Many people feel burnt out or overwhelmed. They appreciate the friendships made, opportunity to share and process their emotions, the new perspectives gained to lift their emotional and mental burden, and the awareness that they are not alone” says Shane. There is now a waitlist for many of these sessions. And, it is attracting a growing diversity of people of different ages, walks of life, and life experiences.

Even more encouragingly, the practice of and learnings from these Growth Circles are being incorporated into the curriculum at SUSS, for undergraduates studying psychology while postgraduate students will undergo the Growth Facilitators training. Longer-term, Shane says the goal is to build a sustainable, scalable offering that bolsters not just mental wellbeing, but employability, as well as community resilience.

“We are grateful to Johnson & Johnson Foundation. Without their funding, the dream would have taken much longer to materialise,” says Shane. And ultimately, its success has hinged on different stakeholders across the charitable, government and private philanthropic sectors working together to engender change.

“A collective allows a diverse group of stakeholders to work together to reinforce each other’s efforts and achieve more impact. Through Johnson & Johnson Foundation’s funding, CFS took on a backbone role in the collective to align activities, establish shared measurement practices, while mobilising and managing resources,” says CFS.

Growth Collective SG has a promising pipeline of projects. This includes running Growth Circles for residents of Nee Soon South Community Centre and Yuhua Community Club, a partnership with the National Gallery to combine Growth Circles with their How to Art with Friends program for its upcoming Wellness Festival, and an MOU with the Institute for Human Resource Professionals to hone skills for workplace wellbeing.

Enabling community well-being takes an entire ecosystem working together in partnership. Growth Collective SG has officially launched its Together, We Grow movement on 1 April 2023. Join the movement, collaborate with us, and bring Growth Circles to every part of Singapore. Find out more here.

To find out more about how CFS empowers collaborative philanthropy, click here .

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