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Where there’s a will, there’s a way … to give a legacy
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Where there’s a will, there’s a way … to give a legacy

John Doe
John Doe
people of different races and ages socializing and catching up at a local cafe.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way … to give a legacy.
(Adapted from opening remarks at a Community Foundation of Singapore-LSPBS “Legacy Giving” Webinar on 1 September 2020.)

Legacy giving is one of the best kept secrets in town. For many years now, I’ve often wondered why more charities had not jumped on the bandwagon of legacy
giving. Why aren’t charities proactive in encouraging individual donors to give legacies whether via wills, CPF nominations, or even insurance policies? Examples
abound overseas. I saw firsthand one such stellar example of a pro bono law firm utilizing this modality of legacy giving during our Law Society “Lawyers Go
Global” mission trip to Sydney in 2018.

We went to Sydney as a team to learn from cutting edge innovative Sydney based law firms on law firm models harnessing technology and niche services in order to consider adopting or adapting them in Singapore. The law firm that left a deep impression on several of us in the team was Salvos Legal, affiliated with the Salvation Army. They offer humanitarian legal services and have an outstanding history and genesis you can research on. They combine the best of both worlds in fee earning lawyers sitting side by side and working hand in hand with pro bono legal practitioners. Fee earners cross-subsidise the provision of pro bono legal services. It was a joy to see both pro bono practitioners and fee earners working harmoniously in a single setting and committed to doing good (directly or indirectly) as a firm.

Salvos Legal turned legacy giving to charities into art form. They use radio announcements and organise Community Wills Days (where generous local solicitors
prepare simple wills in return for a donation to the Salvos). They have built up a fair amount of expertise and essentially encourage the public to donate via legacy
giving.

In Singapore today, death is still a taboo topic in some quarters. As an aging society with a silver tsunami, we need to speak about this elephant in the room. We need more discourse about prudent asset stewardship, legacy giving and planned and sustained giving long after we have left the earth. From the charity’s point of view, this could represent a creative fundraising modality. Indeed, local charities such as the Kidney Dialysis Foundation and the Singapore Children’s Society have started using donation via legacy giving. Closer to home, recently, to commemorate the life of CLAS founder, visionary and architect, the late Harry Elias SC, the Law Society Pro
Bono Services in collaboration with Harry Elias Partnership have set up the Harry Elias SC CLAS Fellowship Fund. This Fund is a continuing and cherished memorial to Harry that will fund expenses arising from the CLAS Fellowship such as their remuneration and practice-related costs to ensure that young lawyers have a glorious
opportunity to follow in the footsteps of legal legends and trailblazers like Harry E.

For the gift-giver, legacy giving has four distinct, discernible advantages. First, it allows the donor to give their own voice to their unique personality, values and beliefs
for pet causes. Second, it creates a meaningful memorial of legacies that will perpetuate. Third, it positively impacts subsequent generations through a sustained
giving. Fourth, it deepens the connection between the charity and the donor.

Where appropriate, probate, wills and administration specialists, private wealth law experts and general practitioners in client advisories could suggest legacy giving to clients.

There are nuanced issues to consider for the donor and the attending lawyer. The form of the giving, whether it’s memorial giving, legacy giving and so on, and the
attendant risks involved. I shall not gloss over this aspect. Questions that need examining include: (1) how do you communicate to the testator or testatrix (person
making the will)? (2) are the template clauses appropriate to express the donor’s wishes? (3) what about the testator’s/testatrix’s mental capacity; or more precisely,
testamentary capacity? (4) from the donee charity’s point of view, what are the risks in accepting such gifts? These issues are fact-sensitive, complex in some cases and need careful analysis to avoid something going wrong (including misexpression of the testator’s/testator’s wishes).

The old saying goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way. But the new saying I have for you is where there’s a will, there’s a way …. to give a legacy. You can have the nous and the know-how, to find that way for your donors. Legacy giving leaves a legacy for life.

Source:Law Gazette

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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 Peak Singapore: How responsible businesses can make their philanthropic dollars travel further

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John Doe
picture of CFS CEO Catherine Loh sitting on a chair

While more companies are heeding the call to give back to the community, selecting a worthy cause and monitoring the use of donations may be a complex task. That’s where the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) comes in. It helps corporations develop a long-term philanthropy strategy, find suitable charity partners, and track the outcome of donations.

“We help donors go beyond what they can do on their own, and identify charity partners who can provide accountability,” says Catherine Loh, CEO of CFS.

One way of creating greater impact is to look at fresh ways of addressing community needs, suggests Loh. Take UBS’ Diversity in Abilities arts education programme, which aims to develop the talents of children and youth with special needs. After attending the programme, participants are able to concentrate better and have an overall improvement in the pace of learning. Such potentially beneficial initiatives can be made possible only by corporations that have a higher appetite for risk and are willing to support them, says Loh.

In terms of managing charitable dollars, both donor and recipient must agree on how the money will be used, the duration of the funding and the kind/depth of reporting required, Loh says. More importantly, she adds, companies should adopt the mindset of a partner and view philanthropy as a “learning journey”.

“Just like any business project, things can go wrong. Sometimes, it could be a misreading of community needs, or there could be physical or manpower constraints faced by the charity. We hope to take corporates on a philanthropic journey, to help them gain insight into what it takes to make a meaningful change.” Read more.

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The Straits Times: Teen violinist with an astonishing maturity

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John Doe
a picture of a girl playing a violin

by Chang Tou Liang, 29 October 2016

“Fifty years ago, the classical music scene in Singapore was spearheaded by Goh Soon Tioe (1911-1982), violinist, pedagogue, conductor and all-round music entrepreneur.

His name lives on in the award created in his memory, given to exceptional young Singaporean string players and administered by his daughters Vivien and Sylvia, and the Community Foundation of Singapore.

The recipient of this year’s Goh Soon Tioe Centenary Award is teenager Mathea Goh Xinyi, a student of former child prodigy Lee Huei Min, whose 75-minute solo recital distinguished her as a major talent to watch in years to come. There was nothing student-like in her playing, only an astonishing maturity that has to be experienced to be believed.” Read more

Photos: Adrian Tee of Pixelmusica

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

John Doe
John Doe
a group of people standing in a room

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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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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