Media release: Community Foundation of Singapore celebrates 10th anniversary

  • Over S$60 million in grants have been disbursed by the foundation, which now manages more than 110 funds.
  • Collaboration, legacy, and impact to be of focus in the coming years.

September 5, 2018 – The Community Foundation of Singapore (“CFS” or the “Foundation”) turns10 this year and marked the milestone with a celebratory event at the Arts House today. Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu was the guest of honour at the event, which was also attended by more than 120 guests comprising donors, charities and other partners.

More than 110 charitable funds have been established with CFS since its inception in 2008. Over the past decade, it has raised more than S$100 million in donations and given out grants amounting to around S$60 million to over 400 charity partners that support a wide range of causes. These include animal welfare, arts and heritage, children, education, the environment, families, health, persons with disabilities, seniors, sports and youth. This puts CFS in good stead to help donors identify gaps and opportunities in the ecosystem, undertake due diligence on charities, and manage grants with a high degree of accountability to deliver lasting benefit.

“As an organisation known for its community knowledge, professionalism and strategic approach to giving, CFS has much to be proud of after a decade in the philanthropy sector. Singapore has progressed rapidly but the social challenges we face – from an ageing population to social inequality – have become more complex and interconnected. While the government tackles social issues on a large scale, there are gaps and needs that are in need of more support. It’s crucial for philanthropy to evolve to tackle these diverse issues within our community innovatively. By staying close to the evolving needs of diverse communities, CFS is able to consider the well-being of the community from multiple dimensions,” said Catherine Loh, Chief Executive Officer, CFS.

Collaboration is becoming increasingly important as it is impossible for a single player or the government to solve current social issues alone, given their complexity, scale, and scope. With collaborative partnerships, however, like-minded stakeholders can leverage their shared expertise, resources and skills to bring about change more effectively. In this spirit, CFS has partnered the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre to launch Colabs, a joint initiative that drives collaboration by bringing together philanthropists, businesses, non-profit organisations and sector experts to share knowledge, exchange ideas, and co-create solutions. Colabs recently released a guide that provides practical ways to help disadvantaged young persons in Singapore, following a series of roundtable talks and workshops attended by more than 100 representatives from 56 stakeholders with interests in this area.

Legacy is not only financial in nature, but also comprises personal and/or business values that are inculcated in children and handed down from generation to generation. With this in mind, CFS inspires donors to live generously and contribute to society in meaningful ways, giving in whatever capacity they can, regardless of the stage of life they are at. This resonates with donors, and more individuals are thinking about philanthropy even before they retire. Accordingly, the age profile of donors who set up individual funds with the foundation has evolved, with the proportion of donors doing so under the age of 50 increasing over the past decade. At the time of CFS’s inception in 2008, 14%* of donors were under 50. This percentage has since risen, with 40%* of all donors working with the foundation now being under 50 at the time their funds were established.

Moving forward, there will be an increasing focus on better assessing the impact of philanthropic initiatives on the community. To this end, CFS hopes to encourage more charity partners to incorporate output and outcome tracking in their programmes, taking both quantitative and qualitative measures into consideration.

*Based on the cumulative number of people who have set up individual donor funds, excluding corporate or collective funds. Some individual donor funds are established by couples and family members.

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