Widening social inequality, an ageing population, and climate change – these are the issues that frame our world, as Singapore celebrates its bicentennial year in 2019. Yet alongside these social challenges, we’re also reminded of our long history of philanthropy in tackling local community needs. Take for instance, the recent 200 Years of Philanthropy in Singapore at the Temasek Shophouse, where it was heartening to see philanthropy being celebrated as a vital thread in Singapore’s success story.

But how will local donors continue to contribute to Singapore’s future? With the number of high-net-worth individuals here expected to grow by 22% to 250,000 by 2023, philanthropy is at an inflection point. We’ve already seeing broader shifts in our donor landscape: donors are getting younger; more Singaporeans are becoming socially aware, and technology is empowering new modes of giving.

At CFS, we count it as our privilege to be able to observe and nurture a new generation of donors increasingly empowered to drive social change. In this final edition of Change Matters for 2019, we highlight three donor trends we believe will continue to shape giving in 2020 and beyond:

Giving together is gaining traction

As more people recognise the complexity of social issues and the need for many helping hands, giving together is fast gaining traction. Donors are beginning to understand that collaboration enables them to create an impact larger than what they can achieve as individuals. In this edition, be the first to read about the Mind the Gap 200 fund or MtG200. This exciting ground-up initiative is the first collective of 10 donor advised funds formed by private individuals, which seeks to address social gaps in multiple sectors in Singapore.

More women are getting engaged in philanthropy

In 2009, only 14% of CFS’s donor funds were started by female donors. This percentage has risen by more than four times to 65% in 2017 and 2018. As more women become empowered to give, they will continue to give to causes close to their hearts. In this issue, we’re delighted to highlight the work of the International Women’s Forum Singapore (IWF). With CFS’s facilitation, IWF supports young women from financially-challenged backgrounds through their tertiary education through an education grant and a mentorship programme.

Donors are asking more questions for deeper understanding

Finally, donors are becoming more interested in understanding the root causes of issues to better inform their giving. They are more willing to explore opportunities to gain deeper insights from service providers, or contribute their expertise to co-create solutions. In this issue, read about our three Seniors Colabs learning journeys (Cornerstone Community Services (with Empower Ageing), Wellness Kampong and St Theresa’s Home), where participants discussed and exchanged views on how society can help our seniors age well.

 

Catherine Loh

CEO, Community Foundation of Singapore