Corporate governance & policies

The Community Foundation of Singapore complies with the requirements of the Code of Governance for Charities and Institutions of Public Character (IPCs) and is committed to upholding the values of accountability and transparency within our organisation.

Financial management and internal controls

The Board reviews and approves the annual budget prepared by management.

All extra-budgetary expenditure beyond the delegated management authority is reviewed and approved by the Board and the operating and capital expenditure budget is regularly monitored.

CFS is committed to disclose audited statements which give a true and fair review of CFS’s financial statements to ensure that they are in accordance with the requirements as specified by the regulatory bodies.

Reserves policy

An operating reserve is an unrestricted fund balance set aside to stabilise CFS’s finances by providing a cushion against unexpected events, loss of funding or income and large unbudgeted expenses. The policy applies to that part of the foundation’s income funds that are freely available for its operating purposes. It excludes endowment, restricted and designated funds. It is the intention of the Board of Directors to ensure that the level of reserves is adequate to sustain CFS for a period of at least two years, with sufficient time to build an alternative source of income.

Committees

In efforts to enhance its corporate governance, the Board appoints its members to chair the following committees:

Audit committee
The audit committee serves as an independent and objective party to review the integrity of financial information and ensures the efficiency and effectiveness of CFS’s material and operational compliance with regulatory requirements, policies and procedures. CFS also appoints KPMG LLM as its external auditor.

Donor relations committee
The donor relations committee ensures that CFS has the appropriate policies and procedures in place to ensure compliance with the Code of Governance for good fundraising practices. It provides counsel regarding stewardship policies as well as procedures and strategies that ensure that all donors receive the acknowledgement, recognition and engagement that constitute meaningful stewardship. It also reviews and endorses strategic fundraising programmes. 

Human resource & finance committee
The human resource & finance committee assists the Board in fulfilling its responsibilities with respect to the human resource and finances required to achieve CFS’s corporate objectives.

Investment committee
The investment committee manages CFS’s funds with care, skill, prudence and diligence for the sole interest of the beneficiaries of the funds and in accordance to their objectives. Investments of the funds are diversified to minimise losses from diversifiable risks while earning a fair return. The investments are made by external fund managers selected by the investment committee and approved by the Board with the primary objective of capital preservation and to provide an investment return for the fund. The portfolios are closely monitored and periodic reviews are conducted by the investment committee.

Nomination committee
The nomination committee reviews the performance of Board members and invites nominees to serve on the Board and committees as part of succession planning.

Programmes & grants committee
The key duty of the programmes & grants committee is to ensure that CFS establishes strategic directions and procedures for its programmes, grantmaking policies as well as evaluation of grant requests. The committee also reviews, evaluates and recommends grant proposals to donors, and works with the management team to identify new or existing community gaps, gather research and develop new programme areas. The committee also ensures that supported programmes are aligned with CFS’s mandate and donor intent.

Conflict of interest policy

CFS has in place policies and procedures to manage and avoid situations of conflict of interest. All Board and committee members are required to make declarations of conflict of interest to CFS at the start of their terms of directorship, annually, or as soon as such conflict or the possibility of such conflict arises. Board members do not vote or participate in decision-making on matters where they have a conflict of interest. All employees are also required to make declarations of conflict of interest at the point of hire, annually or as soon as such conflict of the possibility of such conflict arises to ensure that all parties will act in the best interests of CFS.

Disclosure and transparency

CFS is committed to the principles of accountability and transparency. In order to adhere to these principles, CFS regularly makes available information regarding our programmes, operations, audit statements and Board members through an annual report, website and social media pages.

Human resource management

CFS administers a Code of Ethics and a set of guidelines for employees to comply with and is made available to all employees. CFS understands the importance and commits to incorporating systems that address employee communication, fair practice, performance management and professional development.

Privacy policy

The privacy of your personal data is important to us and we are committed to safeguarding it. The term “personal data” refers to personally identifiable data about you, such as your name, birth date, e-mail address or mailing address, and any other information that is identified with you personally.

By visiting, using and/or accessing the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) website in any way, you fully understand and expressly consent to CFS’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) policies and procedures for collection, use, disclosure, access, correction, accuracy, protection, retention, transfer and withdrawal of your personal data for the following purposes:

• Philanthropy programmes
• Fundraising programmes
• Corporate giving programmes
• CFS grants
• CFS news, events, publications, media releases & reports

If you choose to contact us or send us information for which you provide us with personally identifiable data, we may share necessary data with other partner organisations, so as to process the information in a most efficient and effective way, unless such sharing is prohibited by law.

For your convenience, we may also display to you data you had previously supplied us. This will speed up the transaction and save you the trouble of repeating previous submissions. Should the data be out-of-date, please supply us the latest data. We will retain your personal data only as necessary for any business or legal purposes. To safeguard your personal data, all electronic storage and transmission of personal data is secured with appropriate security technologies.

This site may contain links to non-CFS sites whose data protection and privacy practices may differ from ours. We are not responsible for the content and privacy practices of these other websites and encourage you to consult the privacy notices of those sites.

You understand and agree for CFS to contact you for any other purposes related to the services that CFS is providing or had provided you with and/or on matters which you have an ongoing relationship with CFS. If you do not agree with any of the terms and conditions, please do not visit, use and/or access this website.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What personally identifiable information does CFS collect?
CFS’s primary goal in collecting personal information is to provide you with the best and most useful content and services. CFS collects personally identifiable information when you provide it to us, such as when you register on our site, and when you visit CFS pages and subscribe to any of our services. Once you register with our site you are no longer anonymous to us.

2. What anonymous information does CFS collect?
Your Internet browser has a feature called “cookies” which store small amounts of data on your computer about your visit to any of our sites. However, cookies tell us nothing about who you are unless you specifically give us personally identifiable information. We use tracking technologies in a variety of ways, including:

  • Keeping count of return visits to our site or our advertiser’ or partners’ sites
  • Accumulating and report anonymous, aggregate (data collected in mass), statistical information on website and advertisement usage.
  • Determining which features users like best

3. How does CFS use the information?
The information we gather is mainly used for general purposes including:

  • Enhance the user experience in our network of sites. We use tracking information to determine how well each page performs overall based on aggregate user demographics and traffic patterns to those pages. This helps us continue to build a better service for you
  • Fulfill your requests for certain products and services
  • Customise the content you see

4. What are my options?
Users who would rather not provide any of the user data requested by our registration process do not need to register with us. You can still view much of the content without registering.

5. How will I know if the privacy policy is changed?
Any modifications to our privacy practices will be reflected first on our site. If there is a material change in our privacy practices, we will indicate on our site that our privacy practices have changed and provide a link to the new privacy statement.

Whistleblowing

Policy

CFS is committed to the highest standards of honesty, transparency, ethical and legal conduct and accountability. The whistleblowing policy aims to provide an avenue for employees and external parties to raise genuine concerns relating to any aspect of CFS’ operations, including serious breaches of the code of conduct by employees. The aim of the policy is to:

  1. Promote standards for good financial and corporate practices and to deter wrongdoing.
  2. Provide proper avenues for employees and external parties to raise concerns about suspected improprieties and receive feedback on any action taken.
  3. Give employees and external parties the assurance that they will be protected from reprisals or victimisation for whistleblowing in good faith.

Reportable incidents

Some examples of concerns covered by this policy include:

  1. Impropriety, corruption, theft/misuse of CFS properties/assets/resources.
  2. Conduct which is an offence or breach of law.
  3. Breach of or failure to implement or comply with CFS policies.
  4. Concerns about CFS accounting, internal controls or auditing matters.
  5. Serious conflict of interest without disclosure, resulting in material gain.
  6. Acts which mislead, deceive, manipulate, coerce or fraudulently influence any internal or external accountant or auditor in connection with the preparation, examination, audit or review of any financial statements or records of CFS.
  7. Abuse of power or authority, for example, Finance Director asking Finance Manager to make false declarations on companys accounts.
  8. Physical and emotional bullying by colleague.
  9. Sexual harassment:
    a) Physical harassment (sexual gestures, inappropriate touching etc.).
    b) Verbal harassment (sexual comments/jokes, asking for sexual favours etc.).
    c) Visual harassment (showing derogatory or pornographic materials etc.).
    d) Any other serious improper matters which may cause financial or non-financial loss to CFS or damage to CFS reputation.
  10. Fraud or the making of fraudulent statements to members of the public and regulatory authorities.
  11. Concealing information about any malpractice or misconduct.
  12. Intentional provision of incorrect information to public bodies.

Protection against reprisal

  1. CFS recognises that the decision to report a concern can be a difficult one to make, not least, because of the fear of reprisal from those responsible for the alleged malpractice. CFS will not tolerate harassment or victimisation and will take all possible action to protect anyone who raises a concern in good faith.
  2. However, CFS does not condone frivolous, mischievous or malicious allegations and anyone making such allegations may face disciplinary action.

Confidentiality

  1. CFS requires the whistleblower to identify himself/herself when raising a concern or providing information.  All concerns will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.
  2. Exceptional circumstances under which information provided by the whistleblower could or would not be treated with confidentiality include:
    a) Where CFS is under a legal obligation to disclose information provided.
    b) Where the information is already in the public domain.
    c) Where the information is given on a strictly confidential basis to legal or auditing professionals for the purpose of obtaining professional advice.
    d) Where the information is given to the police or other authorities for criminal investigation.
  3. In the event of a circumstance not covered by the above, and where the whistleblowers identity is to be revealed, CFS will endeavour to discuss this with the whistleblower first.
  4. Anonymous complaints would be investigated only if there are clear merits for continuity.

Procedure

  1. Concerns should be raised in writing to the CEO, Chairman (Audit Committee) or any member of the CFS Board. 
  2. The whistleblower should set out in detail the background and history of events and the reasons for the concern. Important points to note are:
    a) The earlier the concern is raised, the easier it is for CFS to take action
    b) CFS expects the whistleblower to provide his/her concern in good faith and to show that there are sufficient grounds for his/her concern
    c) CFS also recognises that the whistleblower may wish to seek advice and be represented by his/her advisor.

Proceedings upon disclosure

  1. Any concern raised or information provided will be investigated. Consideration will be given to these factors:
    a) Severity of the issue raised.
    b) Credibility of the concern or information.
    c) Likelihood of confirming the concern or information from attributable sources.
  2. Depending on the nature of the concern raised or information provided, the investigation may involve one or more of these persons or entities:
    a) The Investigation Committee appointed by CEO/Audit Committee.
    b) External and internal auditors.
    c) Forensic professionals.
    d) The police or Commercial Affairs Department.
  3. Further information may be sought from the whistleblower during the course of the investigation.
  4. The Investigation Committee will submit the findings and recommendation(s) to the CEO or Chairman of Audit Committee for his/her necessary action/advice.
  5. The whistleblower will be kept informed of the progress of the investigations and, if appropriate, of the final outcome.