Frequently asked questions


Why should I consider the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) as my partner in philanthropy?

CFS can help you find the best way to give effectively. Besides aligning your core values and intent with the needs of the community, we have the knowledge and grantmaking expertise to build a strategic and meaningful plan to reach your goals.

We offer a full range of donor services and programmes to help manage your giving plans, follow up on your donation and report on the results. We also provide access to resources and research to help identify charities that best match your interests. Our suite of advisory and administrative support services helps you give with ease and confidence. CFS also regularly performs due diligence of charitable organisations to provide full accountability for your donation. 

What is the difference between setting up a private foundation and establishing a fund at CFS?

At CFS, we allow individuals, families and corporations to establish a customised charitable fund without being burdened by the tax liabilities, regulation requirements and administrative hassles that come with setting up a private foundation. To minimise costs and achieve greater returns, funds are pooled for investment management purposes, making it possible for a smaller individual fund to enjoy the same economies of scale as a large independent foundation.

Who are CFS’s charity partners?

CFS works with over 400 charitable, civic and non-profit organisations to develop impactful programmes and fund causes that can make a difference and transform communities in Singapore. We perform regular due diligence of these charitable organisations to verify compliance with criteria and guidelines.

What are the tax benefits of giving through CFS?

As a charity (no: 002119) with Institution of Public Character (IPC) status, CFS is able to issue tax–deductible receipts for you at the prevailing tax deduction rate. We also make it easier for you to claim tax deductions. More information on donations and tax deductions here.

What kind of assets can be used to set up a fund?

As a general rule, CFS can accept any type of asset as long as it is marketable and does not have any liability. Most often, funds are started through a gift of cash, real estate, stocks or shares.

How do I know if CFS is financially accountable?

Our audit partner KPMG conducts an independent audit of our financial statements every year. Our audited financial information is available here.

How do I decide what kind of fund to establish?

This depends on whether you wish to have on-going involvement in grant disbursements from your fund, or if you prefer CFS to decide based on community needs. You should also consider if you want the fund to be drawn down quickly, or exist in perpetuity. Other things to consider are your areas of interest and charitable goals.

What is the difference between a flow through fund, endowment fund and term endowment fund?

A flow through fund allows you to distribute the money as quickly or as slowly as you wish, depending on your preference. The fund will be kept in a no-risk, low-return investment vehicle until it has been disbursed as grants. An endowment fund is where your contributions are held at CFS in perpetuity and invested with annual returns directed to charitable causes of your choice. A term endowment fund is similar to an endowment fund except that it is invested and disbursed over a 10-year period.

What fees are charged on the funds?

Our fees vary depending on the nature of the fund and range from 1% for individual donors to 5% for corporations. Fees depend on the value of the endowed funds or the amount of grant disbursed, whichever is applicable. We do not charge any set-up fees.

Who administers the grants?

Every grant that goes out needs to be pre-approved by our Programmes and Grants Committee to ensure that the programmes are in line with CFS’s objectives. The committee is made up of experienced members of the community who have an up-to-date overview of the non-profit landscape in Singapore.

Who manages the assets?

All funds are managed by our Investment Committee which comprises experienced professionals who are directly connected to the financial industry. Their in-depth experience and knowledge ensures that funds are invested responsibly, to achieve stable returns.

What updates do donors receive?

Donors receive a six-monthly donor statement with updates on their fund balance, donation history and grants disbursed. Some donors may also receive regular reports of the charities and programmes they are supporting.

How am I able to donate if I don’t have ready cash now?

You can still make an impact and support your favourite cause or charity beyond your lifetime. You can nominate CFS in your will or name us as a beneficiary of your insurance plans or CPF monies. On your passing, we will honour your wishes.