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Fund-raising for foreign charitable purposes

Response to parliamentary question on whether the Ministry will review the 80:20 fund-raising rule for fund-raising for foreign charitable purposes and how the rule can be waived

  1. Mr Speaker, the intent of the 80:20 fund-raising rule under the Charities Act is to ensure that donations from our Singapore public are used primarily to benefit locals and to address locals’ needs. The intent of this 80:20 rule remains relevant.
  2. Besides appeals in aid of providing immediate disaster or humanitarian relief to other countries, the Commissioner of Charities (COC) also waives this 80:20 rule for certain fund-raising appeals. It would not be practical to provide a specific list of activities that would be eligible for waiver, as the COC considers a range of aspects in making its decisions, such as the nature of the appeal, target donor groups and beneficiaries, and the safeguards in place to mitigate risks.   
  3. But should an applicant wish to apply for a waiver of the rule based on its circumstances, the applicant may put forth its reasons for waiver of the rule in its application for fund-raising for foreign charitable purposes permit to the COC. The COC will consider the application on a case-by-case basis.  
Last updated on 08 March 2022