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Building partnerships in the charity ecosystem

Speech by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, at the Charity Transparency and Governance Awards, at One Farrer Hotel

Dr Gerard Ee, Chairman, Charity Council 
Ladies and Gentlemen

  1. Good evening! It is my pleasure to be here this evening to celebrate the good work by our charities in building a sector with strong public trust.
  2. This year, a total of 67 charities have demonstrated high standards of accountability and governance. It represents the highest number of charities receiving the Charity Transparency Awards since it started in 2016. This is an encouraging sign. As more charities step up their transparency practices, the charity sector as a whole, will improve.
  3. This evening, three charities will also be receiving the Charity Governance Awards. They are Assisi Hospice, Caregivers Alliance Limited and Silver Ribbon (Singapore).
  4. Assisi Hospice provides quality end of life care for its patients. Caregivers Alliance focuses on supporting caregivers of persons with mental health issues. Silver Ribbon strives to promote a positive attitude towards mental health in the community. While these three charities have different objectives, they are all focused on enhancing the well-being of their beneficiaries, be it physically, mentally or emotionally. Congratulations to all the winners this evening!
  5. All of us have a part to play in building a more caring and inclusive Singapore. As charities, you are at the forefront of our efforts to build a caring society. Not only do you provide services that benefit the society, you influence and inspire the people around you to care for the vulnerable members of our society.
  6. This is the essence of the SG Together movement. Our sector will progress when all of us come together, and partner one another towards a common goal. Let me share three forms of partnerships for charities.

    Charities and the Government: Co-creating the Charity Transparency Framework

  7. The first partnership is between charities and the Government. The Commissioner of Charities (COC) and Charity Council will continue to work hand in hand with you to achieve higher standards of transparency and governance. A good example is the recognition given by tonight’s Awards. I call upon past and present winners to step up as mentors to other charities. Share your best practices and tips, so that they, too, can strive to strengthen governance and public trust in charities. The Government is committed to working alongside you to develop your capabilities and expand the reach of your impact through the ecosystem of people, private and public.
  8. We want to involve our charities in co-creating our vision of good governance. One new area of partnership is the review of the Charity Transparency Framework, which was rolled out in 2015. We need to review the Framework regularly, to ensure alignment with legislations and the Code of Governance. The Framework aims to provide guidance to charities to achieve clarity on the communication of their work. The Charity Council and the COC have embarked on a preliminary consultation with over 50 charities and grant makers to hear their views on how the Framework can be improved.
  9. More consultations will be conducted along the way. I encourage all of you to share your thoughts as we review the Framework. As part of this review, the Charity Transparency and Governance Awards will be taking a hiatus in 2020.


    Charities and the people: Growing pool of volunteers

  10. The second form of partnership is between charities and the people. As charities, you are usually the “go to” organisation for anybody who needs help. You provide a listening ear, a helping hand, and a temporary shelter. Many of you here work for a charity, to serve our beneficiaries and our people. You could also be volunteers on the boards of charities to share your expertise. My heartfelt appreciation to all, for your efforts in championing a worthy cause, and supporting the transformation of our society to a more caring and compassionate one.

  11. Indeed, volunteers and donors are an integral part of the charity ecosystem, and charities would need to develop and sharpen capabilities to recruit, empower and retain volunteers and donors.

  12. Charities are makers of opportunities, and open our eyes and hearts to the lives of diverse segments of the population. Our students will benefit from opportunities to charity work through community projects that they can initiate and lead. Continue to attract these young Singaporeans so that they can take up employment opportunities in the charity sector, or become lifelong volunteers.

  13. I also encourage you to expand your pool of volunteers by involving our seniors. They have a wealth of skills and experience that can benefit the community. We have signed an MOU with RSVP Singapore earlier this year to reach out to our seniors early, support them in their transition from work to active ageing, and to help them retire with a purpose.

    Charities and community: Collaborating to serve Singaporeans better

  14. The third form of partnership is the collaboration between charities and the community. To do your work effectively, it is essential to engage new partners and harness community resources.
  15. To support partnerships and grow the local volunteer supply, six SG Cares Volunteer Centres (VCs) have been appointed to curate meaningful volunteering opportunities based on community needs, as well as to recruit, manage and develop volunteers.
  16. Two of our VCs, namely the Filos Community Services in Bedok and the Loving Heart Multi-Service Centre in Jurong East, have been administering the SG Cares-Gojek Medical Transport Subsidy Scheme. This scheme would not be possible without the support of the charities in identifying potential beneficiaries.
  17. Partnering National Kidney Foundation and Thye Hua Kuan Moral Charities, Loving Heart identified and reached out to residents in need of subsidised rides to dialysis centres and hospitals safely, affordably and conveniently.
  18. VCs also match charities with corporates that are embarking on sustained CSR projects. Recently, the VCs for Woodlands and Toa Payoh, operated by Care Corner Singapore, partnered the Singapore Business Federation Foundation to organise a networking session, matching corporates with social service agencies and offering a range of volunteering opportunities. Through the session, 38 corporates were matched to better serve those towns.
  19. I urge you to collaborate with VCs and one another to strengthen your programmes and services so that together, we can better serve Singaporeans.

    Conclusion

  20. Finally, I would like to congratulate all our winners once again. I would also like to thank Gerard, Chairman of the Charity Council, all Council members and partners for working closely with MCCY and the Commissioner of Charities over the years.

  21. Let us work hand in hand to grow Singapore’s culture of care. Together, we will build a more compassionate and inclusive home for our present and future generations. Thank you, and have a great evening!


Last updated on 05 December 2019