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Cultural Matching Fund

The Cultural Matching Fund (CMF) is a fund set up by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) to provide dollar-for-dollar (1:1) matching grants for private cash donations to arts and heritage charities and Institutions of Public Character (IPC).

The CMF aims to encourage giving to our arts and heritage sector. This will create a more sustainable arts and heritage scene, and one in which more people in Singapore have a stake. The CMF will match monetary donations received by the eligible organisations, from individuals, foundations and corporations. The CMF doubles the value of every cash donation for the receiving organisation which can be put to various uses, including developing capabilities for the long-term sustainability of the organisation and the cultural sector as a whole.

The National Arts Council (NAC) is the appointed CMF Secretariat for the administration of the CMF.

Important Announcement

Dear Arts and Heritage Organisations

Thank you for joining us at the recent Arts and Heritage Engagement Session on 13 September.

Refinements to CMF
As most of you would have known by now, there are some refinements to the CMF from 2018. We have uploaded the presentation that was shared with everyone at the session, it can be downloaded here.


Download CMF refinements presentation

We have prepared a set of FAQs to complement the presentation from the session, for the benefit of those who did not attend the session. The FAQs can be downloaded here.

Download FAQs on CMF refinements

Technical briefing 
There will also be a technical briefing in March 2018 before the CMF reopens for application next year. We advise that organisations send representatives who will be filling out applications and milestone reports for this session. More details on this briefing session will be sent closer to the date.


To find out more about the Cultural Matching Fund, please contact the CMF Secretariat at email: cmf@nac.gov.sg or tel: 6346 9694


1. Is there a cap (upper limit) on the grant?

Since the announcement on the 3 September 2015, the cap has been raised from $10 million to $15 million.

This cap is effective immediately from the September 2015 application window 

2. Who is eligible for the $15 million cap on the CMF?

All Arts and Heritage Charities and IPCs who are eligible for the CMF are eligible for this $15 million cap. These principally include the Charities and IPCs classified by the Commissioner of Charities to be engaged and operating in the arts and heritage sector. The CMF Secretariat may also consider other exceptional Charities and IPCs that conduct significant arts and heritage activities, such that they contribute to the benefit of the arts and heritage sector, to be eligible for the CMF on a case-by-case basis.

3. Are there any changes on the type of donations eligible for the $15 million cap on the CMF?

There are no changes in the type of donations eligible for the $15 million cap on the CMF.

However, cash donations for CMF matching have to be certified by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)/ Auditor. In-kind donations, including artefacts, advertising space, venues and pro-bono services, will not be matched.

4. Are there any changes in the application process?

There are no changes in the application process.

5. Are there any changes in the assessment of the CMF application now that it is capped at $15 million?

The CMF Trustees will continue to serve as assessors and approving authorities for all applications. These applications will continue to be assessed based on timeliness of submissions, eligibility, and completeness of accompanying documents and proposed utilisation of the matching grants.

6. Are there any special funding conditions now that each organisation has a $15 million cap on the CMF?

The usual CMF funding conditions will continue to apply.

There are general conditions for using the government’s matching fund, to ensure it is not put to activities that are harmful to Singapore. The CMF is not to be put to any use that may:

  • Discriminate against, insult, or create conflict or misunderstanding between persons or groups on the grounds of race or religion; 
  • Advocate for causes considered objectionable by the general public; 
  • Undermine the government’s authority or threaten Singapore’s security or stability;
  • In any way, be adverse to the cultural sector and/or the Republic of Singapore.

1. Who is eligible to apply for the CMF? 

Only Arts and Heritage Charities and IPCs are eligible for the CMF. These principally include the Charities and IPCs classified by the Commissioner of Charities to be primarily engaged and operating in the arts and heritage sector. The CMF Secretariat may also consider other exceptional Charities and IPCs that conduct significant arts and heritage activities, such that they contribute to the benefit of the arts and heritage sector, to be eligible for the CMF on a case by case basis.


2. How can I apply to be a Charity or an IPC?

Please visit the Charities Portal (www.charities.gov.sg).


3. Is there a minimum donation amount to qualify for the matching grant?

There is no minimum individual donation amount to qualify for matching, as the primary objective of CMF is to encourage cultural philanthropy and foster a broad-based climate of giving. However, for administrative purpose, each organisation is encouraged to raise at least S$5,000 for the application.


4. What type of donations will be eligible for the CMF?

The CMF Secretariat will consider only cash donations that are certified by a Certified Public Accountant(CPA)/ Auditor. In-kind donations, including artefacts, advertising space, venues and pro-bono services, will not be matched. 

The CMF will not match grants given by the Government or Statutory Boards, donations from the Community Chest, the President’s Challenge or similar entities.

The CMF will match donations with benefits in a manner similar to the IRAS guidelines on donations with benefits. The value of the accompanying benefits will be deducted accordingly, along with the GST on the benefits if applicable.


5. Are tax-deductible and non-tax deductible donations (including those from anonymous donors) eligible for CMF?

Yes, the CMF Secretariat will consider cash donations that are certified by the CPA/ Auditor.


6. Are donations from overseas donors eligible for CMF?

Yes, the CMF Secretariat will consider cash donations that are certified by the CPA/ Auditor.


7. If a donor has pledged a certain amount to my organisation but has yet to fulfil the donation, does the pledged amount qualify for the CMF?

The CMF does not match donations pledged, only cash donations received by the organisation's bank account. 


8. If the organisation is a charity/ IPC when submitting the form, but not when receiving the donation, does the donation amount qualify for the CMF?

No. Only cash donations received by a charity/ IPC's bank account qualify for the CMF.


9. How far back will the CMF match donations?

Cash donations made from 1 Nov 2013 will be matched. This is the date on which the features of the CMF were announced. 

For subsequent years, cash donations received up to the previous financial year of the receiving organisation are eligible for CMF. Eg. If your organisation’s financial year ends on 31 March, during the March 2016 application window, you may apply for the matching of donations received in the financial year 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 and the previous financial year, ie 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015.

Cash donations must not have been previously matched by the Cultural Matching Fund and/or other government matching grants eg. Matching tertiary institution donations, Care & Share Fund.


10. Can I apply for CMF twice in a year?

Yes. However, only donations that have not been previously submitted will be considered.

1. What is required of the application?

Each application will require the submission of:

  • Proof of your organisation’s charity status;
  • Conflict of interest declaration;
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)/ Auditor certified accounts statements detailing donations received in the previous financial year and relevant receipts where applicable; and 
  • Planned uses for the matching grant – filled out in the relevant Annexes.

2. How should donations for CMF applications be certified?

We encourage Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) who certified on the statements to be an independent party from the organisation. However, if any member of your organisation is also a member of the CA/CPA, they can make the certification on the application form. 

3. Why is the yearly TDR submission to IRAS not acceptable for CMF application?

As CMF application involves monies being disbursed to successful applicants, Audited statements / Certified statements by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) are required.

4. Is there a cap (upper limit) on the grant?

Since the announcement on the 3 September 2015, the cap has been raised from $10 million to $15 million.

This cap is effective immediately from the September 2015  application window.
 

5. If we engage services from the company owned by a member of the board, do we have to make a disclosure?  Eg.The company that does the design work for some of our brochures is owned by our Board Director.

Yes. Any donations and commercial transactions or individuals that are associated with the organisation must be disclosed. 

1. Who will assess my application?

The CMF secretariat is managed by independent Trustees. The Trustees serve as  assessor and approving authority for all disbursements. NAC and NHB will assist the Trustees to collate the applications on behalf of the arts and heritage organisations respectively, and ensure that all applications are in order.
 

2. How will my application be assessed?

The application’s timely submission, eligibility, completeness of accompanying documents and proposed  utilisation of the matching grant will be considered. More details can be found in the Terms & Conditions under Annex D of the application form.
 

3. Will the disclosures affect the assessment process in any way?

Disclosures will not affect the overall assessment process, but the application is still subject to the Trustee’s approval.

1. What can the CMF be used for?

There are general conditions for using the government’s matching fund, to ensure it is not put to activities that are harmful to Singapore. The CMF is not to be put to any use that may

  • Discriminate against, insult, or create conflict or misunderstanding between persons or groups on the grounds of race or religion; 
  • Advocate for causes considered objectionable by the general public; 
  • Undermine the government’s authority or threaten Singapore’s security or stability.

Table 1 below illustrates the conditions of use that govern the CMF.

Amount raised per financial year Use-conditions that apply to the equivalent matching fund component
First $300,000 raised

Organisations are to use the matching grant according to the approved applied usage.

Subsequent amounts raised (above $300,000)

Organisations are to use the matching grant amount for long-term sustainability building.

*Long-term sustainability building uses are defined as:

a. Improving the capabilities of the organisation, such as business development, fund-raising or the establishment of endowment funds;
b. Improving the capabilities within the sector, such as relevant skills training, research or scholarship;
c. Acquiring artworks or artefacts for general public benefit;
d. Developing/upgrading cultural infrastructure; or
e. Other projects and initiatives that will clearly contribute to the long-term sustainability of the organisation or cultural sector.

For more details please refer to the Terms & Conditions found in Annex D of the application form. 


2. Are there any conditions placed on the donations obtained from the donor?

There are no conditions placed on the donations obtained from the donor. The organisation may use the donation at its discretion, or in line with the donor’s preference. 


3. What is expected of the organisation in terms of accounts maintenance?

Organisations that have received the CMF should ensure:

  • Proper records are maintained for all donations; 
  • Full records are kept for all expenses that are in line with the approved use of the matching grant, and that these expenses are properly authorised.
  • A milestone report for the financial mid-year reporting period, must be submitted twice yearly by 30 April and 31 October. The latest milestone report templates can be found here.
  • The following reports are submitted within six months from the close of your financial year: 
    • Statement of income and expenditure position for the matching grant;
    • Organisation’s annual report.
The CMF Secretariat may appoint an external auditor to conduct a special purpose audit on the CMF’s use with any receiving Charity or IPC.

4. What happens if my organisation did not utilise the funds according to the approved uses of the CMF?

If CMF funds are not utilised in accordance with the approved uses of the CMF, or in accordance with the conditions stipulated in the deed, the organisation will not be allowed to apply for future CMF grants. The Trustees also reserve the right to require the recipient(s) to refund to the CMF, all of any portion of CMF funds already disbursed, so that deserving organisations can benefit from the CMF.


The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) launched a public consultation from 10 April to 10 May 2013 on the design of the Cultural Matching Fund (CMF).

Key issues Respondent recommendations Reasons for recommendations
General support for the CMF

Majority welcomes the Fund

There is a need to grow private giving.

Eligibility of groups/projects for the Fund

The Fund should be restricted to non-profit organisations (NPOs), Charities and Institutes of Public Character (IPCs)

Ensures Accountability of public funds

Allowable uses of the Fund

There should be as few restrictions on the uses/targets of the funds as possible

Allows for greater creativity to best meet the carying needs of different groups

Donations that qualify for matching

Preference to limit the matching to only cash donations

Improves ease of valuation and flexibility of use

Fair distribution of the Fund

Recommend a tiered matching cap according to the size and background of the receipients

Ensures accountable spending and fair distribution of the Fund

More information can be found on our Detailed Summary of the recommendations received (includes our preliminary responses).

Last Updated: 18 December 2017

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