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Cultural Matching Fund

Established by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), the Cultural Matching Fund (CMF) provides dollar-for-dollar matching grants for private cash donations to registered charities in the arts and heritage sector.

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.

Dear Arts and Heritage Organisations

The 2018 application window will be open from 1 April to 31 May 2018. The application form and annexes are now available for download.

CMF application form and annexes for download
Reminder to Submit Milestone Reports for expenditure period (1 Oct 2017 – 31 Mar 2018) by 30 Apr 2018.

How to apply for CMF?

How to apply for CMF?

How to fill in CMF Milestone reports?

How to fill in CMF Milestone reports? 

Application information

The CMF window opens once a year from 1 April to 31 May (both dates inclusive). Applications should be submitted via email to the following email addresses by 23:59 (SGT) on the closing date:

To find out more about the Cultural Matching Fund, please contact the CMF Secretariat at email: or tel: 6346 9675

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 (

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 Chartered Accountant from a Certified Public Accounting Firm. 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 a Chartered Accountant from a Certified Public Accounting Firm.

6. Are donations from overseas donors eligible for CMF?

Yes, the CMF Secretariat will consider cash donations that are certified by a Chartered Accountant from a Certified Public Accounting Firm.

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?

Donations from the 2 previous financial years up to the close of the application window will be eligible for matching. E.g. For the April 2018 application window, you may apply for the matching donations received from 1 April 2016 to 31 May 2018. Cash donations must not have been previously matched by the Cultural Matching Fund and/or other government matching grants.

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

The application window will open once a year from the months of April to May.

1. How should donations for CMF applications be certified?

Donations for CMF applications need to be certified by a Chartered Accountant from a Certified Public Accounting firm.

2. 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.

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

Applications for CMF matching grants above $300,000 will be assessed according to culture sector priorities, to encourage organisations to fundraise and contribute to the development of Singapore’s culture sector.

4. 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 evaluate applications according to culture sector priorities?

Applications will be evaluated by the CMF Board of Trustees with support from CMF Secretariat, MCCY, NAC, and NHB.

2. 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. All successful applications will be audited.

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 grants for projects that are aligned to culture sector priorities.

Culture sector priorities include projects that:

  • are of high standards of excellence that are able to engage audiences and are impactful in rejuvenating or transforming the cultural landscape in Singapore, or filling a critical gap in the arts and culture ecosystem in Singapore;

  • engage different segments in the Singapore society through arts and heritage, including the under-reached communities, and contributing to the development of new audiences beyond once-off attendances;

  • encourage sustainability in our arts and heritage scene such as instilling a sense of ownership among Singaporeans in our arts, history and traditions and building a pool of patrons and volunteers, or improving the capabilities of the organisation/sector in areas such as fundraising, innovation, corporate governance, research, business development etc.;

  • contribute to the building of a more caring and cohesive society by bridging communities, fostering inter-cultural understanding and bringing Singaporeans from different walks of life together to engage in arts and heritage; and

  • promote a greater sense of shared identity and pride as Singaporeans, and deepen our understanding on the richness and diversity of our multicultural society. 

All CMF Matching Grants, regardless of the quantum of amount disbursed, cannot be used for items such as:

  1. entertainment expenses;
  2. staff bonuses and welfare benefits (including overseas travel costs in these areas); 
  3. internal charges within an organization;
  4. legal expenses;
  5. debt/loan repayment; and
  6. government fines and taxes.

Please refer to the Terms and 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.
  • For applications approved before 2018, milestone reports must be submitted twice yearly by 30 April and 31 October. (The expenditure period is the period 6 months before the submission of the milestone report.)

    For applications approved from 2018 onwards, milestone reports must be submitted annually. (The expenditure period is the period 12 months before submission of the milestone report.)

    Milestone reports must be submitted until each CMF grant is fully utilised.

    The latest milestone report template 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.

Public Consultation

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).

Engagement sessions

The Arts and Heritage Engagement session took place on 13 September 2017. 

We are sharing the presentation and a set of FAQs to complement the presentation from the session for the benefit of those who could not attend.

Presentation on the CMF refinements

FAQs on the CMF refinements

The Tote Board Grant

Tote Board celebrates 30 years of establishment since 1988 this year and has made available the Tote Board 30th Anniversary Celebrations Commemorative Fund-Raising Programme.

This fundraising programme started in 2006 to serve as a catalyst to encourage the community to better meet the needs of the underserved in the community. The fundraising gives VWOs and organisations a boost to initiate and achieve their fund-raising targets.

Arts and Heritage Organisations that are interested may visit the Tote Board website to find out more.
Last Updated: 04 May 2018

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