Analysis of the charity landscape in Singapore has rarely gone beyond the informational and financial snapshots offered by the Commissioner of Charities (COC) through its annual reports – such as the number and types of charitable organisations, overall income and expenses and how they may have changed over time, as well as reviews or investigations of governance processes and internal controls (ST, Nov. 14) – even though the online Charity Portal maintained by the Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth (MCCY) offers a rich database of charity data which could potentially be aggregated and analysed for a richer picture of the Singaporean charity landscape. Updating the portal and increasing data accessibility would therefore be productive. Continue reading
The “Doing Good Index 2018” made bold claims about charities or social delivery organisations (SDOs) needing to do more “to address the ‘trust deficit’ and spread awareness of their work [in Singapore]” (ST, Jun. 22), yet did not clarify what exactly constitutes that perceived “trust deficit”, and beyond broad platitudes offered few policy or practical recommendations. Neither is it constructive, in addition, to call on these SDOs to do more without understanding their manpower and resource constraints. The full report – published by the Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society (CAPS) – did not define what is meant by the “trust deficit”, and in fact explicitly mentioned that Singapore is one of three economies (alongside Japan and Taiwan) where public trust is “less of an issue”. Continue reading
Singaporean demand for the programmes and services of charities – especially with an ageing population, changing social and family dynamics, and cognisance of a persistent class divide – is set to increase, yet the discourse on improvements to the charity sector has not kept pace.
And in this vision of a transformed and transformative charity sector in Singapore, three core changes are welcomed: More baselining, more need-based and forward-looking collaborations, and more effective intermediaries. Continue reading