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Firms can soon learn how to set up corporate giving programmes

SINGAPORE — Companies looking to give back to the community but are unsure of how best to do so can soon get guidance from a new programme that will be set up later this year.

Elderly beneficiaries brought on a tour of the Singapore Sports Hub by corporate volunteers. TODAY file photo

Elderly beneficiaries brought on a tour of the Singapore Sports Hub by corporate volunteers. TODAY file photo

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SINGAPORE — Companies looking to give back to the community but are unsure of how best to do so can soon get guidance from a new programme that will be set up later this year.

Called Company of Good, the programme, managed by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, will train firms on how to set up a corporate giving programme that is aligned to their business interests and engages employees. It will also help firms grow their corporate giving programmes through toolkits on how to get started on skills-based volunteering and case studies on charity adoption, among other things.

Speaking during the Committee of Supply debate on Thursday (April 14), Senior Minister of State (Culture, Community and Youth) Sim Ann said that while corporate transformation is frequently spoken of in terms of productivity and innovation, it is “just as important that businesses in our future economy are civic-minded and play active roles in our communities”.

She added: “We will do more to encourage businesses to be more civic-minded, meet the aspirations of their employees, and be enterprises of which Singaporeans can be proud.”

NVPC aims to train about 200 companies in two years, with training fees subsidised by the centre. Companies that sign up for the programme will also form network to share resources, training and best practices.

Qualified firms may display a Company of Good logo on their corporate materials, which will identify them as a “Good Company”.

Firms exemplary in their giving practices will also be recognised as Company of Good Champions, and the winner of the President’s Volunteerism and/or Philanthropy Awards (Corporate) will be picked from the programme, which is backed by the Singapore Business Federation Foundation.

Separately, the S$25 million Our Singapore Fund (OSF) to support projects that build national identity — as announced by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Budget speech last month — will fund up to 80 per cent of the costs of approved projects, capped at S$50,000 per project.

To qualify, projects must fulfil three broad criteria: They must promote the Singapore spirit and shared values, foster a sense of ownership in the community, and have the potential to be sustained and scaled over time.

The fund will be open to voluntary welfare and non-profit organisations, and citizens or permanent residents who are at least 18 years old and reside here.

Speaking in Parliament, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu said her ministry would encourage citizens to take ownership of the Republic’s future and keep up the momentum of SG50 through the fund.

“From the many meaningful projects that surfaced during SG50 that brought our community together, we know there is a rich store of enthusiasm and public spirit. We want to unlock it with a little support to translate these ideas into reality,” she added.  

The OSF, set to launch in the second half of this year, will be coordinated by the MCCY, working in concert with the Singapore Totalisator Board, National Council of Social Service and Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise.

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