SG Gives, the nation’s leading donation portal saw over $13 million collected in 2014

SG Gives, managed by the NVPC had seen a steady increase in the total donation amount over the past couple of years.

Singapore, 5 February 2015 – Giving cash to help the disadvantaged and less privileged remained popular amongst many Singaporeans. SG Gives, managed by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) had seen a steady increase in the total donation amount over the past couple of years. Typically, donations peaked towards the end of the year, especially in December.

The surge in donation amount for December could be attributed to #GivingTuesdaySG (GTSG), an international campaign adopted by NVPC. In its second year of running, NVPC noticed that Singaporeans are generous when it comes to asking them to help the less privileged. At three of the malls that GTSG advocates campaigned for pledgers, individuals who were approached were enthusiastic to help spread the message of giving. Companies on board were also keen to push the giving campaign as a regular feature in their corporate giving efforts.

“SG Gives provides a round-the-clock and easily accessible platform for donors to show their support for our beneficiaries. With the increasing popularity of online donations in recent years, SG Gives has certainly helped to promote the spirit of giving and inclusivity in the community. From past trends, December has always recorded the highest number of donations for the Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF) from the SG Gives portal. This is a testament of the generosity of donors who reached out with loving kindness during the year-end season of giving. We are also happy to partner with NVPC for #GivingTuesdaySG to celebrate the national day of giving and look forward to more partnerships to build a community of support for children with cancer and their families,” CCF’s Executive Director, Ms Neo Lay Tin said.

GIVING NEEDS TO BE MORE REGULAR, DELIBERATE AND PURPOSED

Like many other cities in the world, Singaporeans generally find taking time off to do something for a cause and charity, challenging. NVPC believes this is where employee volunteering and giving can be re-designed to be more accessible and meaningful. The number of corporate donors on the SG Gives portal had increased by 38% from 2013 to 2014. Some corporate donors have even gone a step further, by giving their employees greater autonomy to select a charity or cause they would like to support and channelling the company funds to the respective causes.

Take the global project consultancy firm, Independent Project Analysis (IPA) in Singapore for example. They have an annual ‘Designate a Charity’ programme, where they encourage employees to spare a thought for those who need help. In 2014, all the employees participated in choosing a charity and IPA contributed $500 in their name to the selected charities.

“I nominated the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped as my designated charity. My heart goes out to the visually-impaired individuals because my mother almost went blind. I believe my contribution will help to improve the welfare and programmes,” IPA’s Regional Accountant, 37-year-old Ms Stephanie Ng said.

Currently, SG Gives has registered over 330 charities across various causes like children, elderly, family, arts, animals & environment and sports. Since its inception in February 2010, the portal has raised over $43 million for the charities registered on its site. NVPC intends to ramp up efforts on getting people to give, be it big or small, on a more regular basis, and part of their lifestyle. “We know many people want to help and give but many do not know how or where to go to. I think it is time for us to familiarise ourselves with ‘giving’. It is definitely not an alien concept or far-reached. Many of us in our day-to-day activities have opportunities to help someone. And we can all help to ‘infect’ that spirit of giving all year round at wherever we are,” said Ms Melissa Kwee, Chief Executive, NVPC.

AND EVERY (INTENDED) ACT OF GIVING COUNTS

Singaporean citizen, Mr Iouri Verchok, a Director of an Investment Holding Company who is in his 50s, has been donating regularly via SG Gives since 2010. He has contributed a sum of $10,800 to a variety of charities in 2014.

“I was looking for an effective and easy-to-use platform to donate. SG Gives was a natural choice as it provides a convenient channel for donors to contribute and allows donors to make informed decisions on the charities they give to. I personally support the elderly and children-related causes. Generally, most of us do have some spare cash each week or month. I think, every amount counts, be it big or small. A little goes a long way.” said Mr Iouri Verchok.

And purposed donations dedicated to celebrating the lives, birthdays and weddings of loved ones are also becoming popular. Take this heartwarming dedication for example. A father made a donation to the National Cancer Centre’s research fund and left a message for his twins, expressing his hope that they will become responsible adults who care for the society and environment.

Role models and stories of do-gooders inspire the works of NVPC. NVPC believes that Singaporeans can cultivate the habit of giving or helping and over time, build a culture of contributions. Singaporeans are already donating generously, as evidenced in the biennial giving survey published by NVPC released last December where individuals in Singapore have donated S$1.25 billion in total over the past 12 months to various causes. With more awareness and accessibility on ways to give, giving can become a part of the nation’s identity.