Rise in the number of donations in Singapore

Charitable giving has been growing steadily in Singapore.

Finance Minister of State Josephine Teo said there are measures put in place to encourage the well-off to contribute more.

These include tax benefit for donations to approved charities was increased from 200 to 250 per cent in 2009.

And the government also provides matching grants for donations to institutes of higher learning and the long-term care sector.

There are also non-tax measures to increase giving.

Liang Eng Hwa, MP, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, said: “While philanthropy have increased in Singapore over time, when compared to many countries, we are still lagging behind in charitable giving and generosity.

“If the World Giving Index 2011 published by Charities Aid Foundation is any indication, Singapore was ranked number 91 in the world.

“In the whole of ASEAN, Singapore was just ahead of Vietnam but behind neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.”

Mrs Teo said: “Just like to clarify that the methodology used in the construction of the World Giving Index 2011, or WGI, actually understates the level of charitable giving in Singapore.

“The WGI measures the percentage of people who donated and volunteered a month before the survey was conducted.

“An alternative study, done by the NVPC, the Individual Giving Survey, tracks giving over the full year.

“In 2010, the survey found that 85 per cent of the Singapore population contributed money while 23 per cent volunteered time in 2010. This is significantly higher than the 41 per cent and 11 per cent recorded under the WGI.”

– Source: CNA