Companies urge employees to do more for charities

More companies are encouraging their staff to do their part for charities.

And such moves have helped the Community Chest meet its fund-raising target of S$55.7 million last year — its highest thus far.

At an award ceremony on Wednesday, the Community Chest said it has seen a 12 per cent rise or S$800,000 more in donations made through its SHARE plan last year.

The SHARE plan is a monthly workplace giving programme.

Last year, the companies helped the Community Chest raise S$7.4 million.

The Community Chest’s general manager Tan Bee Heong said she is heartened by the efforts.

Ms Tan said: “Gathering staff to support is very meaningful because it’s not just about giving, but understanding where the money goes to, and being engaged with the less fortunate and that, we see as a very encouraging trend.”

The Community Chest revealed the figures on Wednesday at its ceremony to recognise companies and individuals for their fund-raising efforts.

414 recipients were awarded for their efforts, up from 357 last year.

One of them is a group led by singing instructor Kenny Yeo.

In 2011, Mr Neo organised a concert and his singing group helped raised more than $30,000 for the Community Chest.

The Community Chest also recognised some firms’ creative fund-raising ideas.

Among those commended was Singapore Airlines (SIA) which received the Community Chest’s Corporate Gold Award.

SIA was lauded for recent efforts in raising funds for children with special needs through its collectible panda project.

The project was rolled out with the arrival of giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia from China to Singapore.

Each toy was offered to the public for a minimum of S$20 in donation.

SIA raised about S$380,000 through the sales of 14,000 collectibles.

SIA said it will present a cheque in October to the Community Chest.

The Community Chest was set up in 1983 to help raise funds for the charities in Singapore.

Every year, about 300,000 people benefit from the funds raised by the Community Chest.

The SHARE programme kicked off a year later with 230 participating companies, or more than 40,000 donors, joining the initiative.

Today, more than 2,200 companies with over 220,000 donors are part of the programme.

This article was first published in CNA