New platform helps firms find charities in need

Companies that want to contribute to charitable causes but are unsure of how to do so can now turn to a new platform.

The Corporate Giving Marketplace, launched by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) on Wednesday, aims to match companies with groups that need help.

The platform, the first such initiative here, will also rope in organisations with established volunteering programmes to share their experiences.

The NVPC said the move is timely, as more firms are asking for advice on how to support charitable causes.

About two years ago, it received 50 such requests from companies each year. That number has since increased six times to 300 requests a year.

Said NVPC CEO Laurence Lien at the launch: “With this, (companies) can share their practices and work together.”

While firms here are generally more willing to support charitable causes, more can be done to strengthen the culture of corporate giving. According to the Corporate Giving Survey conducted last year by NVPC, two in three companies polled donated money or mobilised their employees to volunteer at charities.

Findings of the survey were released on Wednesday. Companies were polled on how much money or time they contributed to charitable causes in 2010 and 2011.

Of those who contributed to charity, 83.6 per cent preferred to give money, followed by 65.6 per cent who got staff to volunteer, said the survey.

However, among those that donated money, 62 per cent of them contributed less than 0.5 per cent of their pre-tax profits in 2011.

This figure is low compared to Fortune 500 companies’ median of 0.95 per cent of pre-tax profits, said the NVPC.

Most also tend to support charities on an ad-hoc basis.

“We have a long way to go with corporate giving in Singapore,” said Mr Lien. “The happy news though is that more companies are now seeking assistance.”

Source: The Straits Times