Those seeking donations must be transparent

Crowd-funding seems to be a new buzzword in appealing for help.
Crowd-funding seems to be a new buzzword in appealing for help. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Crowd-funding seems to be a new buzzword in appealing for help (Needy turning to social media to seek help, air grievances; July 29).

I cannot understand the rationale behind this growing phenomenon of online fund raising and appeals, when the needy can turn to the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and other social institutions for welfare aid.

In 2014, over 91,000 people received about $116 million in financial assistance from the state.

I believe that the MSF will continue to help Singaporeans who are in dire need of welfare support.

Nevertheless, as more people are using crowd-funding platforms to seek public assistance in diverse situations, ranging from municipal matters and family problems to medical expenses and children's education, it is imperative that this issue be studied in perspective.

Those who appeal for public donations must be transparent and forthcoming about the state they are in, such as the forms of aid they are receiving from government agencies or social institutions and, most importantly, the specific areas where help is urgently needed.

Prospective donors would do well to be clear on the background and needs of the beneficiary, so that they can make informed decisions before chipping in to help.

Above all, there should be some form of control over the use of crowd-funding or social media to appeal for public donations, otherwise unscrupulous people can leverageit for their self-serving agenda.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2017, with the headline 'Those seeking donations must be transparent'. Print Edition | Subscribe