Care & Share Movement raises $1.3b

Singer Joi Chua performing with members of the Touch Silent Club at the Care & Share Thank You concert at Singapore Expo yesterday. The movement exceeded expectations in the amount raised.
Singer Joi Chua performing with members of the Touch Silent Club at the Care & Share Thank You concert at Singapore Expo yesterday. The movement exceeded expectations in the amount raised.PHOTO: COMMUNITY CHEST

A national drive to encourage charity donations and volunteering in the social services sector has exceeded expectations, raising $1.3 billion in just over two years.

The Care & Share Movement was started in December 2013 to mark the 50th anniversary of Singapore's independence last year.

It aimed to raise $250 million by December 2014, with the Government promising to match this total dollar for dollar.

After this initial target was met, support and donations were still coming in, so the deadline was extended to last month.

At a Care & Share Thank You concert held at Singapore Expo yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said the movement had "exceeded itself".

Some 240 voluntary welfare organisations raised $800 million, far surpassing their $500 million target. Government matching was capped at $500 million.

Mr Tharman praised "the unique way we go about developing the charity sector in Singapore", calling it "a unique partnership between government, business and community".

He added: "The scale of matching support from the Government is, in fact, most unusual by any international standard."

The Social Service Institute plans to train up to 16,000 social service professionals, caregivers and volunteers by 2020, through a range of programmes, from leadership to specialised social service skills.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2016, with the headline 'Care & Share Movement raises $1.3b'. Print Edition | Subscribe