Giving Week gets 24% more donations in its latest collection

Giving Week, a new initiative by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), was launched on Dec 2 at Gardens by the Bay in conjunction with the Future of Us exhibition.
Giving Week, a new initiative by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), was launched on Dec 2 at Gardens by the Bay in conjunction with the Future of Us exhibition.PHOTO: ZAOBAO FILE

People in Singapore raised 24 per cent more money during last month's "Giving Week", compared to the same week the year before.

And the upward trend continued into the following week, which saw a 35 per cent rise in donations compared to the Giving Week itself.

Giving Week, an annual philanthropic campaign, was held from Dec 1 to 7 last month. It aims to motivate Singaporeans to give back to the community.

The National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) initiative evolved from previous years' events held on "Giving Tuesday", a day of giving started in the United States in 2012, to counter the excessive consumerism of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales held on the first Friday and Monday following Thanksgiving.

During last month's Giving Week in Singapore, a total of $751,822 was collected via NVPC's donation portals - a 24 per cent rise from 2014.

NVPC's portals are the largest here, serving more than 350 charities.

E-grocer honestbee, which held a fund-raising campaign from the start of Giving Week to Dec 24, said it was important to have philanthropic events such as this.

In its own campaign, the public could pay $25 to buy a grocery bag, to be delivered to low-income families who are beneficiaries of Beyond Social Services. More than 700 bags were bought.

Ms Joelle Pang, business development manager at honestbee, said: "I believe many people have good intentions and want to give, but they may not know the means to do so; so it's good that NVPC has Giving Week each year."

NVPC chief executive Melissa Kwee attributed the rise in donations to greater publicity on social media with the launch of Giving Week and its new donation portal, Giving.sg, on Dec 1.

NVPC had two online platforms initially - SG Gives and SG Cares - dedicated to fund-raising and volunteerism respectively.

Giving.sg was launched as a one-stop site that combines the functions of SG Gives and SG Cares. Instead of focusing solely on giving one's time or money, Giving.sg aims to create a more engaging and holistic giving experience.

While SG Gives and SG Cares are still active, to give people time to know about the change and switch to Giving.sg, the two older websites are expected to be inactive after Jan 31.

Ms Kwee said: "While it is heartening to see the increase in donations, we view philanthropy as an initiative that focuses on improving our overall quality of life by not only giving money, but also lending our time and talent for a good cause.

"Perhaps, this could be a New Year's resolution for anyone who is keen to make an impact on society."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 03, 2016, with the headline 'Giving Week gets 24% more donations in its latest collection'. Print Edition | Subscribe