Room for firms to do more in giving back: DPM Heng

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat speaking to Samsui Kitchen staff and volunteers at the Enabling Village in Lengkok Bahru yesterday. They were preparing mooncake boxes before the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre Company of Good Fellowsh
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat speaking to Samsui Kitchen staff and volunteers at the Enabling Village in Lengkok Bahru yesterday. They were preparing mooncake boxes before the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre Company of Good Fellowship networking dinner last night.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Businesses can and should do more to give back to society, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday.

He told the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) Company of Good Fellowship networking dinner: "Based on the 2017 NVPC corporate giving survey, only 52 per cent of companies are involved in corporate giving.

"But I am heartened to know that another 31 per cent said they are keen to start. This is a good sign."

Mr Heng said firms can reach out to others to join the Company of Good, which was launched by NVPC in 2016 to empower them to give back in ways that benefit both their business and the community.

They can also partner other companies in their efforts to give, especially smaller firms that may not have the capabilities or experience to do so on their own.

The fellowship brings together leaders who share the common goal of driving corporate giving that can have a meaningful impact. There are now 107 fellows from 74 companies.

Networking sessions allow them to share best practices and identify opportunities to work together for the common good.

"The spirit of companies giving back to society has always been part of our history," noted Mr Heng at the dinner held at the Enabling Village in Lengkok Bahru.

GOOD SIGN

Based on the 2017 NVPC (National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre) corporate giving survey, only 52 per cent of companies are involved in corporate giving. But I am heartened to know that another 31 per cent said they are keen to start. This is a good sign.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER HENG SWEE KEAT, speaking at the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre Company of Good Fellowship networking dinner.

"As we commemorate our bicentennial this year, we are reminded of the many instances where companies, organisations and individuals stepped up to contribute to our society and nation building."

Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister, announced the Bicentennial Community Fund at this year's Budget. The fund provides dollar-for-dollar matching for donations made to Institutions of a Public Character, on top of the 250 per cent tax deduction companies enjoy for donations made to such institutions. "We hope that such support from the Government can spur companies to build a stronger giving culture," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2019, with the headline 'Room for firms to do more in giving back: DPM Heng'. Print Edition | Subscribe