Give charities some leeway to raise funds creatively

It is best left to donors to decide for themselves if a fund-raising method is appropriate or not (Social enterprise's fund-raising method raises questions; Sept 1).

As long as the fund-raisers are not in breach of any legislative requirements, they should be allowed to give new methods a try.

I urge the public and the authorities not to be too quick to dismiss and discount unconventional methods undertaken by charities.

While I agree that prudence is necessary to safeguard public interest and donations, it should not end up discouraging innovation and creativity in the charity and social enterprise sectors.

Though the charity sector may not face the same compelling need to be agile and innovative to survive in this fast-changing world compared with commercial entities, having an enterprising and innovative spirit could do some good for charities.

Throughout the progression of Singapore's society, social and community causes and needs have grown and increased in scale and complexity.

The Government alone cannot meet all needs, and this is where charities and social enterprises come in to partner public and private sectors.

There are some issues that are more pressing than others, for example, those related to the ageing population and medical care. However, there are many other causes in the social enterprise sector, such as the arts, music, sports, the environment and animals. The list goes on.

To better meet these varied needs in the community, sometimes conventional fund-raising methods may not be enough.

As the rest of the world embraces change, innovation and creative disruption, charities should have the space and encouragement to do so too.

Quek Hong Choon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2018, with the headline 'Give charities some leeway to raise funds creatively'. Print Edition | Subscribe