Have donation boxes in more public areas

It is discouraging to know that these fund-raisers can take 20 to 25 per cent of the donations raised as fees.
It is discouraging to know that these fund-raisers can take 20 to 25 per cent of the donations raised as fees.PHOTO: ST FILE

The work of commercial fund-raisers may be doing more harm than good to the overall image of charities here (More complaints over hired fund-raisers' tactics, March 23).

The efforts of these fund-raisers deserve commendation. It is discouraging, however, to know that these fund-raisers can take 20 to 25 per cent of the donations raised as fees.

In the case of a fund-raiser that raised $3 million in a year, the fees might be around $750,000.

Imagine how much more the beneficiaries of the charity could have gained with the hundreds of thousands of dollars paid as fees. Just an additional $20 monthly can greatly improve the life of someone truly in need of help.

Singaporeans are generally a compassionate and philanthropic lot who will donate of their own accord without needing to be approached by these commercial fund-raisers.

Singaporeans are generally a compassionate and philanthropic lot who will donate of their own accord without needing to be approached by these commercial fund-raisers.

I almost always find the transparent donation boxes on counters at FairPrice stuffed with notes. Given that Singapore is always ranked near the top in the Corruption Perceptions Index, I believe members of the public have no qualms about donating in this way since they believe that 100 per cent of their donations will go to beneficiaries.

Such donation boxes should be placed in more public premises such as community clubs, with the sums collected managed by the Commissioner of Charities or other government agency.

Lim Chee Khiam

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2019, with the headline 'Have donation boxes in more public areas'. Print Edition | Subscribe