Budget debate: Community Chest to partner firms to get customers to donate their change for charity

The Community Chest raises funds for the social service sector. PHOTO: COMMUNITY CHEST

SINGAPORE - The Community Chest will launch a new initiative, called Change for Charity, that partners businesses to provide opportunities for their customers to donate to the Community Chest through their payment platforms.

For example, a firm can enable its clients to convert their points or rewards into cash donations. It can also provide a platform for its customers to donate when they are paying for their purchases.

The Government will provide a matching grant of 50 cents for every dollar donated by customers through the participating businesses' payment platforms, up to $25,000 per business per year, said Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli on Friday (March 5).

To encourage the companies to match donations by their clients, the Government will give an additional 50 cents for every dollar that is matched by the businesses to their customers' donations, he said. This is subject to a cap of $25,000 per business per year.

The Government will also give a one-off Enabler grant of up to 50 per cent of the cost incurred by a business which adopts or improves capabilities for facilitating donations on their payment platforms, capped at $10,000 per business.

Mr Masagos said this in response to Mr Xie Yao Quan (Jurong GRC) and Mr Seah Kian Peng (Marine Parade GRC), who asked what the Ministry for Social and Family Development (MSF) is doing to encourage giving during the debate on its budget.

The Government will match donations by businesses and their clients for up to three years under the Change for Charity project. Businesses can apply to join when the initiative is launched in the 2021 financial year which starts in April.

The Community Chest is the National Council of Social Service's (NCSS) fund-raising arm and it raises funds for the social service sector.

Meanwhile, the ComChest Share As One scheme, which provides dollar-for-dollar matching for new and additional donations through its Share programme, will also be extended for two more years to the 2023 financial year.

Additional donations refer to the sum donated that is over and above the sum donated in the preceding year. The Share programme is one where donors give each month to the Community Chest.

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