Here's how you can bond with your colleagues and do good together

SHARE, a regular giving programme by Community Chest, lets individuals and companies champion change from within their organisations

Service users from SPD, a social service agency supported by Community Chest, engaging in activities at the Inclusive Sports Day 2019 with volunteers from LTA. PHOTO: SPD

What Ms Jocelyn Tan enjoys most about working at Land Transport Authority (LTA) is being part of a team that is passionate not only about building a better land transport system for Singapore, but also promoting a more caring culture within the organisation.

The 40-year-old principal executive of its Transformation Office plays a key role in driving its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Part of her role involves being a liaison officer working with non-profit organisations to promote volunteering and fund-raising activities within LTA, and to drive engagement through these efforts. 

Through her work, Ms Tan gets to forge friendships with like-minded colleagues who share a passion for helping the underprivileged. “Despite working in a large organisation with multiple offices across the island – and having limited face-time – our pool of regular volunteers has grown and we have built valuable friendships through our time spent together,” she says.

LTA has been supporting Community Chest since 1994. Through Community Chest and its various initiatives, which include the SHARE programme that encourages individuals and organisations to make regular donations to over 100 social service agencies and 200 programmes, LTA strengthened its staff engagement and cultivated a culture of care and giving among employees.

Sparking change from within

To foster a strong spirit of giving, Ms Tan’s team would send out e-mails to publicise SHARE as a simple and convenient way to donate, and work with the HR department to encourage new recruits to join the programme. 

Says Ms Tan: “When I first learnt about SHARE, what struck me was that the donations did not have to be of a big amount to make a difference in someone else’s life. Smaller donations like $5, for example, can provide a week of support for caregivers, to equip them with caregiving knowledge and skills to help them better care for a senior.” 

The ease by which employees can contribute to SHARE via payroll has led to a high participation rate within the organisation, with 98 per cent of staff contributing a portion of their salaries each month. These donations create a sustainable flow of funds to support social service agencies.

Besides contributing through SHARE, LTA also donated its fundraising proceeds to Community Chest to support sheltered workshops under SPD, Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities and Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore that provide employment and/or vocational training for adults with disabilities.

For its significant contributions to Community Chest, LTA received the Charity Platinum Award for four consecutive years from 2018 to 2021.

Ms Jocelyn Tan finds fulfilment in being a changemaker within her organisation. PHOTO: JOCELYN TAN

Ms Tan shares that the culture of giving within LTA has grown over the years, with many departments organising their own team-level CSR activities, such as raising funds for Project Belanja to cater meals for migrant workers affected by Covid-19 pandemic.

Since joining LTA almost 13 years ago, Ms Tan has become the go-to person when it comes to SHARE-related or CSR matters. “Staff who want to begin their giving journey would turn to me for advice. It is a role I enjoy very much, and hope to continue in for many years.”

Taking pride in being part of a community that cares

Republic Polytechnic’s (RP) Human Resource (HR) manager Dawn Tan calls the institution her second home – and rightfully so. The 38-year-old will be marking her 15th year of employment with the polytechnic this year. 

She is especially proud of RP’s people- and family-oriented work culture, with HR policies geared towards promoting work-life harmony. This includes one paid volunteer leave day per year. 

Along with her team, Ms Tan focuses on staff engagement and welfare, and organises meaningful CSR activities. 

Ms Dawn Tan (fourth from left) with her team. PHOTO: DAWN TAN

In fact, RP has been a partner of Community Chest’s SHARE programme since 2014, which saw an average participation rate of 74 per cent among its staff members every year.

When Covid-19 struck, Ms Tan and her team rallied fellow colleagues to do more for those who were affected socially and financially. “We encouraged staff members who had yet to come onboard to donate voluntarily, helping them understand the impact of their contribution. The overall participation for SHARE increased to almost 100 per cent in 2020 – a record high for us,” she shares.

This noteworthy accomplishment enabled RP to receive the SHARE Achiever Award last year.

With SHARE, the impact of individual donations can be multiplied through the SHARE As One (SAO) initiative. Launched in 2016, the government provides dollar-matching for any new donations over and above what was made in the preceding year, up to Financial Year 2023, to encourage Singaporeans to contribute to building a culture of sustained giving.

To enable a more substantial amount to be contributed monthly, organisations are also encouraged to provide dollar-matching for employees donations.

SHARE As One also enables companies to claim a portion of the SAO matching grant for their own corporate social responsibility initiatives such as volunteering activities, which can further the companies’ support of social service agencies under Community Chest.

The institution also supports fund-raising events by Community Chest, such as the Heartstrings Walk 2021, promoting them on its internal communication channels including the monthly staff e-newsletter.

Says Ms Tan: “The feedback we received from staff members who attended these activities together has been very positive. They’ve expressed interest in continuing to do so, adding that such meaningful activities helped them build a bond among themselves.”

She believes that a strong culture of giving within an organisation is crucial in promoting active volunteerism, resulting in beneficial experiences for staff members involved.

“Staff members can expand their social network and get to know others who share similar interests. In addition, they feel proud to be part of an organisation that cares. Together, we can help build a better place for all to live in and improve the well-being of people in our community,” she says.

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