New initiative allows donors to support 51 charities with a single donation

(From left) Nadim van der Ros, founder of Be An Idea, Cheryl Chong, co-founder of The Social Co and Rebekah Lin, co-founder of The Social Co. ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

SINGAPORE - Individuals looking to make donations to multiple charities will now be able to do so through a single donation with the launch of an initiative called Pledge It Forward.

These contributions can be made via the Pledge It Forward website or through cheque donations.

The donations will benefit 51 charities - which serve causes ranging from people with disabilities to the youth-at-risk - that are members of the National Council of Social Service and hold an Institution of a Public Character status.

These include the Singapore Association for Mental Health and the Malay Youth Literary Association.

"We wanted the charities to cover a broad spectrum of causes - including causes that people are not comfortable talking about," said Ms Cheryl Chong, 31, co-founder of The Social Co, one of the two companies which started the platform.

The idea for the initiative came up after the government announced a 20 per cent income tax rebate for Singaporeans during this year's Budget.

The founders started this initiative, hoping that Singaporeans would donate their tax savings to the various vulnerable groups within the community.

So far, some 400 individuals have made their pledges, each capped at $500, the maximum tax rebate that Singaporeans can receive.

Mr Ang Kian Peng, 39, a director at Samsui Supplies & Services, is one of them. He said that such initiatives help him to do his "homework", identifying legal and legitimate charitable organisations.

"Ultimately, we want the money to go to the beneficiaries and not something else," he said.

The initiative runs till the end of the year and the organisers hope to get at least 10,000 donors with each of the 51 charities receiving an equal amount of the total funds raised.

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