Tote Board to give $50m more to help fund-raisers

ESM Goh Chok Tong inserts a piece of tapestry with his message "Give Hope Spread Happiness" at the Tote Board Singapore's celebration of 30 years of giving at a Gardens by the Bay event, A Good Day Out, on Feb 10, 2018 .
ESM Goh Chok Tong inserts a piece of tapestry with his message "Give Hope Spread Happiness" at the Tote Board Singapore's celebration of 30 years of giving at a Gardens by the Bay event, A Good Day Out, on Feb 10, 2018 .ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Under year-long initiative, it will double grants it gives to charity projects launched from April

The Singapore Totalisator Board has set aside $50 million more to help companies and individuals raise funds for worthy causes under a new year-long initiative.

The Tote Board's grant-giving programme matches 20 per cent of funds raised for causes that benefit Singaporeans in need.

However, fund-raising projects implemented between April 1 this year and March 31 next year will see funding contributions from the Tote Board double for each project.

For example, a project which raises $70,000 will get $28,000 of funds from the Tote Board, twice the $14,000 it would get under the current scheme. The cap will be raised from $50,000 to $100,000 per project as well.

The initiative was announced by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong yesterday at a carnival celebrating the Tote Board's 30th anniversary.

Speaking at the launch of the carnival, called A Good Day Out, ESM Goh said: "I encourage Singaporeans to take advantage of this initiative to embark on fund-raising programmes to help the needy be more resilient."

He added that he has some fund-raising ideas of his own that he wants to implement.

"I want to take advantage of this generous funding. I am thinking, and I have discussed this with some people for some time, that we should have a national or community award for achievers in vulnerable groups, for people with special needs... We should have an award for Achievers of the Year."

ESM Goh added: "We should have a second category of award, called the Promise Award, for people who show promise. They should be given all kinds of help that we can (offer) to make them realise their promise. These need funds. I'm going to raise funds for these."

The additional funding is welcome news to Mr Aaron Lee, co-founder of social enterprise Jaga-Me.

The enterprise, which matches housebound patients with caregiving or nursing service, has been benefiting from the Tote Board's fund-raising programme for more than a year and a half.

"All additional funding - like the one from the Tote Board - helps us, like hiring more staff to properly screen the new nurses and caregivers signing up for our service," said Mr Lee.

Tote Board chief executive Fong Yong Kian said: "The commemorative fund-raising initiative aims to encourage more ground-up movements, with organisations, groups and individuals taking ownership and action to raise funds to meet needs in our community."

The one-day carnival, which was held at Gardens by the Bay, brought together more than 15,000 beneficiaries and members of the public.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 11, 2018, with the headline 'Tote Board to give $50m more to help fund-raisers'. Print Edition | Subscribe