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New Initiatives to Encourage Charitable Giving

Type: Press Releases

Topic(s): Committee of Supply, Social Service Agencies & Partners, Social Service Professionals

1 The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) will be launching a new Change for Charity initiative and extending Community Chest’s ongoing SHARE as One (SAO) programme. Through these two platforms, MSF and NCSS hope to encourage greater charitable giving to support social service agencies (SSAs) delivering important services and programmes during these challenging times.

New Change for Charity initiative

2 Community Chest will be launching a new Change for Charity initiative to encourage individuals to give as part of their daily lives, by partnering businesses to provide opportunities for customers to donate to Community Chest through their payment platforms.

3 The Change for Charity initiative will run for five years, from FY2021 to FY2025. Through the initiative, the Government will provide a matching grant of $0.50 for every dollar donated by customers through participating businesses’ payment platforms, up to $25,000 per business per year. To encourage businesses to match donations from their customers as part of their corporate giving, the Government will provide an enhanced matching grant of an additional $0.50 for every dollar matched by the businesses to their customers’ donations, up to $25,000 per business per year. Donations by businesses and their customers will be eligible for three years of matching, starting from the year of implementation. Additionally, the Government will provide a one-off Enabler grant of up to 50% of the cost incurred by businesses for the adoption and enhancement of giving capabilities on their payment platforms, capped at $10,000 per business.

4 All donations and matching funds under the Change for Charity initiative will go to Community Chest, to support various SSAs providing key social services and programmes. Community Chest will provide more details on the application process later.

Extension of SHARE as One (SAO) until FY2023

5 Launched in FY2016, the SAO programme provides dollar-for-dollar matching for any additional donations to Community Chest’s monthly SHARE programme to encourage companies, employees, and individuals to commit to regular giving. 100% of donations through the SHARE programme go towards supporting SSAs that provide key social services and programmes, serving groups like children with special needs and youth at risk, adults with disabilities, persons with mental health conditions, seniors and families. Through the SAO programme, participating companies are able to use 50% of the matching funds (up to a cap of $10,000 per year) to organise Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities for their employees, and SSAs can apply to use the matching funds to organise volunteer activities for corporates and strengthen their volunteer management capabilities.

6 Donations to Community Chest to support key social services have declined as a result of the current economic downturn. To continue supporting SSAs and the programmes they run, the SAO programme has been extended till FY2023. It will provide dollar-for-dollar matching for any additional donations from companies, employees, and individuals through SHARE over and above donation levels of the preceding year. Under the extension, participating corporates as well as SSAs will be able to continue to use the matching funds to support their own CSR efforts and volunteer management capabilities respectively.

Annex A Likely Asked Questions (LAQs)

Annex B Translated Terms [150 kb]

Annex A Likely Asked Questions (LAQs)

LAQs for Change for Charity

1. What are the objectives of Change for Charity?

Community Chest hopes to increase opportunities for giving at various touchpoints and build generosity where giving becomes a social norm, infused in all aspects of living. The Change for Charity initiative seeks to encourage this by empowering businesses to weave giving into their business models in a more holistic and sustainably way, thereby increasing the giving opportunities in Singaporeans’ everyday lives.

2. What type of businesses are eligible for the Change for Charity Grant?

Businesses that can introduce giving capabilities into their payment platforms (e.g. retail, F&B) to enable its customers to donate to Community Chest would be eligible for the grant. Community Chest is looking to partner around 200 businesses for the initiative.

3. What are some examples that businesses can weave giving into their business models?

Businesses can enable their customers to donate to Community Chest while they complete their payment transactions. Examples may include the following

  • Subscription giving – Businesses can provide regular donation options together with their subscription-based services.
  • Donating full/partial proceeds – Businesses can donate a percentage of sales from a product or service.
  • Redemption of rewards – Businesses can facilitate the conversion of points or rewards into cash donations.
  • Giving during payment checkout – Businesses can provide a channel / platform for small and spontaneous acts of giving to be made by individuals at the point of purchase through a round-up mechanism or by providing the option to donate.

4. Why is there a 50% co-funding and a cap of $10,000 for the Enabler grant?

The Enabler grant has been sized to provide sufficient resources to businesses while encouraging co-ownership and commitment in partnering Community Chest to implement consumption-based giving platforms.

5. How many times can businesses apply for the grant?

Businesses that come onboard the initiative from FY2021 to FY2023 will be eligible to have donations from their customers and their organisations matched by the Government for three years, starting from the year of implementation. However, businesses can only apply once for the Enabler grant, capped at $10,000 per business.

6. Would businesses or individuals receive tax deductions for donations made?

Donations made to Community Chest will be eligible for 250% tax deductions. Customers may review the terms and conditions when donating through the giving platforms for more information on the eligibility of individual tax deductions.

7. Would businesses be allowed to do retrospective claims?

Retrospective claims are not allowed. However, corporates with existing giving platforms may still apply for the Enabler grant as long as there are new enhancements made on their platforms to enable giving and donations to Community Chest from FY2021 to FY2023.

8. Why do the donations and matching funds under the Change for Charity initiative go only to Community Chest?

Community Chest plays an integral role in the social service sector as a key fundraiser for SSAs. It also channels funding from the community to key areas of need, including specific causes and programmes which SSAs may find harder to raise funds for.

LAQs for SHARE as One (SAO)

1. Why are companies allowed to claim a portion of the SHARE as One (SAO) matching grant for their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives?

The Government recognises the important role companies play in empowering employees to contribute to society. The Government will match new and incremental SHARE donations, to recognise the efforts put in by companies to rally their employees to give more. The portion of funds claimed by companies can be used to support more volunteering opportunities for their employees that will further benefit Community Chest’s supported social service agencies (SSAs). Companies will have until 30 June 2025 to utilise the funds claimed.

2. Why is there a limit of 50% of matching grant, capped at $10,000, that the companies can claim for their CSR initiatives?

The cap ensures that while support is given to help companies in their CSR efforts, a good portion of the funds will be channelled to directly support the social service sector.

3. Can companies claim the matching grant and the enhanced tax deductions for Business and IPC Partnership Scheme (BIPS) on the same CSR project?

A single CSR initiative can only benefit from either scheme, but not both.

4. Which SSAs are eligible for the SAO programme?

SSAs that are NCSS members with IPC (Institution of a Public Character) status and are running social service programmes may wish to apply for the SAO matching funds to organise meaningful volunteer activities for companies or to strengthen their volunteer management capabilities.

5. Can individuals be part of SAO?

New and additional donations by individuals directly to SHARE will also be eligible for matching. The matching will be determined by the increase in SHARE donations from individuals at the aggregate-level. Individuals can also volunteer for SAO-related activities that will be progressively updated on Community Chest’s website

6. How do you sign up for SAO?

Corporates and individuals can find out more and sign up online via www.comchest.gov.sg/Share-as-One