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Speech by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for Social and Family Development, at the Majurity Conversations 2023 and the Launch of the SG Strong Fellowship

Type: Official Speeches (All), Official Speeches: Masagos Zulkifli

Topic(s): Social Service Agencies & Partners


Mr Danny Yong, Founder and Chairman of The Majurity Trust;

Mr Martin Tan, CEO of The Majurity Trust;

Partners from the people, private and public sectors;

Ladies and gentlemen

  1. I am pleased to join you for The Majurity Conversations today.

     

  2. Every year, the Majurity Conversations gathers different minds to discuss topics that matter to us and our communities. I hope that you leave today’s Conversations brimming with ideas.


    Changing social service landscape and evolving modes of philanthropy

  3. The needs of our society in Singapore are changing. In fact, it’s changed decade after decade. Today, families face more complex challenges that simply cannot be resolved with once-off assistance. In the social service sector, we find that the needs of families are increasingly cross-domain, and therefore may require the expertise of many different partners.

     

  4. We cannot continue to operate Business-As-Usual.

     

  5. I’m glad that many of us are updating our ways of giving back, because we want to meet the needs of our society better.

     

    1. Businesses are on the move, transitioning away from episodic contributions towards sustained contributions. Many businesses are also harnessing the best in their organisations to meet the needs of communities, in innovative ways. This means leveraging their assets, expertise, and networks to uplift those in need. 

    2. Foundations are investing in a wide range of programmes and even funding research to inform more effective solutions. For example, Temasek Foundation Cares worked with ECDA to fund a pilot on child development, which complements the KidSTART programme. As the early years are foundational to children’s development, they see the value of investing in these early years to give children from lower income families a good start in life.

    3. On the Government’s end, we are nurturing a culture of sustainable philanthropy, where giving and helping others become an intrinsic part of daily lives. Community Chest’s Change for Charity is just one example of this, where we are partnering with companies to incorporate donation mechanisms into their business models to make it easy for the public to donate as they go about their daily lives.

       

  6. It is an exciting time to be in this space, whether you are an individual, a social service agency, a business, or a charity.  


    Fostering partnerships to do good, better

  7. I believe that the next bound is in partnering each other to do good, better. We need to work together, leveraging our various strengths and resources, to tackle issues. We need to create an ecosystem that enables good.

     

  8. One move in this direction is the 4ST Partnership Fund. To better support community needs and foster partnerships, the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) collaborated with The Majurity Trust to set up the 4ST Partnership Fund. Launched just last week by SM Tharman, the Fund encourages partners across the sector to collaborate and develop solutions to address more complex challenges.

     

  9. Young non-profit organisations led by community leaders can partner established charities and social service agencies to apply for funding and receive support for innovative projects. Through the Fund, grant makers and donors can consolidate resources to collectively contribute towards larger projects that bring even greater impact. I am excited to see the creative ideas and solutions that will be born from these partnerships.



    Launch of the SG Strong Fellowship

  10. Beyond the Government, philanthropic organisations like The Majurity Trust play an important role in building up the social impact ecosystem and catalysing good. They work closely with donors and charities to support organisations to address needs in the community.

     

  11. For example, The Majurity Trust partnered GIC to fund and enable ground-up groups to address community needs during the pandemic through the SG Strong Fund. GIC supported the Fund as a key donor and also rallied colleagues to start initiatives to serve the community. With this, over the past 3 years, 150 ground-up groups were supported, impacting over 390,000 beneficiaries. This is an example of how philanthropic organisations and the private sector can join hands to enable good in the sector.

     

  12. To harness the energy of ground-up initiatives towards addressing needs in our community, I’m pleased to hear that The Majurity Trust is launching the SG Strong Fellowship. The Fellowship will support up to 15 fellows in the development of ground-up initiatives. The year-long Fellowship will provide funding and guide these leaders in the development of projects to better serve community needs. The Fellowship also seeks to nurture this community of ground-up leaders and foster collaboration. This is made possible with the generous $250,000 donation from GIC.

     

  13. I believe this partnership will break new grounds for ground-ups. Congratulations to The Majurity Trust and GIC for spearheading this meaningful initiative.



    Communicating Impact

  14. The topic of Today’s Conversation on Communicating Impact is apt.

     

  15. While we seek to create tangible and lasting impact to the benefit of the people that we serve, it is also important to clearly articulate this impact. In this way, we create a virtuous cycle where doing good begets more good, and helps sustain efforts in the various communities we serve.

     

  16. We want to help social service agencies better articulate impact. On this front, NCSS has developed the Sector Evaluation Framework to introduce consistency in how programme outcomes are measured across the social service sector. With similar programmes reporting the same outcome metrics, the framework provides a common language for agencies, funders and the Government to articulate impact for greater clarity and accountability.

     

  17. The Ministry of Social and Family Development has also designated 2023 as the Year of Celebrating Social Service Partners. This is to recognise the efforts of our partners in the social service sector – those who make a giant impact. We want to spotlight the good work that they do and amplify their impact. 



    Conclusion

  18. With this, I want to express my gratitude to all the donors and grantee partners, community and social service partners, leaders for your work. Through the meaningful work that all of you do, you improve the lives of those in need and help make Singapore a caring home for all.

     

  19. I wish you all a fruitful Conversation ahead. Thank you.