Generous Singaporeans gave a whopping $8.5m to charity in 2012

Philanthropy at its best.

According to a release, Singapore’s largest donation portal SG Gives continues to see a healthy increase in donations, with $8.5 million raised for charity last year compared to $6.2 million in 2011. This is a 37% increase in total donations, amidst slower economic growth in a year when Singapore recorded a 1.2% (Lee, 2012) growth in GDP. SG Gives has raised close to $19 million for charities since its inception in February 2010.

December continues to be the top giving month. Donors gave $3.2 million in December last year compared to $2.3 million in 2011. Almost $400,000 was also raised on 31 December 2012.

Said Laurence Lien, CEO of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, “Giving typically peaks towards the end of the year as people get into the festive mood. That is also when charities increase their marketing and publicity efforts to promote their causes and garner more donations. While this is a positive phenomenon, I urge charities to spread out their efforts throughout the year so that their cause can be more widely promoted with consistent support all year round.”

The spike also saw some charities receive as much as 10 times more donations last year than in 2011. Top causes continued to be social services, health, and animals and the environment, with social services receiving over 55% of the donations on SG Gives last year.

Said Caritas Singapore Community Council’s Executive Director, Bernadette Lau, “SG Gives is the only online donation portal that Caritas uses. Through the portal, we managed to raise over $100,000 in just a month last year for our building project, Agape Village.”

Apart from an increase in total donations, top donors on SG Gives also gave more. Top five donors made total donations ranging from $55,000 to $95,000 each last year. The maximum donation amount was a 41% increase from that of the previous year.

In addition, 35% of donors who indicated their profession on the portal are PMETs. Said Saad Chinoy, 29, a Tech Strategist who donates more than six times a year through SG Gives, “SG Gives makes good use of technology to enable non-profit organisations to do what really matters.”

SG Gives also stepped up its efforts to garner more donations for charities through social media last year. Through various marketing efforts, its Facebook likes reached 1,170 in 2012. For the first time, the portal also ran two social media campaigns, the “Best Denki Go Digital Challenge” where charities “competed” on Facebook to win themselves additional publicity on media channels; and “Make Your Voice Heard” cause awareness challenge, where donors vied to win cash for their favourite cause through creative photo submissions.

As for campaigns, SG Gives saw more requests by corporates and charities for additional customised URLs to fundraise for specific campaigns. For example, in memory of the late Emma Yong, her friends in the theatre industry started the Emma Yong Fund to give aid to theatre practitioners in Singapore suffering from cancer and/or critical illnesses.

Said John Pok, a friend of Emma and General Manager of Dream Academy (one of the theatre companies that support the Emma Yong Fund) “SG Gives is reliable, reputable and makes giving easy for donors. The donations received through SG Gives for this campaign has been effective. Apart from the ticket sales from a charity concert, donations via SG Gives amounted to 23% of the other donations.”

To date, SG Gives, an initiative of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, has registered over 270 charities across various causes like children, elderly, family, arts, animals & environment and sports. 



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