Page 1

No. 1 Jan-Feb 2004

For Volunteers, Donors and Non-Profits

NEVER SAY “NEVER” TO JENNIE CHUA

The Power of the Ask

WHEN SINGAPORE

Gaveand andGave, Gave

THE COURAGE FUND

When is Enough Enough? THE COST OF RAISING FUNDS

If You Won’t Pay, Who Will?

OUT IN AFRICA

Kit Chan’s Worldly Vision

L

A

U

N

C

H

I

S

S

U

E


AD 1


contents

SALT No. 1 Jan-Feb 2004

DEPARTMENTS

T he

Y EofA R

❤ GIVING

ON THE COVER There’s another side to the multi-talented entertainer, KIT CHAN, and that is her passion for volunteer projects. She is best known for her work with World Vision, a personal adventure that connected her to under-privileged children in Ethiopia and Cambodia. Photograph from World Vision.

(VERY)

Generously

What a year. Personal grief sparked by an unseen virus, war, job losses, a jolted society, 2003 packed it all in. But the year’s hardships fired a generosity of spirit and compassion that surprised even the most hardened cynic. DAVEN WU looks back on how Singaporeans surprised even themselves.

10

In a remarkable rollercoaster year, Singapore gave, and gave, and gave to a wide spectrum of causes during a time of retrenchments, SARS and economic uncertainty.

2 5

EDITORIAL NEWS BRIEFS A wrap-up of events, programmes and activities in the People Sector.

8

SALT FOCUS Singing sensation Kit Chan juggles bright stage lights with hands-on volunteer action.

25 SALT AND PEPPER Charles Maclean,“Chief Committed Listener” and philanthropy coach, talks shop on his Singapore visit.

26 SALT TALKS NVPC’s Executive Director Tan Chee Koon challenges corporations with another approach to corporate giving.

28 SCENE AND SEEN

20

SALT SHAKERS AND MOVERS Never Say “Never” to Jennie Guest interviewer SUSAN LONG chats with fundraiser extraordinaire Jennie Chua on her direct and individual approach to raising millions.

31 CALENDAR PLUS: Volunteerism: It’s Worth It

32 A DASH OF SALT

18 Volunteerism Awards

It was a heart-felt night of thanks at the National Volunteerism Awards 2003 dinner that recognised the outstanding work done by volunteer agencies. Jan-Feb 2004 S A LT •

1


E

D

I

T

O

R

I

A

L

MANAGING EDITOR Monica Gwee EDITOR Daven Wu EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Gayle Koh PUBLISHING CONSULTANT Epigram SALT is published bi-monthly by the

National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre 7 Maxwell Road #05-01 Annex B, MND Complex Singapore 069111 Tel: 6325 0955 Fax: 6221 0625 Website: www.nvpc.org.sg Email: salt@nvpc.org.sg Copyright is held by the publisher. All rights reserved. Production in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. The views and opinions expressed or implied in SALT are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Printed by UIC Printing & Packaging MITA (P) 197/11/2003 To advertise, please call Cynthia Tay at tel: 6292 4456 Email: cynthia@epigram.com.sg or Gayle Koh at tel: 6422 7129 Email: gayle@nvpc.org.sg

W

S A LT. Why SALT? Well, we at the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) believe that it fills a critical gap. There is no such magazine in Singapore focused on the issues of volunteerism and philanthropy, and the key happenings across the nonprofit sector. We hope to provide these, and we welcome your feedback and your contributions. E L C O M E T O T H E L AU N C H I S S U E O F

We also hope to provide a platform to connect nonprofit organisations, grant makers, philanthropists, active citizens as well as corporate givers. Why the name, SALT? NVPC’s Executive Director Tan Chee Koon, who cried ‘Eureka!’, best answers this in her late night email to me: “Salt is not only life giving, it has many other rejuvenating qualities – it acts as a preservative, as flavouring, as a food processing agent, for purification, for de-icing roads, as a water softener, etc.” “And like, ‘Adding salt to the wound’?” I asked wondering if people might mistake us for a food magazine. But there was no stopping her enthusiasm for SALT. She even found websites dedicated to salt (www.saltinstitute.org, www.saltinfo.com) that tell you everything you wanted to know (and not know) about salt and expounding the positive qualities of salt. After extensive discussion, everyone voted in favour of SALT over other potential names such as “Give”, “Heartbeat”, “Give and Take”, among others. And there you have it. We hope you do not mind that we have taken it further with a few SALTish names for some of the columns. Some are not immediately obvious. They will make you think for a moment – which is what we want you to do with the articles in this magazine, even if you may do so with a pinch of salt. Enjoy.

Willie Cheng Chairman National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre

MANY THANKS TO OUR CORPORATE CONTRIBUTORS FOR SUPPORTING THIS LAUNCH ISSUE :

★ Ascendas ★ DBS ★ Fuji Xerox ★ HSBC ★ NTUC FairPrice ★ NTUC Income ★ Siemens ★ ★ Singapore Pools ★ Singapore Post ★ SingTel ★ ST Engineering ★ Sun Microsystems ★

2

• S A LT Jan-Feb 2004


AD 2

Jan-Feb 2004 S A LT •

3


AD 3

4

• S A LT Jan-Feb 2004


THE NAKED TRUTH

N E W S B

R

I

E

F

S

ot quite the Full Monty, but these Singapore Rugby players have certainly converted some unique tries in full colour glossies. Inspired by the example of middle-aged, very British jammaking ladies shedding clothes for charity, these hunks aimed for a $40,000 touchdown. And how.

N

Name Dropping

hey say one volunteer is worth 10 recruits. And every $10 given with heart may snowball to $10,000 or $10 million! NVPC is promoting the spirit of giving – the giving of time, of money, of donationsin-kind, or of individual resources to a cause. In this new, combined role, NVPC targets giving in its various forms across different sectors. These include the arts, community, education, health, social services, sports and youth at all levels of society. The net widens towards individuals, corporations, families, foundations and informal groups. After all, as NVPC’s new tagline declares, “It’s about giving”. To commemorate the event, Far East Organization generously donated 15,000 sq ft of space to NVPC for its

T

Prime space at The Central, donated to NVPC from Far East Organization .

permanent premises at its new Clarke Quay MRT development. The new centre will serve as a community hub for volunteerism and philanthropy. Pioneer sponsors also include Singapore Pools ($500,000) and Far East Organization ($1 million) to help fit out the space. Situated in The Central, Far East’s riverside development, the new NVPC centre will have many shared facilities including a resource centre specialising in nonprofit resources, training facilities for the nonprofit sector, and an interactive gallery on Singapore’s philanthropic tradition. Also planned is a multi-purpose hall for community organisations to promote their activities. The expected completion date is 2006.

Frank Pi nckers

What’s in a name? The National Volunteer Centre was renamed The National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) in August 2003. Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Community Development and Sports, presided over the ceremony at the Fullerton Hotel. The name change reflects a strategic focus to create a “giving” culture in Singapore.

Buck Naked is the 2004 calendar starring the stripped down boys from Brewerkz Bucks, one of Singapore’s oldest rugby clubs. The bare-faced truth is they hope to sell 2,000 eye-brow raising calendars to give the Pirelli tyre girls a spin for their dollars. More than half of the print run has burned off the shelves since Buck Naked was released. Production costs were fully sponsored so all the proceeds benefit charities such as the Children’s Cancer Foundation and The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund. Available at $20 from Brewerkz Microbrewery & Restaurant.

THE OTHER WTO othing to flush at, the World Toilet Organisation (WTO) declared 18 November, 2003 World Toilet Day. The aim? Er – better aim, good restroom habits and higher hygiene standards, as well as raising awareness on water conservation, ecological and health issues. The WTO is a nonprofit organisation made up of 18 toilet associations and experts in the areas of toilet design, eco-tourism, sanitation, maintenance, cleaning technology. And in the lead-up to the November 2004 World Toilet Summit in Beijing, its mission is neatly captured by its new tagline,“It’s Everybody’s Business”. For more information, contact 68411621 or www.worldtoilet.org.

N

DO YOU HAVE A VIEW TO SHARE? We welcome your letters, news of upcoming events and pictures. Please send them to SALT, 7 Maxwell Road, #05-01 Annex B, MND Complex, Singapore 069111; or email salt@nvpc.org.sg. Please include your name, address and daytime phone number. Letters and articles may be edited for space and clarity. www.nvpc.org.sg Jan-Feb 2004 S A LT •

5


Asia-Pacific Regional Conference:

N E W S B

R

I

E

F

9th International Association for Volunteer Efforts (IAVE)

S

Life Line

t was a nail-biting finish, but in the end, 91 year-old Ms Teresa Hsu was voted Active Senior Citizen of the Year at the Senior Citizens’ Awards 2003 on 13 November. Around 30,000 members of the community and public cast their votes during the two-week voting period. The award recognised Ms Hsu’s 70 years of dedication to the world’s less fortunate. In 1930, she started the “Friends of the Needy” in Hong Kong caring Truly passionate for the poor, street beggars and neglected children. She was also about life – Ms Hsu receives her the founder of the Home for the Aged Sick in Singapore, where award from Mr Chan Soo Sen. she served as Matron till 1985. In presenting the awards, Mr Chan Soo Sen, Minister of State, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Community Development and Sports, acknowledged the valuable contribution to the winners’ respective families and the community. “All eight finalists share a similar persevering trait – they are seniors who believe that life should be lived with zest and to the fullest, regardless of age. They have clearly demonstrated that age is no barrier when one is truly passionate about life. Indeed, they are inspiring examples of active ageing and excellent role models for other seniors as well as the younger generation,” he said.

I

CONFERENCE CALL ew Realities in the New Normal” may sound like a rally call for cutting edge corporates. Appropriately, it was the theme at the 2003 NVPC Conference held at the Raffles City Convention Centre on 28-29 October 2003. The two-day conference provoked hilarity and tackled hard issues in the changing nonprofit landscape. The keynote address by Thailand’s irrepressible Dr Mechai Viravaidya (above), better known as Mr Condom, founder of Thailand’s Population and Community Development Association, characterised the high energy level at panel sessions and presentations. Donors, volunteers, grant-makers, foundations and those on the receiving end such as volunteer hosting organisations, beneficiaries and community groups, touched base on key issues and challenges facing the People Sector. Other key note addresses came from Dr Rick Aubry, Executive Director of Rubicon Programs Inc, and Trevor Yaxley, creator of the bubble-wrap and Executive Director of New Zealand’s Lifeway Ministries Trust. Ten organisations showcased their products and services in the Social Enterprise Marketplace. For more post-conference details, contact Gayle Koh on 63250955 or email: gayle@nvpc.org.sg.

‘‘N

WASH AND WEAR here’s something about Singaporeans and cars that draw the crowds. The local love affair with four-wheelers attracted volunteers out in force to – wash cars. The Harmony Car Wash Fiesta 2003 was all part of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore’s (MUIS) bit for the President’s Challenge. The sudsy event on 7 September was held at the Police Training Compound on Thompson Road. President S R Nathan, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Community Development & Sports and Minister in-charge of Muslim Affairs, the President of MUIS, Mr Mohd Alami Musa, and the Mufti of Singapore, Syed Isa Mohd Semait, got into the splash of things. The car wash was an addition to the very popular Charity Briyani, held on 16 August at Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah, Victoria Lane, also graced by President Nathan. In all, MUIS raised over $203,000 for the President’s Challenge.

T

6

• S A LT Jan-Feb 2004

Breaking barriers and building bridges occupied over 300 delegates at the IAVE biennial Asia-Pacific Regional Conference in Manila in November 2003.

From left: Her Excellency President Arroyo, with Conference Chair Mrs Virginia P Davide, and Dr Kang-Hyun Lee, former IAVE Asia-Pacific Board Member.

ome 300 delegates from the Asia-Pacific region, including the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Japan attended the conference in Manila between 7-10 November 2003. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo opened the conference at the Malacanang Palace in the formal hall normally reserved for State functions. Former President Honorary Corazon C Aquino delivered the keynote address, indicating the importance of volunteerism to the Philippine government. The Conference centred around government and private sector partnerships with civil society. Singapore was represented by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre’s Executive Director Mrs Tan Chee Koon. As the Asia-Pacific representative on IAVE’s Board, she co-chaired the conference and presented Singapore’s experience in government and civil society partnership in one of the plenary sessions. The Asia-Pacific membership of IAVE holds the proud record of having organised the biannual regional conference without a break since the first conference held in Nagoya in 1987. Among the treats for participants was a walking tour of the restored Walled City, Intramuros, guided personally by Honorary Richard Gordon, Secretary of the Department of Tourism. The Conference closed on a high note with the signing of the Manila Declaration on Volunteerism by the IAVE Asia-Pacific National Representatives.

S

IAVE is an international non-governmental membership organisation that promotes, celebrates and strengthens volunteerism worldwide. IAVE has about 800 individual and organisational members in about 100 countries. The 18th IAVE World Conference will be in Barcelona, Spain between 17-21 August 2004. For updates, visit www.iave2004barcelona.org. Preferential fees for IAVE members. Membership queries, to Singapore’s National Representative, Mr Gabriel Ho at 64227132 or Gabriel@nvpc.org.sg.


AD 4

Jan-Feb 2004 S A LT •

7


S

A

L

T

F

O CC UU SS

Kit Chan’s Worldly Vision Away from the bright stage lights, the glitzy costumes and showbiz glamour, Kit Chan makes her fame work for another passion – “heart work”. DAVEN WU speaks to Singapore’s famous songbird and uncovers her life ambition.

uring her secondary school days, Kit Chan and her friends would visit old folks’ homes and sing a few Cantonese songs for the residents. “I think music always makes people happy,” she says, simply. Ever since she can remember, Kit has felt a need to give from what seemed like abundance in her own life. Chatting with her, you get a very real sense of the determined drive and spirit that she brings to all her projects. Today, the vivacious 31year-old top selling recording star continues to astonish with the spread and depth of her work. With more strings in her bow than your average Stradivarius, she moves fluidly from stage to the recording studio to composing poetry. And though she’s perhaps best known as a singer (she played the Empress Tzu Tsi in the Forbidden City musical), it’s been her work with World Vision that has brought her a wider audience. Her involvement with World Vision was “quite serendipitous”. A keen supporter of World Vision’s activities in Taiwan and Hong Kong, Kit never knew there was a Singapore chapter until she heard that World Vision was looking to work with a local Singaporean artiste to promote awareness of its activities in Singapore. “I didn’t even know they were in Singapore and I said, right, they really need to do something about their publicity!” Though Kit was only originally supposed to sing the theme song for the

D

8

• S A LT Jan-Feb 2004

“When you’re involved handson, it’s a winwin situation. The giver always wins as well.”

media campaign, she quickly impressed upon World Vision that she wanted to be more than just a ‘face’ for them. “One of my ambitions growing up was to be a humanitarian worker. When World Vision came along, I jumped at the opportunity. I told them I was interested, but interested in a major way.” And that was how she found herself filming in famine stricken Ethiopia in 2000. The promotional documentary was to help raise awareness of the hardships in that country. Kit also spent time on a community service project in Cambodia, working with 21 Singaporean youths to build playgrounds and toilets for the local primary school. Cliché or not, she found her experience “very inspiring”. “Working with World Vision touched me as a human being because it was hands-on. When you’re involved hands-on, it’s a win-win situation,” she says, brightly. “The giver always wins as well. Cambodia, especially, was an amazing experience.” Since then, Kit has continued to lend her name to charity and fundraising events even as she laments the restrictions of her already frantically busy schedule. When we spoke to Kit, she was right smack in a concert engagement in Taipei. “I wish I had more time to do more volunteer work,” she says. “Sometimes you suppress the urge to volunteer. Sometimes you forget it’s there. I look


many people, it involves writing a monthly cheque and hoping that when things calm down, they can do a little more. “I think that’s fair,” Kit points out. Her position is you donate what you feel comfortable with, be it your time or money. And every little bit counts. Although many of us may feel that we can’t do much, Kit isn’t buying any of it. “It is a lot of use. You think you can’t help, but think again. Even a donation of a dollar is significant in a country like Ethiopia where a father with a family earns US$1 a month.” Think what a $10 donation can achieve, she challenges. If this strikes some as Kit Chan wearing her heart on her sleeve, then so be it. You get the distinct impression that she doesn’t care, that she came to the realisation a long time ago that it’s not about what other people think, but about doing right on her own terms.

“There were occasions earlier on when I worked with charities and did not know what I was doing, or what cause I was doing it for. You just showed up and I hate that.”

And in doing the right thing, positive harmonics are generated – for the individual, for the recipient and for society as a whole. “I do think that people are discontented,” she says. “But when you volunteer, you see people who have so much less than you are, who are needy financially or physically. Then you realise how blessed you are. Sometimes you need to be reminded. “To me, the sign of a civilised society is not just the GDP. There are many ways to measure civilisation. Charity work is one of them and in many ways, we’re not civilised!” Kit Chan is under no illusions that charity work is easy. She’s met her fair share of workers in the field who have felt like giving up, but somehow, manage to regain their hope, often as a result of meeting one of the beneficiaries of their work. “Everyone needs encouragement and affirmation of their work. But sometimes it’s difficult to help people. You actually feel shy because often you’re an outsider. You just force yourself. It takes a little courage to cross that barrier,” she says. And if the past is any indicator, courage seems to be just another byproduct of Kit Chan’s passion for volunteer work. ✩ Photographs from World Vision

forward to the day when I can be a ‘normal’ volunteer minus the celebrity status because I believe it will be a most enriching and fulfilling experience.” Obviously, Kit is very much in demand as a ‘face’ to front an event or to raise exposure, but she has become more discerning, often relying on her instinct to decide which event might hold more meaning for her. “There were occasions in my early working life when I worked with charities and did not know what I was doing, or what cause I was doing it for. You just showed up and I hate that. But now that I have more control of my career, I require a lot more information beforehand. “I want to know about the objectives of the event, what it’s about. Because this affects my motivation – I need to be able to say something meaningful to help the cause. Is my presence going to assist?” In that sense, it’s not always necessarily about giving money, rather it’s the process of spreading a particular message, even if it is, say, a magazine interview such as this. And in a world that has become so complicated and frenetic that we needed to coin the notion of 24/7 to deal with it, it also comes down to prioritising. Amid office deadlines and family demands, exactly where, when and how does one indulge any nascent giving leanings? For

Kit Chan out in Africa for World Vision.

Jan-Feb 2004 S A LT •

9


T he

Y EofA R

❤ GIVING (VERY)

Generously

What a year. Personal grief sparked by an unseen virus, war, job losses, a jolted society, 2003 packed it all in. But the year’s hardships fired a generosity of spirit and compassion that surprised the most hardened cynic. DAVEN WU reflects on how Singaporeans astonished even themselves. 10

• S A LT Jan-Feb 2004


Left: SARS affected everyone here. The Ministry of Health’s SARS commemoration ceremony at the Botanic Gardens drew Singaporeans together. Picture by The Straits Times Below: Local celebrity footballers (L-R) John Wilkinson, Aliff Shafaien and Fadhil Salim tried on new hairstyles for the ST School Pocket Money Fund charity event. Picture by The Straits Times

A

s this is being written, we are at the tail end of 2003. Christmas is in the wings. Orchard Road is festooned with bright decorations; a cheery disco ball hangs over the streets, throwing fractured prisms of light over the harried shoppers on a last minute gift buying spree. There is a palpable sense of relief and celebration in the air. Because in so many ways, 2003 is (or was, by the time you read this) a turbulent year for the world. In the tiny quarters of Singapore, that turbulence appeared magnified. It was only in 2002 that Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong voiced his encouragement for “a strong sense of volunteerism among our people” at the National Volunteerism Awards 2002. It was quite a different mood, a different world he addressed then. DPM Lee called for “many hands who are willing to give a lift to those who genuinely need help, and nobody who is down and out needs to feel that they are fighting hardship alone.” This may strike as a trite truism, but in light of the events that followed shortly after that speech, his words carry a resonance no one could have foreseen at the time. The uncertain and painful harvest of war was unleashed in Iraq. The stock market trembled. The second anniversary of the attacks in New York revived fresh fears of terrorism. SARS, that deadly epidemic, reared its ugly head and paralysed Singapore and the entire region, touching every single one of us in some way. Businesses closed down. Long time employees found themselves retrenched as unemployment reached unprecedented numbers. But this is where the picture shifted and adjusted its focus. Perhaps it’s true that adversity tempers the steel, bringing out hidden strengths of character that might otherwise have remained hidden. Perhaps it was no surprise that

external and internal challenges or not, the ties of community and shared welfare moved Singaporeans to respond – uncharacteristically? According to the latest figures from the IRAS, total taxdeductible donations received up to year 2002 were $382 million. The total audited donation figures for 2003 have yet to be compiled. However, current receivables indicate that in the midst of anxious uncertainty, fear, economic and social hardship, one fact is undeniable: Singaporeans stood up to be counted in ways no one really expected. At press time, the President’s Challenge, the nation’s largest charity drive, had collected $9 million, far exceeding the original target of $7 million, and more than justifying President S R Nathan’s hope expressed at ‘Inspiring Hope’, the concert to launch the Challenge on 17 June 2003. “I am deeply conscious that $7 million is a challenging target, as times are hard – but I am hopeful that it is attainable,” he said then. “The SARS episode has shown how Singaporeans are able to rally together – volunteers coming forward to help those on home quarantine; others who got together to encourage those in the frontline in the fight against SARS; and the generous outpouring of support to the Courage Fund – we can be proud of this display of the Singaporean spirit to overcome, whatever the challenges.” There are precedents after all. Donations to institutions rose every year from $157 million in 1995 to $381 million in 2001, despite the financial crisis in 1997 and the economic downturn in 2001. Perhaps not a riveting statistic, but one noted by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Community Development & Sports, and Minister in-charge of Muslim Affairs. He was speaking in March when he outlined the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre’s (NVPC) new role to include philanthropy. If we suspected Singaporeans were a self-absorbed lot, cagey with giving, some national stereotypes were busted.

Jan-Feb 2004 S A LT •

11


“I AM DEEPLY CONSCIOUS THAT TIMES ARE HARD. WE HOPED TO CHALLENGE ORGANISATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS TO STEP OUT AND DO SOMETHING TO HELP OTHERS IN WHATEVER WAYS THEY ARE COMFORTABLE, BIG OR SMALL.” President S R Nathan on President’s Challenge 2003

A constellation of stars for the True HeartsCommunity Chest TV Charity Show which raised $2.9 million.

Indeed, a generosity of spirit was evident everywhere. In fact, for many in the charity field, 2003 was a watershed year. We surprised ourselves as a nation, as members of our own communities, as neighbours, as colleagues and friends, and as average citizens. The noteworthy point is that Singaporeans gave more than just money. They also gave of their time, that most precious of commodities. In 2002 alone, one in seven Singaporeans volunteered their time, clocking 74 million volunteer hours. Based on conservative estimates, this is the equivalent of 35,000 full time jobs and worth a staggering $1.5 billion. And there is every reason to believe that similar figures were reached in 2003. Indeed, nowhere was this willingness to invest time more evident than in the creation of a unique national project, The Fabric of the Nation. (See opposite page) It was also the year an Austrian expatriate and her husband came forward with a simple idea backed by complex logistics – their professional field of expertise. Christine and Henry Laimer, founders of Food from the Heart, kick-started a nonprofit group to collect unsold bread from contributing suppliers. The bread was distributed to nearly 200 institutions such as nurseries, day-care centres, retrenched workers and old folks homes by volunteers. “We have 1,200 volunteers and to be quite honest, I was amazed by the willingness of Singaporeans to ‘suffer’, to go that extra mile. When we needed someone to do extra hours, we had no problem finding someone. This year has changed my outlook about Singaporeans who are sometimes perceived to be money-oriented and arrogant. But that’s not true at all! You just need to convince them of your cause and they will respond!” Mrs Laimer says. “If people tell me Singaporeans are not a giving lot, I would

12

• S A LT Jan-Feb 2004

point them to 2003, and ask them what the basis for that statement would be,” says Mrs Tan Chee Koon, the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre’s Executive Director. “It is not that Singaporeans do not care, it’s just that they are too busy. Someone once talked about ‘the power of the ask’. Many times, we do not get because we do not ask. This past year, many people asked, and many people responded. We just need to know how to ask, when to ask, and who to ask,” she adds. Consider the annual Terry Fox Run which raised $180,000 for cancer research. Consider too the experience of one front-liner during the SARS outbreak. Dr Lim Suet Wun, Chairman of the Courage Fund’s Working Committee, was then Chief Executive Officer of Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Propelled into the public eye of fear and grief as healthcare workers and Singaporeans succumbed to the virus, Dr Lim drove the Courage Fund as a practical means towards helping those affected in an unprecedented crisis. Unknowingly, he turned on a heart switch that pulsed through the country. “I think [SARS] was a ‘natural disaster’ affecting everyone in Singapore. Previous crisis in Singapore’s history were due to economics or politics,” he says. He thinks Singaporeans may have been more sympathetic to natural disasters, but he also notes that the “positive coming together in Singapore” did not always happen elsewhere where SARS also struck. And for President S R Nathan himself, the diverse fundraising around the President’s Challenge and the national rallying reinforces hope for a more caring nation. “I am deeply conscious that times are hard,” he said. “We hoped (through the President’s Challenge) to challenge organisations and individuals to step out and do something to help others in whatever ways they are comfortable, big or small.” Since it began in 2000, the President’s Challenge has helped over a hundred low profile charities. With generous administrative funding from the Challenge sponsor, Singapore Pools, every dollar raised went to the benefiting charities. “This is the fourth year of the Challenge. Every year, I am heartened by the partners and the multitude of volunteers who have spontaneously stepped forward and who put in much hard work, and a lot of ‘heart’ involvement,” President Nathan said. Certainly, a little psychology goes a long way in fundraising efforts. With so many charities competing for the giving dollar, “charity fatigue” is a genuine risk. Continued on page 17 ➔


The Fabric of a Nation By Volunteer Rosemary Chng

The tapestry unveiled on 23 August 2003 by the Prime Minister was only a sneak preview. Another 8,000 patches are still being sewn up. The final Fabric of the Nation comprising all 50 panels, fully quilted, will be unfurled later in 2004.

Above: The mega cook-out. President S R Nathan & Mrs Nathan at Charity Briyani. Left: Awash in yellow, 70,000-odd plastic ducks drifted down the Singapore River at Clark Quay for the Singapore Million Dollar Duck Race. Picture by The Straits Times Below: Corporate chiefs of IBM, Siemens, Sun Microsystems, StarHub, PeopleSoft Asia and their competitors (Accenture, Ericsson, HP Singapore, MobileOne and SAP Asia), battle it out for charity at the President’s Challenge Gladiathon event.

Reaching high. Kitemaking was just one of many programmes at The American Chamber of Commerce’s Corporate Community Day. Picture by Simon Lee

hey say that it’s only in trying and difficult times that you know who your friends and family are. I can attest to the truth of this statement. I saw first hand, the overwhelming support of a nation that rose to demonstrate its love and affinity by sewing tens of thousands of patchworks. It was a heartfelt expression of the care, understanding and togetherness of countless people at a time when the country was reeling from one national setback after another. The idea for Fabric of the Nation was first mooted by MediaCorp Vice-President Ms Ong Hee Yah, just as Singapore was emerging from the SARS crisis. When I first met representatives from MediaCorp and the Ministry of Community Development and Sports (MCDS) to brainstorm the idea, we were all very unsure of the community’s response to such an unprecedented, large scale national project. We were all more than overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of support and effort put in by volunteers from all quarters of Singapore’s society – including overseas Singaporeans. Everyone seemed to want the project to succeed. Shortly after the project was announced

T

Patch-wise, volunteer stitchers for “All Things Bright and Beautiful” tapestry. Clockwise from top left: Rosemary Chng, Leah Tay, Lim Choy Mei and Judy Ng. Picture courtesy of Rosemary Chng

on 14 July 2003 by Channel NewsAsia, thousands of CEOs, housewives, vegetable sellers, hawkers, taxi drivers, students and military, picked up their needles and thread to sew their own individual patchworks. It seemed everyone wanted to help mend a nation’s bruised psyche. President S R Nathan and Mrs Nathan arrived at the roadshow organised by the President’s Challenge volunteers at Raffles City on 10 August. It was a tremendous surprise for all of us there. For me, it was a heartwarming and significantly powerful moment watching the President and his wife cheerfully stitch away, to show their care and support, to be one with their people. There were many sleepless nights for many of us – eye bags, personal sacrifices, frayed nerves, tears and sweat. All kudos to MediaCorp who, with the support of MCDS, took on this great challenge. My girlfriends and I held sewing parties at different homes, stitching, laughing and bonding till late in the night. It was one of the most fulfilling and enriching experiences of our lives. It was volunteerism at its best. ✩

❤ Jan-Feb 2004 S A LT •

13


When is Enough Enough? It may seem a bad dream now, but SARS had an amazing effect on Singapore. One corporate donor gave $1 million – unasked. The rest was spontaneous giving – and it kept coming. DR LIM SUET WUN, Chairman of the Courage Fund’s Working Committee and now CEO of National Healthcare Group, diagnoses the post-op report following Singapore’s remarkable outpouring of giving. here and people may be more sympathetic to natural disasters. Previous crises were due to economics or politics. But the positive way people came together in Singapore did not always happen elsewhere.

Corporate Heart – Thank you print ad from 23 companies to Tan Tock Seng Hospital staff.

What was your original target for the Courage Fund initially? How was this figure arrived at? At the start, there was no official target. When the Courage Fund was formed in April 2003, SARS was still an undefined but growing scourge. Since the Fund’s needs were determined by SARS, it was difficult to define a target then. It’s safe to say that everyone was amazed at the final amount raised – $31 million. Were you? How was this crisis different from other previous crises? Well, SARS had an amazing effect on Singapore. The Courage Fund was but part of this. What’s amazing is the Courage Fund did not spend any money on fundraising or promotions! Instead sponsors, companies, organisations and people, rallied to organise fundraising events spontaneously. They would then inform us that the proceeds would go to the Fund. I was certainly pleasantly surprised, but had an inkling from the phenomenal support and encouragement given to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and health workers. One corporate donor (other than Government) gave $1 million. Many companies gave hundreds of thousands. Yet there were also many smaller donations, from organisations and people from almost every walk of life. But one must remember, the biggest donor – $1 million and matching donations dollar for dollar – is still our government. It also provided double taxation relief. This has not been done often and could be another distinguishing feature. I think the SARS crisis was different because it was a “natural disaster” affecting everyone

14

• S A LT Jan-Feb 2004

Now what? Does the Fund actually have more money than it needs? How will the money collected be spent? The money has been fully committed to programmes and functions the Fund was meant for. To re-cap, it has helped SARS patients, the families of victims and has also committed to the education of the dependant children. Other programmes recognised healthcare workers. Recently, the media highlighted the Courage Fund Star and Medal. There is also an “active reserve” of $8 million. Should SARS re-emerge, this can be used to help the victims. Or the interest will be used for annual awards to recognise exceptional healthcare workers. This way the objectives of the Courage Fund continue to be met. The Fund now has a reserve. Does this mean that you have more money than is needed for dealing with the SARS crisis? The media updated daily totals collected, the public were always informed. Knowing this, they continued to give. Perhaps it was also this openness which was unique. This raises an interesting point about what is enough for charities. I did some research and found many, if not most charities here, consistently collect more than they expend in a year. This information is available on the IRAS website. So, some charities have reserves much, much larger than the entire amount in the Courage Fund! Even small charities often have reserves at least equal to a couple of years of their needs. So, the issue of collecting according to need has to be addressed industry wide. Was there a point when the Fund’s managers felt it should have been closed even as it kept growing? Did you want or try to stop the inflow? As SARS came under control here, the response to the Fund remained strong. Mr Michael Lim, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, publicly asked for a pause in endorsed fund raising. This had some effect, but because the Fund never directly raised funds itself, it was really up to the donors.

While the Courage Fund was going gang busters, there were mutterings among other fundraisers that the Fund was leaving less for them. Do you agree? Perhaps I should have not have been so reticent towards the mutterings you mentioned! First, SARS made it difficult to proceed with planned fundraising events.SARS battered the economy and people feared the slow-down would affect donations. But these are not Courage Fund issues per se, the difficulties would exist even if there was no Courage Fund. Second, some fear generosity is a zero sum game. This has not proven to be the case. The President’s Challenge in 2003 exceeded its target of $7 million to raise $9.2 million, more than $3 million over 2002. For the Community Chest’s 2003 Financial Year, it received $42 million compared to $37 million the year before. Third, there may actually be an issue of fear of big funds by small funds, rather than the Courage Fund per se. Perhaps the same people felt that those who gave to the Courage Fund were “their” donors and would give no more. It indicates that fundraisers are aligned with the needs of their cause and are not asking what are the wants and needs of donors. Some donors, astonished at the size of the Fund, asked for their donations to be channelled into other charities. What do you think about this? Actually, only one donor publicly asked for this. The Fund returned his money. Subsequently, two donors asked for their donations back. We also returned their money. The total amount was about $1,000. Considering the proposals, it would have been a serious breach of trust for the Courage Fund, or any charity, to take money given to it for one purpose and channel it to another. Even with a particular donor’s consent, there are issues of broken commitments which, if encouraged, are pernicious to volunteerism and philanthropy. It must follow that smaller funds and charities were challenged during the crisis? I struggle with this. I don’t see the special link between small charities and the crisis per se. I thought SARS created difficulties for both small and large charities. What did the experience mean for you personally? Personally, it was a humbling experience, which makes me more appreciative of the blessings we have in life. ✩


AD 5

Jan-Feb 2004 S A LT •

15


AD 6

16

• S A LT Jan-Feb 2004


Left and far left: The gentler side of volunteers from the Singapore InfoComm Technology Federation (SiTF) for the President’s Challenge. Pictures courtesy of Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation

“IT IS NOT THAT SINGAPOREANS DO NOT CARE, IT’S JUST THAT THEY ARE TOO BUSY. SOMEONE ONCE TALKED ABOUT ‘THE POWER OF THE ASK’. MANY TIMES, WE DO NOT GET BECAUSE WE DO NOT ASK. THIS PAST YEAR, MANY PEOPLE ASKED, AND MANY PEOPLE RESPONDED. WE JUST NEED TO KNOW HOW TO ASK, WHEN TO ASK, AND WHO TO ASK.” Mrs Tan Chee Koon, Executive Director, NVPC

➔ Continued from page 12

But then consider what transpired among a bunch of – well – undressed men. Magz Osborne, the co-organiser of Buck Naked – the 2004 calendar produced by Brewerkz Bucks, one of Singapore’s oldest rugby clubs, featured 25 players variously au naturelle. She will swear on some absent Y-fronts that sometimes, a little clever spin goes a long way. To date, more than half of the 2,000 calendars printed have been sold. “I think it’s easier to encourage people to donate money if they are receiving something tangible in return. Whether it’s a luncheon, dinner, wine-tasting – people can enjoy themselves knowing that their money is going to charity,” Ms Osborne says. That 2003 was a difficult year is a given. It was also a year of great national gain. When it counted most, the nation as a whole came through. Groups of friends, schoolchildren, strangers with a yearning to help – all came together. At the ‘Inspiring Hope’ concert, President Nathan was moved to note that in such tough times, the less fortunate would need that extra help and support.

2003 Fundraising Highlights* The Courage Fund NKF 10th Anniversary Charity Shows 2003 President’s Challenge 2003 Ren Ci Charity Show True Hearts-ComChest TV Charity Show 2003 Sotheby’s The Lee Kuan Yew Family Collection SingTel Touching Lives Fund The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund Singapore Million Dollar Duck Race Terry Fox Run * Figures are approximate and current at press time ** As at 30 November 2003

$31 million** $13.4 million $9.2 million $6.4 million $2.9 million $2 million $1.8 million $1.3 million** $700,000 $180,000

“It is in such times that hope must be kept alive for those who are counting on us to give them hope…[and]… to confront the tough questions that we must ask of ourselves as a society – what place in our hearts, and how big a heart, do we have for the needy and the disadvantaged who are our fellow citizens?” Beyond the donations in cash, kind and individual effort, the true value of the Singaporean spirit can also be measured by the unstinting efforts of the uncounted and unnamed volunteers who made time, amid their own personal concerns and worries, to look outwards, to reach out, to help and to comfort those more needy than themselves. Consider EMPOWER, a one-day retreat organised by NVPC in conjunction with the President’s Challenge for women in crisis such as domestic violence and divorce. Volunteers from diverse backgrounds addressed the emotional, physical, social and economic well-being of 100 women and their children in crisis. Another initiative for the President’s Challenge held in early September was the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation’s (SiTF) Inaugural Volunteer Day. Over 600 SiTF volunteers from member companies participated in community activities to benefit 30 nonprofit organisations from sectors including the arts, environment, social services and sports. When we reflect on where and how we received thermometers, had our temperatures taken at public buildings and offices, sent in small and big donations by SMS, through telephone calls, even anonymously by snail mail – when you add up the heartbeats behind each and every single gesture of giving in a year where much was taken from many Singaporeans – well – how much was that? Priceless. And we’ve only just begun. ✩ Jan-Feb 2004 S A LT •

17


VOLUNTEERI

1

18

Once a year, the National Volunteerism Awards recognise the outstanding work done by volunteer agencies. The 2003 Awards celebrated winners in four categories and one Special Mention. It was a night of heartfelt thanks – and one firmly supported by sponsors and volunteers.

Photographs by Benjamin Yu

★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★

4

5

3

2

P

erhaps it was poignant that the teenage volunteers arranging pots of money plants for the table centrepieces, had all given up an afternoon of net surfing, wakeboarding or other typical adolescent pursuits. The ballroom at the Stamford Ballroom, Raffles City Convention Centre, was hot and stuffy before the evening’s action. There was no air-conditioning and more importantly, no snacks for hungry teens. The team of young volunteers cheerfully joined staff from the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) to decorate the ballroom for the National Volunteerism Awards 2003 held on 27 November. Practically every aspect of the evening – from the evening’s specially sponsored drink to the sound system to the internationally acclaimed musicians

• S A LT Jan-Feb 2004

backing Singapore’s elegant lady of jazz, Ms Claressa Monteiro – was made possible by volunteers giving big and small gifts in time, talent, kind or cash from big hearts. The annual National Volunteerism Awards recognise best practices in volunteer management. The recognition goes beyond individuals and extends to volunteer hosting organisations and administrators who create the richness and diversity of Singapore’s considerable volunteer force. Dr Tony Tan, Deputy Prime Minister and Co-ordinating Minister for Defence & Security, was Guestof-Honour. He was accompanied by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Community Development & Sports (MCDS) and Mr Chan Soo Sen, Minister of State, Ministry of Education and MCDS.

In his address, Dr Tan noted how findings repeatedly reflect how volunteers stand to benefit from volunteering. “It’s is not a one-way street – volunteers equip themselves when they help others, by developing confidence, interpersonal and leadership skills,” he said. Two out of every three volunteers surveyed, Dr Tan noted, had picked up valuable communication, social and teamwork skills through their voluntary work. And two-thirds found that volunteering helped them significantly in facing new challenges, and made them more open to new things. Indirectly underlining this was that night’s drinks sponsor, Touche, the champagne beer created by Asia Pacific Breweries (APB). Ms Andrea


SM AWARDS ★

At the Awards:

1. Gift of song from Claressa Monteiro 6

2. Guest-of-Honour – DPM Dr Tony Tan 3. Jane Iyer, representing Friends of the National Museum Docent Groups, Special Mention winner 4. Aamir Z Farooqi, Cargill Asia Pacific 5. (L-R): Christina Kum, Juliana Lim, Ng Gek Mui, Connie Liow, Singapore Pools 6. THE AWARD WINNERS (L-R): Goh Kong Aik, HSBC; Magdalene Yeow, SANA; Darrell Chan, PromiseWorks; Charles Lingham, Sunlove Abode 7. (L-R): Dr Jimmy How, Singapore Anglican Welfare Council; Eugene Seow, TOUCH Community Services; Phua Kok Tee, Singapore Action Group of Elders

7

Teo, Head, New Product Development, went one step further from APB sponsoring the free-flow of Touche for guests to enjoy with a Western Fusion menu. She kindly volunteered her lesser known piano skills to accompany wellknown entertainer and show producer, Ms Wendi Koh. Claressa Monteiro, Singapore’s elegant lady of jazz, now recording with international label EMI, graciously waived her professional performance fees especially for the evening. She also roped in her impressive musical trio – the internationally renowned Mark Boatman on drums, her husband, Brian Benson on double bass and Timothy Hammerson on keyboards. But the evening’s spotlight was on the winners. They were:

1 Award for Best Volunteer Management System: Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association. Special Mention: Friends of the National Museum, Docent Groups. 2 Award for Outstanding Volunteer Coordinator: Mr Charles Lingham, Sunlove Abode for Intellectually-Infirmed 3 Award for Outstanding New Volunteer Initiative: PromiseWorks 4 Award for Outstanding Corporate Volunteer of the Year: The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited The beautifully fluid award statuettes were specially commissioned

from sculptor Victor Tan. He drew inspiration from a tree rooted in good soil to represent the growth potential of Volunteer Hosting Organisations when they fully engage their volunteers. The dinner of smoked ocean trout and chicken with sun-dried tomatochilli marmalade was followed by a dessert buffet where guests did what they like to do best – network. An exhibition of the Award winners and their winning ways capped an evening of well deserved passion and commitment from volunteer agencies who go about their work with good grace, humour and much humanity. The night’s principal supporters included Singapore Pools, Ministry of Community Development & Sports, Touche, Reds Hairdressing, Pagesetters, RJ Paper, Royal Selangor and Raffles City Convention Centre. ✩

Jan-Feb 2004 S A LT •

★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ 19


S

A

L

T

SS H H

A

K

E

R

SS

A

N

D

M

O

V

E

R

S

Never Say “Never”to Jennie s chairwoman of the Community Chest, Jennie Chua has been commandeering Singapore’s charity war chest collection efforts with military-like precision since 2000. Renowned for her skillful finesse in strong-arming the rich to donate to her pet causes ranging from the Community Chest (56 Singapore charities) to the arts, to the Philippine Bayanihan Society, she has no trouble each year raising staggering eight figure sums that defy recessionary gravity. But not too long ago, she grew up in mortal fear of “dying poor, forgotten and with no money’’. The eldest child of a nutmeg and clove businessman and his second wife, she spent the first decade of her life with a phalanx of maids, nannies, drivers and gardeners at her command. But when the family fortune was lost in 1954, they moved from their sprawling Tanglin Road bungalow to a two-room rental flat in Zion Road. That period of her life imbued her with a life-long empathy for those who need help to get on in life. But she quickly dismisses any do-gooder illusions anyone might harbour about her and insists she is no bleeding heart. Today, she is Singapore’s most famous hotelier and CEO of Raffles Holdings, as well as a charismatic mix of flamboyance, pragmatism and bluntness.

Picture courtesy of The Straits Times

Jennie Chua, fundraiser extraordinaire, has never met an outright “No” forever. She tells guest interviewer SUSAN LONG, Senior Writer, The Straits Times, about how being direct, a kaypoh, and very much her colourful self, make people give with heart.

A

Can you tell us about your first experience of charity? I was introduced to the needy at a rather young age. The first 10 years of my life, I came from a very rich family, then in the next 10 years, a very poor family. I learnt the meaning of living in the lap of luxury, as well as living from day to day, counting my pennies and wondering whether there was going to be food on the table. I’ve always known there are many people who need help just to get on in life. From age 14, I gave tuition and worked part-time as a typist for $60 a month to put myself through school. Later, I went to University of Singapore on a bursary, only to drop out after a year to bring home bread for my 11 younger siblings.

“I’ve a very practical approach to fundraising. I don’t think I’m out there changing the world and making it a better place. I’m not the bleeding heart type.” 20

• S A LT Jan-Feb 2004

So charity literally started at home for me. In that respect, it was my mother’s seventh brother, the late Dr Tan Kwang Hoh, who made the most impression on me. He was a young, newly-graduated doctor, not very well-off and with his own young family to support. But I remember he was always there whenever we needed a comforting hand. When we were not feeling well, we could always go to Uncle Kwang Hoh for free consultation. I remember him taking us to the Chinese Swimming Club on Sundays, teaching us how to swim and buying us curry puffs, which were all luxuries back then. Those were small mercies in monetary terms but my first great memories of kindnesses. It taught me that it’s not the amount but the thought that counts. Till today, my greatest satisfaction comes from doing small things that are close to heart. Like consistently sending


$100 to some needy young person incognito to make a bit of difference to their lives. Because at the end of the day, the stories you tell your grandchildren are not how you helped raise $42 million a year or $300,000 from a ball. You can’t feel good about $42 million but you feel good about your $100 that helped a young life.

What was your first foray into community work like? In my teens, I was involved in the Red Cross Society at Singapore Chinese Girls’ School. Every Friday, come rain, shine or examinations, a few friends and I would trudge down to Wesley Methodist Church to serve a simple porridge meal to old folks from a home in Tanah Merah. On special occasions, we sang and danced for them. There was always a lot of joy. Then about 13 years ago, when my kids were in their early to mid teens, I was roped into helping raise funds for the Dover Park Hospice and the Singapore Repertory Theatre.

With the punishing hours in the hotel industry, and as a mother of two children, how did you fit in your ComChest work and other charity commitments? Well, I don’t golf and I don’t have a husband. That means I have the weekends free to do stuff outside of earning my salary. I only accept what I enjoy doing. Most of my ComChest meetings and gala dinners are outside office hours. Sandwiched between the hours when I’m not making my living, I make about 30 calls each month to raise funds. Half of my lunches these days, I would say, are for business, the other half, charity.

You raise funds, but don’t do the “social work” as most people conventionally understand the term? Yes. My niche is focused, very narrow and strictly limited to a fundraising role. The rest, I let the heroes handle. These are the real volunteer social workers on the ground who help total strangers with their basic needs in life, visit them and comfort them.

“If a guy says:‘Look, I can’t afford to give you $5,000 but here, take $200’, be sincere in your appreciation rather than say “Ok lor, $200 only?” I don’t consider myself a do-gooder. Fundraising is just something that I enjoy doing and am quite good at. I’m a bit of a kaypoh. I want to do something for others. But I’m very realistic. My life is not what you would call a tidy life. I will never be a Member of Parliament. My life is a little too colourful for that. In the early years, you had to be married. Right now, I’ve a soulmate. These things don’t fit into mainstream politics. I’m sympathetic because of my struggles in my early teens where I had to figure out how to stretch 20 cents. I understand that money is needed because there are sick people out there and others who need food on the table, but that is not the driving image in my mind. I’ve a very practical approach to fundraising. I don’t think I’m out there changing the world and making it a better place. I’m not the bleeding heart type.

What do you say to detractors who suggest you’re in it for the publicity? Well, I’m also involved in the Philippine Bayanihan Society of Singapore, by no means a glamourous organisation. It is basically a voluntary group that seeks to give the 120,000 Filipino foreign workers here a sense of community and a place of their own to hold little festivals and do simple things that others take for granted, like baking cakes. They also may take up basic courses in basic book-keeping, computers and home nursing at the Bayanihan Centre along Pasir Panjang Road. It’s a nice, feel-good thing to do but not terribly high profile. Definitely no potential for charity shows, phone-ins or telepolls here.

Other than a wide circle of wallets to call on, what other attributes do aspiring “fundraiser extraordinaires’’ need to have? A lot of luck. You need to have the good

fortune of people trusting you, believing in what you do and knowing that when they donate to your cause, they will not only feel good that they’ve done a good deed, but they will know that the money is well spent. The Chinese call it “yuan”, which is the chemistry to work with people. I don’t think one is born with it. If you ask me whether I like cocktail receptions, the answer deep down is an honest “No”. I am totally uncomfortable standing around holding a glass, making small talk. But because I’m in the hotel business and have accepted this fundraising role for the ComChest, I have to cultivate chemistry and do whatever needs to be done to get me there.

Can you share some of your tactics in getting people to part with their precious money? Like in business, know your customer, appeal to him meaningfully in a way that makes sense to him. If a guy believes in the arts but thinks basic things like health and education should be provided by the Government, approach him for the arts. It will be completely unproductive if you appeal to him about “this poor woman’’ or “that welfare cause’’. But his eyes will suddenly light up if you pitch arts-related projects, especially if he thinks these should be funded by the private sector. Then you’ve got it. It becomes a matter of how much – $1 million or $200,000. Similarly, there are other individuals and foundations who earnestly believe that because they have made their living from society, they should contribute back to the less fortunate, the Government can do its part but they want to do theirs too. These will tell you upfront: “Arts is a luxury, please don’t approach me.’’ Be alert to all these signs. Next, be grateful for anything that

Jan-Feb 2004 S A LT •

21


you get, in cash or in kind. If a guy says: “Look, I can’t afford to give you $5,000 but here, take $200’’, be sincere in your appreciation rather than say “Ok lor, $200 only?’’ The other day, I asked somebody for $3,000 to buy a table, he didn’t have the cash but suggested instead that he donate a designer handbag costing over $1,000 that I could perhaps auction off. I told him I’m really thrilled about that. And I was. He really wanted to help and bothered to think how he could.

Typically, how do you begin your pitch? I am very honest when I make a call. I don’t beat around the bush for 10 minutes, asking “How’s your dancing lesson?’’ or “How’s your son in London?’’ I get straight to the point and say: “Can I have five minutes of your time?’’ If the chap is in the middle of a meeting, I say “I’m so sorry’’, revert to the secretary and ask for a good time to call again. If the person says sure, then I make a presentation on why I need his help, what it is for, how he can contribute, what is in it for him, and so on. As you talk on, you should be able to sense whether he’s interested and if he’s going to say yes or no, and move accordingly. It requires a little bit of finesse. I don’t think you should badger anybody. You need to explain to people about a need out there that they may not be aware of. Once you have explained and they don’t feel that they want to give, stop. Say good-bye, talk about the weather or something, and come back another time. Sometimes, it’s because the company’s budget does not allow for it or the guy is not in a good mood that day. But I’ve never encountered a fundamental, definitive “No” forever.

Is everyone fair game or do you just gun for the high rollers? The truth is the bulk of support comes from large multinationals, foundations and rich people. But for fundraising to be truly meaningful, you need to go broader, rather

22

• S A LT Jan-Feb 2004

than deeper. You need to reach out to the heartlander, get him to open his heart and wallet, give you $10 this year and pledge to give $100 next year, help you organise events, and spread the word. Every dollar is precious, important and appreciated.

Have you ever felt like a pan-handler and experienced people crossing the road to avoid you? They cross the road to avoid me but they will probably still wave at me. I just have to chase after them. No, it’s not that bad. Frankly, I’ve made more friends than lost friends because of ComChest. They tell me to my face “Next time don’t call me’’ all the time but for some reason – maybe its yuan – they still take my calls. The awkwardness is eased because I do it over the phone most of the time, so they can’t see that I’m blushing.

Having made so many appeals, who are your best and worst customers? Without naming names, the best ever was a corporate honcho who, after a 10-minute presentation over a chai tow kway breakfast, agreed to donate over $1 million. My jaw dropped. I like it when people make you go through a detailed explanation because it gives you a sense of pride and does not make you feel at the receipt of charity. The worst are those who say “Please don’t bother me, I’ve got five minutes, how much you want?’’

Have you ever been tempted to reach into your own pocket to plumb a shortfall? Not really. I’ve bought left-over donation draw tickets that cost a few hundred dollars and donated my director’s fees of a few thousand dollars. But that is just small beer. I’ve never had to put in $10,000 or $15,000 – for the simple reason that I don’t have that kind of money. In fact, I’m a rather unrich person. I won’t say I’m poor but I certainly am not wealthy. I’m a typical middle-class Singaporean who’s living a very comfortable

“The best (donor) ever was a corporate honcho who, after a 10-minute presentation over a chai tow kway breakfast, agreed to donate over $1 million. My jaw dropped.” life as long as I’m working. But once I retire, I will have to make great adjustments – of at least 40 per cent – to my present lifestyle, which means I can in no way be described as rich.

Speaking of the rich, what do you think of tai tais and charity balls? There are many methods of raising funds out there, it’s just that tai tai balls tend to enjoy the highest profile. But don’t tut-tut them and don’t pooh-pooh any fundraising effort. To each her own circle of friends, her own way of raising funds and her own contributions to the community. If it happens to be getting a bunch of friends together and throwing a gala dinner to raise money, why not? That is no different from other women who sew embroidery, housewives who make cookies, boy scouts who do chores and office workers who sell donation draw tickets. All these people should not be tut-tutted either but appreciated. To each his own comfort zone. I pay for all my dinners at galas. So do a lot of tai tais.

Lastly, how would you sum up your philosophies on giving? I’m a Buddhist and I believe that you reap what you sow and what goes around comes around. Not so much in terms of riches or money, but a sense of well-being and calm. That is good for your health, as well as for your interactions with your family and others. So doing good is rewarding yourself in the final analysis. It also makes your face smoother and all that. ✩


AD 7

Jan-Feb 2004 S A LT •

23


AD 8

24

• S A LT Jan-Feb 2004


S

A

L

T

A

N

D

P

E

P

P

E

R

I Came, I Listened, I Received Benjamin Yu

The “Chief Committed Listener” at PhilanthropyNow, plugged into Singapore’s philanthropy and volunteer scene. BY

CHARLES MACLEAN DIRECTOR P HILANTHROPY N OW

n expert has been defined as someone who has been in a country less than two weeks or more than 20 years. As a visitor to the Singapore philanthropy and volunteer scene for 10 days, I am among those dangerous experts! In that short time, I have observed and made comparisons with my own country, America and come to certain conclusions that I would like to share. I ask you to be rigorous in reading them and take them with many grains of salt, extracting what may be of value to you. An American philanthropist once described philanthropy as “the day-to-day conscious giving of time, talent, encouragement, and dollars, the mix of which changes as the giver’s life situation changes. Giving is done in a way that enlivens both the giver and the receiver and has lasting positive impact on both.” With that definition, we can all be philanthropists every day regardless of our economic status. Spreading that message throughout Singapore and making it part of the culture is a worthy goal. Recently, the elderly mother of one of my Singapore colleagues told me, “The family must first be unified, only then can the country be unified.” I build on that Confucian-based wisdom by encouraging families in Singapore to become more unified by volunteering together and giving their dollars together to build unified neighbourhoods and a more unified Singapore. The family that gives together, I believe, benefits twice. Once, for the good it does their community and again for the

A

good that comes from unifying the family in the act of giving. Singapore’s economic future largely depends on its creative citizens and recognised finesse in managing information, managing imported materials and managing wealth. If volunteerism is indeed the true wealth of a nation, then managing volunteerism as a priceless asset is worth considering. Most giving in Singapore appears to be “paycheck giving” – giving from one’s current disposable income. The next step is to create more incentives for giving from one’s “asset base”. That means including in individual wills, instructions that nonprofits will receive dollars, real estate, stock, boats, art and so on. Our children should also be consulted and involved in this process. Financial planners, accountants, bankers, stockbrokers and insurance agents must be educated in the financial instruments for giving. In addition, they must become comfortable in discussing client passions, values and criteria of the could-be-donor without steering them to any particular nonprofit. I’ve also noticed that some student involvements in giving

“The family that gives together, benefits twice.” I have learnt much during my short stay in Singapore. I bring back with me to the United States these lessons: ★ Your charity scheme of $2 tax write-off for every $1 of donations. ★ Your establishment of a National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre with a clear

and volunteering like Flag Day sales and walking for donated dollars may be backfiring. If kids only volunteer or give to get achievement points and, in some cases, don’t show up or get others to do it for them, there may be an undermining of the giving spirit. At some level, kids know that if you have to bribe them to do a good deed, there must be something “off” about it. When children are given opportunities to be selfmotivated, the giving of their time and dollars becomes habitual, joyful and self-sustaining. To encourage innovation in volunteerism and philanthropy, encourage risk-taking; reward failure (or, not-yetsuccess!) as long it is ethical, legal, produced by a team and not just a super star, and is consistent with the mission; debrief participants immediately afterwards to understand the mistake(s) and put to work the lessons learnt. To innovate means not always succeeding but being able to fail faster and put new learning to work faster; making quicker mid-course corrections demands grace and forgiveness without shame. Finally, nonprofits like families, small businesses, government and corporations have overheads that must be funded for them to do their jobs in an accountable way. Donors, as they mature, will recognise the need to fund nonprofit overhead and not just direct services. ✩

mission, credibility, innovative spirit and committed staff. ★ Your commitment to expand the culture of giving across ethnic groups, respecting the giving traditions and values of each. ★ Your innovative national agenda to more deeply instill the values of self-sufficiency

and resiliency to engage both government and citizens in creating a culture of giving back to community. ★ Your start-up of the Singapore Wealth Management Institute with the intention of including philanthropy advising and socially responsible investing in its offerings.

Charles Bernard Maclean, PhD is with PhilanthropyNow based in Portland, Oregon. www.philanthropynow.com Jan-Feb 2004 S A LT •

25


S

A

L

T

T AA

LL

KK SS

A NewWayof CorporateGiving The same amount of money a company sets aside annually from its community giving or sponsorship budget, can reap manifold dividends for the company. How? Focus the giving on an identified agency, and help it grow and sustain its operations early on. BY

TAN CHEE KOON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NVPC

he use of paid canvassers to fundraise for charities chronically strikes a public nerve when it rears its head. The brouhaha usually centres around whether nonprofits should use external parties for this purpose. Currently, up to 30% of the funds raised may go towards firms commissioned to raise funds. Besides those who feel that all the funds raised should go towards the beneficiary cause, there are others who feel that the spirit of volunteerism, now undergoing a revival, would be stopped in its tracks if paid bodies rather than volunteers are used to help nonprofits raise funds. Whether nonprofits and charities engage “professional” fundraisers or raise funds on their own, there are still costs attached to fundraising. Who absorbs the cost? If donors expect that 100% of the funds raised go towards the beneficiary cause or programme, someone has to underwrite it, whether it is the nonprofit engaged in the fundraising itself, or some “angel” sponsor prepared to cover the fundraising cost. A good “angel” example is Singapore Pools, sponsor for the President’s Challenge. All this begs a larger question: Why do nonprofits need to fundraise, and for what purpose? In Singapore, the bulk of funds from grant-makers, corporate donors and sponsors, goes towards programme funding.

T

26

• S A LT Jan-Feb 2004

“The nonprofit sector is full of voluntary agencies whose staff have contributed their services, not knowing whether they would get their salaries the next month. And their founders themselves go without salaries so that their vision for the need at hand materialises.” So if the Centre for Fathering (CFF) organises a father and son bonding camp, it may find a sponsor for that, but if CFF approaches grant-makers and prospective donors with a request for help in sustaining overheads (primarily rental and staff costs), it is likely to be shown the door. At some point, if voluntary agencies are to sustain their operations, they need staffers even if the bulk of the work might still be done by volunteers. Sustaining operations is the bane of many nonprofits. They need to devote attention not only to their reason for existence – the provision of services to a chosen beneficiary cause – but also to look for money to cover overheads. The nonprofit sector is full of voluntary agencies whose staff have contributed their services not knowing whether they would get their salaries

the next month. And their founders themselves go without salaries so that their vision for the need at hand materialises. Consider The Promised Land, a nonprofit which depends on staff who do not know when their next pay packet is coming. These workers provide services for drug-dependant people they pick up off the streets. If ever there was sacrificial giving, this is it. This is not just about giving from the little cash that you have, or of selling assets to help towards a building cause, it is also about taking a belowmarket salary, or of foregoing even that small pay packet indefinitely, so that beneficiary needs are met first. In other words, it is about working for free in a full or near full time capacity. It goes beyond volunteering – a volunteer will find it easier to walk off a job than a staff worker with contractual obligations. It takes a hardened heart to say that because these people derive their satisfaction and fulfillment spiritually in tending to these wards, they can, and should, live with an uncertain salary situation. How is a nonprofit to pay for its overhead costs? Companies have their revenues and public bodies are funded with taxpayers’ money. Nonprofits cannot go to the equities market to raise money for programme expansion; nor is it advisable for them to borrow. And they are not commercially minded enough to generate enough revenues to supplement their income – this is the topic for another discussion. So you have a plethora of fundraising events throughout the year. How can


companies and foundations consider giving more strategically to voluntary agencies to reduce the nonprofit’s burden to raise funds? In America where there is a significantly developed philanthropy sector, many grant-makers and companies have embarked on capacity building funding, that is, providing funds to meet the operating needs especially of new nonprofit startups. This is where corporate giving can make a significant difference. The same amount a company is prepared to set aside annually from its community giving or sponsorship budget, spread over diverse needs, could reap manifold dividends for the company – provided the giving was more focused towards an identified agency to help it grow and sustain its operations early on. There are many examples of relatively new volunteer initiatives in Singapore that could do with this kind of upstream funding support. Many of them do not attract mainstream funding because they are new and untested, but ironically, it is these very initiatives that could do with some startup capital and professional expertise along the way. A $100,000 commitment would help CFF kick-start its programmes, pay salaries of The Promised Land, meet the annual cost of the Student Advisory Centre (which looks after runaway youths), or cover the running costs of two shelters for abused elderly and women. A corporate adopter which “invests” in a needy but deserving voluntary agency, can be satisfied knowing its money has gone far to help a voluntary agency sustain itself especially in its founding years. As with the private sector, when a

“This is not just about giving from the little cash that you have, or of selling assets to help towards a building cause, it’s also about taking a below-market salary, or of foregoing even that small pay packet indefinitely… it is about working for free in a full or near full time capacity. ”

nonprofit organisation establishes itself and becomes successful, more people want to come aboard to help. When that time comes, a sponsoring company can move on to fund other new enterprising voluntary startups. It makes a lot of sense for companies already in, or intending to get into, community giveback, to apply their business sense in how they donate to charities and other nonprofits. They may, for example, ask for a seat on the nonprofit board, depending on the size of their contribution. Certainly, they can require that the agency is accountable to them for the way the money is used, and definitely it would be desirable that the

“A volunteer will find it easier to walk off a job than a staff worker with contractual obligations. It takes a hardened heart to say that because these people derive their satisfaction and fulfillment spiritually in tending to these wards, they can live with an uncertain salary situation.”

Lending a corporate hand: Keppel Group volunteers raised $88,000 over a year and worked to refurbish the premises for the Association for Persons with Special Needs Centre for Adults at Jalan Tembusu.

company not only gives money, but also volunteers its staff time in areas of expertise needed by the agency, where these coincide. Entrepreneurial companies, especially, can pave the way through such strategic corporate giving. They will be giving new and true meaning to the term “adopt an agency”, which many companies loosely bandy around when they look for something to do to demonstrate their interest in giving to the community. It is certainly not just about organising an annual Christmas party or outing for the so-called adopted charity. It is about saying to an agency, “I believe in your cause, I see your need. I will come alongside you with my corporate expertise and resources to help you establish your operations, so you can focus on doing what you do best in rendering services to your chosen cause”. ✩ Jan-Feb 2004 S A LT •

27


SCENE&SEEN Bowled Dover:

V-Month and Book Launch ➸ A surprise gift box at the

launch of “I’m a Volunteer too” during Volunteer Month in Dec 2003. Fun in the retro realm of Mox Bar & Cafe in Tanjong Pagar.

Bibiks Go Broadway

➷ Out of the box volun-

teerism! Chairman of NVPC Willie Cheng, pops out to launch the 40 Singapore volunteer stories in “I’m a Volunteer Too”.

The Dover Park Hospice (DPH), a voluntary welfare organisation, is raising funds to build Singapore’s first purpose-built facility for patients with terminal illnesses.The hospice commissioned an original Peranakan musical comedy, Bibiks Go Broadway. Written, directed and choreographed by Richard Tan, the show aimed for $250,000, and upped the profile for the hospice. In a case of art imitating life, the performances revolved around a group of squabbling Peranakans auditioning for a fund raising musical! The audience responded like, well, Bibiks having a raucous time. The fund raising efforts are ongoing. For more information, contact Ms Pene Ng at 6355 8200.

Above: Cast and guests. (L-R) Chee Hood Siong, Kenny Chan, Richard Tan, Alicia Ang, Jessie Cheang, Irene Ooi, Mrs Teo Chee Hean, Defence Minister RAdm (NS) Teo Chee Hean, guest of Mr & Mrs Abdullah Tarmugi, Mrs Tarmugi, Mr Tarmugi, Mr Lee Kip Lee, DPH Fundraising Chairman Tan Tee Jim, DPH Chairman Dr Jerry Lim, Dr Seet Ai Mee, Dr Koo Wen Hsin. Photographs by Photo Impressions Pte Ltd and Studio One Photography

Tsao Foundation’s 10th Anniversary Suntec City Convention Centre Ballroom, 7 November 2003

(L-R) Mr Franklin Tsao, Mr Frederick Tsao, Minister Mah Bow Tan, Mr Tan Sri Frank Tsao, Mr Phillip Tan, MP Tan Cheng Bock (partially hidden), Dr Mary Ann Tsao. Photograph by Richard Kang, Tinseltown Production.

28

• S A LT Jan-Feb 2004

A giant cake with 10 tall candles wheeled out centre stage, capped the lively celebrations for the Tsao Foundation’s 10th anniversary dinner. The sparkling black tie event was graced by VIPs including Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan, and MP Tan Cheng Bock. Mrs Tsao Ng Yu Shun established the Foundation in 1993. The dinner highlighted the foundation’s mission: to promote meaningful ageing, strengthen solidarity between generations, and to support and develop age-related services.

➹ Eunice Olsen, celebrity volunteer (Toa Payoh Girls’ Home). ➸

The ties that bind – family volunteers Mohammad Agus Othman and family.

➷ Every volunteer’s

story is a personal adventure… volunteers Govindasamy Shanmugam (Buona Vista Resident’s Committee Zone E); 15-year old Mumtazah Mustaffa (SINDA); Knik Pang (Caring Clown Unit).


Green Fingers The Istana Lawn, 2 December 2003

Above: Ballet line-up. (L-R) Ms Goh Soo Khim, Mr Daniel Teo, DPM Dr Tony Tan, Ms Goh Chan Hon, Mr Geon Van der Wyst, Mrs Tony Tan, Mrs Laura Hwang and Ms Ng Siew Eng. Photographs courtesy of Prestige Magazine

Butterfly Net It was a night of glamour and high leaps as Singapore’s beautiful people stepped out to support the Singapore Dance Theatre’s (SDT) production of Puccini’s classic, Madame Butterfly. Backed by The Business Times and Prestige magazine, the ballet gala, on 15 October, 2003 at the Esplanade Theatre, raised over $300,000 for the SDT. Far left: Preparing for their pas des deux were (L-R) Mrs Lola Wong and Ms Amy Tan.

(L-R) French Ambassador HE Jean Paul Reau, Mrs Hsui Huei Reau, US Ambassador HE Franklin Lanvin, and DPM Lee Hsien Loong.

It was an evening of all things green and beautiful at the official launch of the Garden City Fund. Spearheaded by the National Parks Board, the Fund aims to transform Singapore’s parks into lively venues. Programmes, include a 2 ha $7.3 million children’s park at the Botanic Gardens. At the launch, DPM Lee Hsien Loong said the Fund will give Singaporeans a stronger sense of ownership as parks become widely available oases in our garden city.

The People Sector Conference Raffles City Convention Centre, 28-29 October 2003 (See page 6) Network haven. Right: Mr Phua Kok Tee, SAGE and Mr Tan Kin Lian, NTUC Income with a guest. Below: Participants (L-R) Rosemary Chng, Mumtaj Ibrahim, Joey Lim. Below right: (L-R) Mark Liu, Dr Mary Ann Tsao, June Lee.

Left: The power of black… night at the ballet for (L-R) Ms Sonia Foo and Ms Amanda Budiman Tripp.

NKF 10th Anniversary Charity Show Part 2 MediaCorp Auditorium, 20 April 2003

Above right: Jack Neo does a balancing act. Right: Sharon Au squeezes herself into a tight spot. Far right: Carole Lin concentrates on lighting the way. Photographs courtesy of MediaCorp Publishing

It was a night to remember as MediaCorp artistes swapped glamour for heart as they came together to raise funds for NKF’s annual charity show. The troupe of over 40 artistes including Zoe Tay, Fann Wong, Christopher Lee, Chen Hanwei and Chew Chor Meng, kept the live and TV audiences riveted with daredevil stunts. Some tread delicately on light bulbs while balancing; others “flew” in gravity defying stunts. Still others contorted themselves into tiny boxes. In all, NKF raised a record sum of $13.4 million. Jan-Feb 2004 S A LT •

29


AD 9

30

• S A LT Jan-Feb 2004


CALENDAR J A N U A R Y

F E B R U A R Y

1 January – April 2004 Retired & Senior Volunteer Programme (RSVP) Charity Drive Contact 63360640. www.rsvp.org.sg January 2004 Chinese New Year festive celebrations at IDEA-EDC MINDS (Movement for the Intellectually Disabled Singapore) Contact Philip Andrew Peter at 62824852 or email iedc@minds.org.sg 10-11 January 2004 Library Book Sale 10am – 8pm at Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Halls 402 & 403. www.nlb.gov.sg 11 January 2004 Ren Ci Charity Show 7.30 pm – 10 pm. University Cultural Centre, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent. (Entry passes for minimum pledge of $80). Contact Ren Ci on 63850288. www.renci.org.sg

14 January 2004 Developing Volunteer Management System (VMS) Work Tools Workshop by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre: Designing a Volunteer Handbook 9 am – 12.30 pm at National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, 7 Maxwell Road, #05-01 Annex B, MND Complex. Contact Moy Yin at 64227131 or email moyyin@nvpc.org.sg 31 January 2004 Red Cross Flag Day 2004: Helping Hands Across Singapore 7 am – 9 pm. Islandwide, Singapore. If you would like to volunteer, contact Ms Poh Yee Ling on 63360269 x213 or email avdsrcs@singnet.com.sg

11 February 2004 Developing Volunteer Management System (VMS) Work Tools Workshop by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre: Writing Job Descriptions for Volunteer Coordinators and Volunteers 9 am – 12.30 pm at National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, 7 Maxwell Road, #05-01 Annex B, MND Complex. Contact Moy Yin at 64227131 or email moyyin@nvpc.org.sg 13-15 February 2004 Red Cross Bowl for Humanity 2004 First charity bowl organised by the Singapore Red Cross in aid of local humanitarian services. Cathay Bowl. Contact Ms Christine Tan at 63360269 x240 or email frsrcs@singnet.com.sg 14 February 2004 Tropical Beach Party by Riding for the Disabled Association 7.30 pm till late. Arena at RDA Centre, 5 Jalan Mashhor. Contact Judy on 62500176 or email rda@pacific.net.sg 14 February 2004 Jubilee 2004 by Singapore Heart Foundation 8 pm. Suntec City Convention Hall. Contact Alex Seah on 62360632 or email alex@heart.org.sg

VOLUNTEERISM: IT’S WORTH IT About half of the

40,000 volunteers in Singapore are below

40 years old.

Men

are marginally more inclined to volunteer than

women. Of the volunteers,

52% are men while 48% are women. Singaporeans put in about

74hours million a year as volunteers. This time is equivalent to

35,000 full time employees, representing

3% of the

28 February 2004 Cancer Wise Women’s Workshop 1.00 pm – 5.00pm (Registration: 12.30pm – 1.00pm). Level 4, Function Room, National Cancer Centre, 11 Hospital Drive. Contact Audrey Low at 62369434 or email ceslsh@nccs.com.sg 29 February 2004 “Open Hearts, Open Minds” Adopthaton by Cat Welfare Society 10 am – 5 pm. National Youth Park (opposite Orchard Cineleisure). Contact Dawn Kua at info@catwelfare.org

labour force in Singapore. Based on the

“market value” of their time spent volunteering, volunteers generate about

$1.5 billion per annum in

“unpaid labour”. This equals

1% of the GDP. Jan-Feb 2004 S A LT •

31


A

D D A

S

H

O

F

S

A

L

T

“I want to be the salt in the stew, the ingredient that gives flavour but goes unnoticed.” Mrs Maria van der Straaten Volunteer, Asian Women’s Welfare Association, Family Service Centre

“There’s no such thing as an unhappy volunteer, they just walk away.” The British Association of Museum Volunteers

“Why can’t you fire a high-maintenance volunteer?” Robert Chew Partner, Accenture Panellist at the NVPC Annual Conference

“The real incentive is what the volunteer receives from the beneficiary.” Goh Kong Aik Vice-President, Group Public Affairs, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation at the Press Conference for The National Volunteerism Awards 2003

“I’ll wager you that after your first volunteering experience, you’ll come back and ask for more!” Goh Kong Aik at the same occasion

“It’s everybody’s business.” Tagline for the cause of clean toilets, World Toilet Organisation

“We were able to make condoms sort of a girl’s best friend. Why should you be embarrassed to buy a condom when you’re not embarrassed to buy Nike shoes, which have more rubber in them?” Dr Mechai Viravaidya Founder, Population and Community Development Association (PDA), Thailand at the NVPC Annual Conference

“We do not need to pay for pyrotechnics at people sector events. We create our own pyrotechnics!” Tan Chee Koon Executive Director, NVPC in her closing comments at the NVPC Annual Conference Sponsor to teenage volunteer wrapping pots of money plants:

“Are you a volunteer? How nice. How did you come to volunteer this afternoon?” Teenage volunteer (grinning):

“My mother called me. She made me come.” Overheard at preparations for National Volunteerism Awards 2003 Dinner

32

• S A LT Jan-Feb 2004


AD 10


AD 11

34

• S A LT Jan-Feb 2004

salt_2004_01_02  

[NOTE:] Unfortunately, we had stopped our print issues since end-2009. SALT magazine now exists entirely online at <www.salt.org.sg>, and co...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you