Questions about donations in Singapore

Donating comes in many forms, be it volunteering at soup kitchens, recycling pre-loved clothes, or giving money. In your lifetime, you’ve probably done a good deed or two. However, if you’ve never made a donation or aren’t familiar with charities, there’s a good chance you’ll have a few questions brewing about the process. 

So, to answer your burning queries, we asked the folks at Community Chestthe philanthropy and engagement arm of the National Council of Social Service – some frequently asked questions about donations in Singapore. From how much you should donate to whether you can get a tax deduction in Singapore, here’s what you’d want to know before making a donation.

1. What percentage of my donations actually go to the causes?


100% of your donations in Singapore go towards helping the service users, supporting over 200 critical social service programmes empowering the lives of those in need. This includes children with special needs and youth-at-risk, adults with disabilities, persons with mental health conditions, and families as well as seniors in need of assistance.

2. How do I know if my donations are being used responsibly?

Community Chest is the philanthropy and engagement arm of the National Council of Social Service, the sector developer, and the national coordinating body for social service agencies, so you know it’s legit.

There’s no need to worry about how transparent the handling of funds is, or whether or not your donations are being allocated in the most efficient manner possible. Community Chest has access to information regarding the different needs of each charity. Therefore, it’s able to steer resources to the areas that require them the most.

heartstring walkHeartstring Walk – an annual initiative by Community Chest.
Image credit: Community Chest

For instance, amid greater awareness of mental health issues and demand for help in this area, Community Chest has increased funding for critical programmes to support people with mental health conditions, including counselling and suicide intervention services.

3. How do I get a tax deduction for my donation?

Generally speaking, all cash donations to charities and social services agencies are tax deductible – so long as you provide your name and NRIC. When you make a monetary donation, Community Chest will submit your identification number to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).

donations in singapore

Individual donors will be glad to know that IRAS now automatically acknowledges the tax deductible status of your donations, upon the social service agency’s submission of your identification number to IRAS on your behalf. Cheers to not having to deal with extra admin work on the IRAS website or through Singpass!

That way, you’ll automatically get 250% tax deductions for qualifying deductions without having to submit your receipts when filling up your tax assessment forms. If you’re donating $100 to a social service agency, you can trim $250 off your tax bill.

4. How much should I donate & is there a minimum amount?

donations in singapore

The reality is there’s no minimum amount one should be donating. Whether it’s $1 or $100, your contribution to Community Chest will still make a positive impact on the lives of those in need.

Every act of giving, no matter big or small, helps to boost support for everyday giving in Singapore. This ensures a steady and sustainable flow of resources for social services, addressing both current and future challenges.

It can be as simple as forgoing 2 cups of BBT, or cooking at home instead of dining out for 1 meal. Here’s a breakdown of what kind of impact your dollar could be going towards:

  • $10 provides a day of case management and/or counselling services to help a person with disability build confidence and gain independence.
  • $20 enables a person with mental health conditions to receive half a day of rehabilitation services at a mental health day activity centre to help manage their conditions and realise their potential.
  • $50 supports lower income families with a day of social work intervention to help them overcome challenges and be self-reliant.
  • $80 provides a week of befriending and mentoring support for children and youths at risk to help them improve their social interactions and support their academic progress.

That said, most charities in Singapore are also in the market for more than just monetary donations. If you’re on a tight budget but still want to do good, you can give your clothes, books, furniture, and even your time through volunteering.

5. What’s the difference between donating a lump sum vs monthly?

There’s no limit to the number of times you can donate. You can choose to either give a lump sum to a charity either once or a few times a year. Or, you can set up a recurring monthly donation to a cause that’s close to your heart. The latter, however, might give the organisation you’re supporting a better idea of their expected resources.

donations in singapore

Making a habit of giving not only feels good but also makes a lasting impact on vital programs, especially when tackling tough social issues. Consider Community Chest and their SHARE initiative, which is almost like a monthly subscription for doing good.

With programmes like SHARE, you can easily set up a regular money donation. In a nutshell, it’s a monthly subscription that allows you to contribute any amount of your choice to Community Chest each month. To date, the SHARE programme has around 250,000 individuals and 2,000 companies onboard, contributing about 25% of the annual funds raised by Community Chest. 

Meanwhile, businesses can also tap on their resources to weave in giving mechanisms into their business models. This can be in the form of employee volunteering, donations, and other resources to help support social service agencies and inclusive employment. For more information, check out Community Chest’s Change For Charity initiative, which provides opportunities for individuals to give through partners’ payment platforms

Common questions about charities & donations in Singapore

These days, there are plenty of ways to give back to the community and make a positive impact on the lives of those in need. One of which is through making regular donations to charities through Community Chest.

Give hope today with Community Chest’s hassle-free regular giving programme, SHARE. Simply by forgoing small luxuries like a cup of cafe coffee, your monthly media subscription on an app you hardly use, or getting a new phone when you’re not yet due for an upgrade, your contribution will make a marked difference.

So, go on and give those in need your time and money. Just make sure you do your research about the organisation. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Donate to good causes through Community Chest

This post was brought to you by Community Chest.


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