Singapore — The National University of Singapore (NUS) and the New Creation Church ranked number 1 and number 2, respectively, for having received the most donations through fundraising for 2018. While NUS received $227 million in donations last year, New Creation Church, which is headed by evangelist and senior pastor Joseph Prince, brought in $122 in the same time period.
An article from The Straits Times (ST) compiled the list of top ten organizations that received the most funds via donations and fundraising, with other educational and religious institutions, as well as charities, appearing on the list.
Number three on the list is the charitable fund of the National Council of Social Service (NCSS). All of the organization’s charitable initiatives, as well as the Community Chest, NCSS’ fund-raising arm, make up the fund, which received $69 million for the financial year ending in March 2018. The NCSS raises funds for the social service sector, according to the ST.
The ST’s top ten list of charities that received the highest donation for 2018 is based on financial data from 193 charities having a yearly income of over $10 million, as posted on the website of the Commissioner of Charities.
According to the head of the commission’s annual report, which was released last month, as of the end of 2018, there are 2, 277 registered charities.
Two years ago, the total amount that charities raised in donations was $2.65 billion, an amount lower than in 2016, when $2.86 had been collected. Religious organizations collected a total of $1 billion in 2017, and educational groups were able to collect $334 million.
Here is the top ten list of charities, according to donations collected, according to ST:
- National University of Singapore—$ 227 million for April 2017-March 2018
- New Creation Church—$122 million for January 2018-December 2018
- NCCS Charitable Fund—$ 69 million for April 2017-March 2018
- Nanyang Technological University—$ 50 million for April 2017-March 2018
- SingHealth Fund—$ 40 million for April 2017-March 2018
- Crocodile Foundation Limited—$ 38 million for July 2017-June 2018
- City Harvest Church—$29 million for January 2018-December 2018
- Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple—$28 million for January 2018-December 2018
- Singapore University of Technology and Design—$ 27 million for April 2017-March 2018
- Faith Community Baptist Church—$26 million for January 2018-December 2018
Giving to one’s faith institution is common to Singaporeans, according to Mathew Mathews, Institute of Policy Studies’ (ISP) senior research fellow. “Many Christians in Singapore give a tithe of their income. Some view such giving as obligatory, while others see it as a good religious discipline – regardless of the motivation this can constitute a considerable amount.”
The churches on the top ten list have thousands of members, which makes the sizable donations understandable. The money collected by churches go toward fulfilling the church’s missions and goals.
Many Singaporeans also give toward educational institutions. According to Willie Cheng, who is a board member of various charities, “The universities have honed fundraising to a fine art. And they have sizeable (fund-raising) staff, (at times) bigger than the entire staff in smaller charities.”
The ST article also quotes Mak Yuen Teen, a NUS Associate Professor who specialises in corporate governance as saying that these institutions have a “moral responsibility to only raise what they can reasonably expect to use in ways that are in line with their mission,” since many other charities are also in need of donations.
“Other charities with worthwhile causes may find it more difficult to raise funds as donation is a bit of a zero sum game – more for one means less for another,” Mr Mak added./ TISG
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