The Community Development Councils (CDCs) have raised an average of almost S$12 million each year between 2015 to 2019 with the help of corporates, individuals and partners, said Deputy Chairman of People’s Association (PA) Minister Chan Chun Sing.
In a written answer to a Parliamentary question raised by Progress Singapore Party (PSP) Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Leong Mun Wai on 5 Apr, Mr Chan stressed that the work of the CDC goes beyond the delivery of social services and raising of funds.
Mr Leong had asked about the number of corporate donations that were received by the CDC in the last five years, and how much of that donation was passed on to its partners that are social services agencies.
“The CDCs mobilise time, talent and treasures for many causes for the good of our community, including encouraging the more able in society to help the less able,” said Mr Chan, adding: “They champion the culture of contributing to our society by individuals, private and public organisations.”
The minister noted that all the donations received by the CDC go towards funding community programmes and local assistance initiatives that are developed with its network of partners which isn’t just limited to social services agencies.
He said, “It would be incorrect to reduce the role of CDCs to that of a fundraiser, transferring donations raised by CDCs to our partners or SSA.”
“Besides customising assistance schemes to support the less able, the CDCs co-create and co-develop with various partners on community programmes revolving around building social capital and social resilience,” Mr Chan added.
Such programmes include those related to providing employment and increasing jobseekers’ employability, making care available to the vulnerable and assisting their caregivers, promoting health and wellness, and protecting the environment.
Mr Chan went on to highlight that these programmes require more than just money.
“Each year, the CDCs mobilise about 11,000 active corporate and community volunteers who each serve no less than 16 hours.“
“Together, we have been able to help over 780,000 beneficiaries in response to COVID-19 last year.”
Mr Chan explained that the ecosystem of the social service and community causes “must remain nimble while achieving economies of scale”, which is where the CDC’s role comes in.
Where nationwide policies are broad-based by design, local efforts are much more targeted, he said.
“The CDCs play a unique role in Singapore’s ecosystem of building a cohesive society (by) mobilising volunteers and resources for diverse causes at the regional level.“
“It seeks to balance customisation for local needs in a targeted way while achieving economies of scale,” said Mr Chan.
He stressed that measuring the impact of the CDCs should go beyond the figures of resources it receives, compared to the number of people they benefit.