When the coronavirus outbreak hit the shores of almost every part of the world, donors and doers alike feared how the pandemic would have an adverse effect on their fund-raising efforts and revenues. In fact, with a global economic downturn and the effects of the outbreak not dissipating anytime soon, there are strong concerns of fast-drying revenue streams.

Confronted with the pandemic ordeal, philanthropic donors have shown us their transformative power. While most governments in Asia have moved fast to combat the virus, there were still large scale inequities, and various philanthropists and philanthropic organisations have stepped up to fill the gaps.

The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) has been one of the leading role models in this regard. It set up the Sayang Sayang Fund (SSF), which was initially intended to provide support to frontline healthcare workers who have worked tirelessly during this period. As the pandemic worsened in Singapore, CSF turned the SSF into an emergency response fund to meet other emerging and urgent needs amongst marginalised communities. The SSF took a community-based approach, leveraging its network to convene donors and partners from all levels of society to ensure that essential services are still being delivered to those in need.

The economic impact from the pandemic has also led to a dearth of unrestricted funding to charities and NGOs that usually goes towards maintaining their operational costs, such as paying employees’ salaries. Hence, it has forced donors and philanthropic organisations to look outside of traditional methods to provide funding aid.

Philanthropy has shown the world that the sector is capable of reimagining its funding processes, catalysing monetary and non-monetary capital from various sources, as well as strengthening the ecosystem of governments, donors, NGOs and beneficiaries.

Read the full article about making a transformative impact during COVID-19 by Kelly Ong at AVPN.