Your organisation should comply with the following requirements when conducting public fund-raising appeals :
All entities who wish to raise funds for a charity or IPC must have a written agreement with the charity before soliciting funds. The agreement with the charity must contain the following information:
Where commercial fund-raisers are engaged for any fund-raising appeals, all donations received must be made directly to the charities and IPCs. Any payment or reimbursement due to the commercial fund-raisers must be made by the charities and IPCs separately.
Any information provided to donors or to the general public is accurate and not misleading.
To disclose the name of your organisation, intended use of funds raised (includes the cause and/or beneficiaries) and whether any commercial fund-raiser has been engaged in soliciting the donation.
If the fund-raising is done by commercial fund-raisers or commercial participators, all solicitation and publicity material must be accompanied by a written statement with the additional information :
Proportion of total proceeds that will go to charitable causes;
Breakdown of proceeds to each charity (if funds are raised for more than one charity);
Name of the commercial fund-raiser or commercial participator, and its status as a commercial entity;
How the fund-raiser or participator’s remuneration is calculated.
Information relating to donors is kept confidential. No information relating to a donor should be given to any other person without the consent of the donor.
Arrangement to solicit donations must have adequate control measures and safeguards to ensure proper accountability and to prevent any loss or theft of donations.
The usage of donations should adhere strictly to the following requirements :
All donations have to be used according to donors' intentions.
If such intention is not specified, donation must be used according to the purpose communicated to the donor during solicitation.
If such intention is not specified and no purpose is communicated to the donor during solicitation, the donation should be used in the following manners :
Tax Deductible Donations: Donations may be used to fund any activity carried out by the IPC that is exclusively beneficial to the community in Singapore as a whole and is not confined to sectional interest; and that meets its objectives under its governing instruments and the objectives of the Sector Administrator.
All accounting records relating to the fund-raising activities must be maintained for a minimum period of 5 years from the end of the financial year.
Charities and IPCs must disclose in their financial statements the consolidated amount of donations received from the fund-raising appeals in the financial year.
For each public fund-raising exercise which raises $1 million or more, your organisation must disclose the following information online at the end of the financial year :
For financial year ending on or after 1st April 2008 and subsequent financial years, charities and IPCs have to disclose in their financial statements the total amount of sponsorships if, and only if, receipts or other documentary evidence are available.
All charities and IPCs are expected to keep their fund-raising efficiency ratio below 30%. This is commonly known as the 30/70 rule. The fund-raising efficiency ratio is the total fund-raising expenses to the total gross receipts from fund-raising and sponsorships of the charity or IPC for that financial year.
For the purpose of computing the 30/70 efficiency ratio, “fund-raising” refers to the receipt of money or other property from any member of the public, which is given in whole or in part for any charitable purposes, solicited or unsolicited. However, trading conducted by an IPC has been specifically excluded from the meaning of fund-raising for this purpose.
"Trading", for the purpose of computing the 30/70 efficiency ratio, refers to the provision of goods and services (donated or otherwise) in return for a payment, carried out on a regular basis with a view of making profits to fund the charitable causes.
“Sponsorship” in the 30/70 efficiency ratio will be re-defined to refer only to cash sponsorships that are conditioned upon the provision of direct or indirect commercial benefit to the sponsors and in-kind sponsorships where tax deduction receipts are issued .
For fund-raising done via sale of merchandise, only the net proceeds i.e. the gross amount received from sale of merchandise less cost of relevant goods, will be treated as receipts. The cost of merchandise need not be included as part of fund-raising expenses.
(E + S)
(R + S) x 100% < 30%
"E” refers to the total expenses relating to fund-raising for the financial year, including :
“R” refers to
the total receipts from such sale (after excluding only the cost of the goods sold), in the case of sale of goods by or on behalf of the charity or IPC for fund-raising (and not trading); and
“S” refers to
Total amount of sponsorships in cash received by the charity or IPC relating to fund-raising for that financial year, conditioned upon the provision of direct or indirect commercial benefit to the sponsors; and
Total cost or value of sponsored property, goods and services for which tax deduction receipts are issued relating to fund-raising for that financial year (this applies to IPC only).
Fund-Raising for Foreign Charitable Purposes
Any person who raises funds for foreign charitable purposes is required to apply for a permit from the Commissioner of Charities. Read here for more information.
Depending on the nature and types of fund-raising activities a charity or IPC chooses to undertake, other permits and licenses from relevant authorities may be required.
You may also wish to download a copy of the Charities (Fund-Raising Appeals for Local and Foreign Charitable Purposes) Regulations 2012.
Read next on :
Donations And Tax Deductions (Applicable To IPCs Only)