Hope Initiative Alliance (HIA) Board, Management, Partners, and Beneficiaries appreciate the measures in Budget 2023 that aim to strengthen charity, volunteerism and philanthropy in Singapore and thank the Government of Singapore for emphasising these values in our public policies, which develop a more caring and compassionate society.
The extension of the 250% tax deduction for qualifying donations to IPCs and eligible institutions till 2026 will continue to encourage the spirit of giving over the next few years. This scheme will continue to benefit donors, charities and beneficiaries.
Reviewing these measures, Rev. Ezekiel Tan, President of HIA, highlights that charities are working very hard towards the better living of beneficiaries with varying needs as we face inflation and other post-pandemic situations. Donations facilitate serving this mission and contribute towards charities' manpower and operational requirements. In this regard, HIA welcomes the plan to raise salary guidelines for talent in the social service sector announced yesterday.
"We recognise the demands of the work within the social service sector, which involves engaging with our people who need welfare. It entails long hours and weekends on activities such as befriending, understanding the needs of marginalised communities, organising charitable activities and providing care. Many social workers and professionals diligently perform these tasks, compromising time with family and friends. Charities are responsible for such employees' social, psychological and economic well-being. We need the continued support of donors and volunteers for this", says Rev. Tan.
The new Corporate Volunteer Scheme, which will come into effect on 1 January 2024, enhancing the existing Business and IPC Partnership Scheme (BIPS), is promising. We hope this will increase the number of businesses that integrate the spirit of volunteerism into their human resources and corporate social responsibility programmes.
Beyond ad-hoc and regular volunteers, charities like HIA need skills-based volunteering who can contribute their expertise. For example, the training of our migrant workers in computer skills and financial literacy. We also seek help from professionals who can help us plan and coordinate educational activities for children from low-income families. Corporate volunteering for these community works also continues to deepen the people-private partnership towards improving the lives of people who need more attention.
"At HIA, we believe that acts of charity and volunteerism provide holistic care for the lesser privileged and marginalised communities in Singapore. At the same time, these also make our social cohesion strong. When people of different races, religions and identities collectively work for the betterment of those around us, they nurture trust and positive
bonds. As a result, we become a resilient and united society", shares Rev. Tan.
HIA takes this opportunity to thank the Government agencies, corporates, charities, religious and community leaders, organisations and volunteers who continue to support us.