There could be changes to the way we look at charity.
The Office of the Commissioner of Charities (COC) has launched a public consultation to seek feedback on proposed changes to the regulations on fund-raising appeals by individuals.
The rules for fund-raising in Singapore now apply whether you are a large organisation or acting alone.
When it comes to a case like the Emmanuel sisters, a spokesman from COC says: "Anyone in Singapore conducting fund-raising appeals (including those conducted online or on an overseas website) for charitable purposes are regulated."
He said that fund-raisers are obligated to "keep accounting records of donations received and disbursed" as well as ensure "proper management and usage of donations".
COC also advised donors to practise caution and keep donations to causes and individuals or organisations that they know. Potential givers should be discerning and not feel pressurised to give, should they have any doubts.
The aim of these new proposals is to create "a more conducive environment where needy beneficiaries will not be saddled with an inappropriate regulatory burden, while... protecting the interest of the donating public".
Fund-raising appeals for individuals to be considered as personal gifting rather than charitable donations This would mean that fund-raisers and beneficiaries are relieved of the obligation to keep detailed records or to seek the COC's consent for alternative uses for donations should the original purpose no longer apply.
Increased public education
This will guide the public when it comes to gifting. This will include information on the rights of donors seeking clarification from fund-raisers. Tips will also be given on how to spot bogus fund-raising activities. The COC will also highlight responsible fund-raising activities.
The COC will continue to conduct investigations when complaints are received. Should inappropriate activities be discovered, the COC will prohibit and restrict fund-raising appeals for individual beneficiaries.
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