SINGAPORE - Two old hands in Singapore's charity scene received top marks in transparency and accountability to clinch this year's Charity Governance Awards.
The 64-year-old Singapore Red Cross (SRC) and the Young Men's Christian Association of Singapore (YMCA), established in 1902, beat 33 other nominated charities to receive a plaque and $10,000 each from Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong on Friday.
The two best-governed charities were picked because of their sound practices, including stringent audit checks and evaluation frameworks to determine which programmes to support.
"Good governance is the hallmark of all successful charities," said SRC secretary general Benjamin William. "The Charity Governance Awards is a powerful recognition of our commitment to upholding public trust through sound governance practices."
At the awards ceremony last night, Mr Wong said that charities encouraged the sharing of wealth, and could reduce income inequality. Singapore, he said, was "becoming a giving nation".
Last year, tax-deductible donations to charities increased 12 per cent from the previous year, hitting a record high of $1 billion.
And while corporate giving has increased, said Mr Wong, a National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre survey last year found some companies abstained from donating because they had "little confidence that fund-raising proceeds will be put to good use".
That is why charities "must show potential donors that they are transparent, accountable and effective - deserving of the time and resources given to them".