Donor recognition through annual awards to Lions, Clubs, Public and Corporations
Lions Clubs or other volunteers can raise funds for the Foundation in 2 ways:
This is the main purpose of setting up the Lions Foundation. The Endowment Fund will pool the financial resources of the Lions Clubs in Singapore to generate a higher level of income to fund Lions service activities and projects in Singapore such as Lions Home, Befrienders and other causes that individual clubs may support.
All funds raised by Clubs for the Foundation that is not designated to any specific charity would go towards the Endowment Fund. The Foundation would issue its own tax-exempt receipts to anyone who requires them. The initial target of the Endowment Fund is $30million.
(a) Should the Club or fundraiser requires tax-exempt receipts for their donors, when the cheque(s) for the total sum raised is received by the Foundation, the Foundation would issue its own cheque(s) for the amount designated to the specific charity. Those charities would issue their own tax-exempt receipts directly to the donors. In this case, the donor would be assured that though the fund was channelled through the Foundation, the donated amount did reach the designated charity. (This presumes the designated charity is an Institute of Public Character (IPC) in its own right. Home and Befrienders are but not all other charities).
Alternatively, the Foundation would issue its own tax-exempt receipts directly to the donors if their individual or corporate particulars are provided to the Foundation together with the statement of account for the fundraising project. This is to ensure that the fundraising project complied with the rules and guidelines of the Commissioner of Charities, Internal Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and other relevant bodies.
(b) Should the donors not require tax-exempt receipts for their designated donation, the Foundation would retain the sum donated in its accounts but would write to inform the designated charity including Home and Befrienders that there is such an amount standing to their credit in the Foundation accounts and they may draw it down when needed. A copy of this letter would be sent to the donor so that he is informed that the designation of his donation has been respected. Future financial statements of the Foundation would reflect the amounts designated to different charities by donors to the Foundation.
(c) Donors are not allowed to designate the fund to individuals or organisations that are not IPCs. The Foundation’s IPC is approved for various charitable undertakings as listed under “Our Program – LCSF” and fall within the Objectives of the Foundation as listed under “About Us – Historical”. Donations may be intended to any of these undertakings, the recipients of which may be individuals such as deserving and needy students (bursaries) and organisations that assist destitute families for example. Cheques should be made payable to the Lions Community Service Foundation Singapore and the Foundation would issue its own tax-exempt receipt to the donor. The amount donated would be channelled to the designated charity under the Foundation’s own name as part of its charity giving and subject to the usual rules of its IPC. This may affect the timing of the donation but when the cheque is sent, a copy of the letter would be sent to the donor so that he is informed that his intended beneficiary has been respected and that his donation would be eligible for a tax deduction.
The policy of the Foundation is not to engage in any fundraising activities on its own to compete against the Lions Clubs. It would instead encourage and offer its support in any way needed to the Clubs to raise funds for the Endowment Fund.
The Foundation would only approach other privately endowed Foundations to donate directly towards the Lions Foundation Endowment Fund. We would appreciate Lions who have contacts with such privately endowed Foundations to help us in approaching them.
Rules governing IPCs as it affects Lions Clubs as fundraisers
Most of the rules affect the IPCs themselves. But the main experience from the NKF saga is the use of professional third party fundraisers. A professional third party fundraiser is anyone who charges a fee to raise funds for a charity.
Examples: taking a commission for getting advertisements for a souvenir programme printed as part of fundraising. Lions Clubs raising funds for charities is taking 20% of sales of donation draw tickets for their club project fund. Such an arrangement would cause the Lions Clubs to be classified as professional fundraisers. Charities that use professional fundraisers are likely to be subject to more scrutiny by regulators, if not the professional fundraisers themselves. Lions Clubs would not want to be classified as professional fundraisers as their members are volunteers. Charities would also have to enter into a formal contract with the fundraisers which include Lions Clubs if they enter into such arrangements.
Lions Clubs that participate in fundraising for other charities may claim reimbursement for expenses or reimburse their volunteers for expenses incurred rather than to collect a fee for helping to raise funds for other charities.