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What Will Tomorrow’s Givers Look Like?

Prediction: They'll be smarter, more empowered, and look beyond Singapore's shores. Are you one of them? We pull out key insights from NVPC's Futures of Giving project.

From geopolitical shifts to digital disruption, we live in a world of constant change. These forces aren’t just shaking up how we live, work and play. They’re changing how we give. As part of NVPC’s first-ever Futures of Giving project, we engaged over 40 thought leaders, including academics, businesses, non-profits and policy makers. Our aim: To figure out what charity would look like in the near future, and how the giving sector can prepare for these trends. 

So, what will tomorrow's givers look like? Here are some predictions - see if you spot yourself!  

We may appear ‘demanding’, but we won’t give blindly

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Always Google a charity before donating? You're not alone. Givers today want to be informed before committing time and money. 

Rather than viewing charity as just an emotional endeavour of the heart, more of us are asking hard questions with our heads: How effective are programmes? How are charities measuring impact? What evidence can they share of the 'needs' on the ground? In fact, 62% of people in Singapore prefer to engage a community directly to understand the cause before they volunteer or donate, according to a 2016 NVPC-Toluna survey.  

Some say givers are becoming ‘demanding’. We think it shows givers becoming more discerning. They take it upon themselves to know more, and ensure their efforts make a real difference. Not a bad thing in our books.

62 per cent of people in Singapore prefer to engage a community directly to understand the cause before they volunteer or donate

NVPC Toluna Survey 2016

We roll up our sleeves and get things done

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KiaseePassive. Complaining. These traits describe the stereotypical Singaporean. But they are fast becoming passe.  

If anything, Singaporeans are becoming more empowered, proactive and driven to help. We see it in the rise of crowdfunding campaigns and community initiatives – think good Samaritans giving out free masks during the 2015 haze. Technology has also made it easier to mobilise cash and people toward self-initiated do-good campaigns.   

Some promising stats: According to an NVPC-Toluna survey in 2016, almost a quarter of Singapore respondents say they are likely or highly likely to start a ground-up initiative, whereas 22% would like to start an online crowdfunding campaign.

Upshot: Singaporeans are ready to stop talking and start doing!

We may give more to causes beyond our borders

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Between 2014 to 2016, there was more than a two-fold increase in donations to causes outside of Singapore, from $125 million to $317 million, according to NVPC's Individual Giving Survey (2016).  

While this may have been due to a series of high-profile natural disasters and humanitarian crises, it is also true that social media has made the world a lot smaller. Local causes can quickly go global (and viral!), and like-minded individuals can easily band together across national boundaries. Just look at the Rohingya crisis and #metoo movement.   

Perhaps being a Giving Nation means that Singapore becomes a nation that gives to others too. Now that's a future we can get behind!

Want to know more about the Future of Giving?

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