19 December 2023

On 21 November 2023, the Office of the Commissioner of Charities published a revised version of the Guidance on Regulation of Grantmakers (“Guidance”). The revised Guidance will take effect from 1 January 2024. 

Grantmakers play an important role in the philanthropic sphere to advance philanthropy in Singapore. Typically, grantmakers are non-profit entities such as private family or corporate foundations, community foundations, and businesses’ giving programmes, which give out grant monies to specific charitable causes. 

Grantmakers are often founded with private money and do not raise funds from the public, and thus differ from typical charities. To promote charitable giving and develop Singapore as a philanthropic hub, a lighter-touch regulatory regime for grantmakers was introduced in 2007. Under the Grantmaker Scheme administered by the Office of the Commissioner of Charities, some of the regulatory requirements for charities that are less pertinent to grantmakers are waived or relaxed for qualifying grantmakers. The Commissioner of Charities (“Commissioner”) published the Guidance in 2007 to set out how qualifying grantmakers would be regulated under this lighter-touch regime. 

The charity landscape has continued to evolve and develop since 2007. In 2022, the Commissioner reviewed the Grantmaker Scheme to clarify the parameters of the scheme and ensure its relevance to grantmakers. The review sought to provide greater transparency to grantmakers in three key areas: 

  • Allowable allocations between local and overseas giving; 
  • Conduct of non-grantmaking activities; and 
  • Disbursements made through non-grant instruments.

From December 2022 to January 2023, the Commissioner engaged relevant stakeholders on the key proposed changes to the Guidance and has since published a summary of the key feedback received and its response thereto.

Reference materials 

The following materials are available on the Charity Portal website www.charities.gov.sg: