Charities struggle to operate without physical fund-raisers
Some charities are seeing a greater demand for their services even as the coronavirus has hit their fund-raising activities.
Between January and June, local charity Food From The Heart (FFTH) had already distributed three quarters of the total number of food packs it gave to the needy last year.
Its chief executive officer Sim Bee Hia said it gave out 58,870 food packs in 2019, but in the first half of 2020, it had already given out 43,900 food packs.
It and other charities told The New Paper they need more funds to keep running during the Covid-19 pandemic after cancelling physical fund-raisers, which are their main sources of donations.
The Straits Times had reported in June that donations to causes related to Covid-19 increased between January and May, but causes not directly related to the virus saw declines in donations.
Ms Sim said FFTH had to cancel two annual fund-raising events, its Charity Golf and Passion Ball, which raised about $720,000 last year. The funds were vital to running its welfare services.
She added: "We are bracing ourselves for a growing number of requests for help in the next 12 months as we foresee more people struggling financially."
A Catholic charity, the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP), which provides monetary assistance and food rations to 2,300 needy families, said it saw a 50 per cent drop in donations in June and July, about $330,000 less than usual.
Its president, Ms Florence Tan, said it used to get all its donations from church-goers on the first Sunday of every month during mass.
But masses were suspended from Feb 15, and since June 26, places of worship have been allowed only 50 congregants at a time, raised to 100 at some sites this month. This has caused SSVP's donations to dry up, she said.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had to cancel its annual gala dinner, which could have raised $500,000 to run its community animal clinic and buy medical equipment.
The Singapore Red Cross said public donations for June and July dipped by over 50 per cent compared with the same period in 2019.
With all physical fund-raisers suspended since the start of the circuit breaker, donations from such events fell by some 70 per cent to 80 per cent.