Sustaining Services Through Thick and Thin
Methodist Welfare Services (MWS) helps at-risk youth, the elderly who want to age in place, socially isolated seniors, low-income families, the destitute, and many more who face distress. It also operates two nursing homes that provide intermediate to long-term care to older people with chronic diseases.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, MWS saw a higher caseload of families seeking help. It also had to care for more homeless or stranded people due to shutdowns and border closures. At the same time, costs climbed as it needed to sanitise facilities each day at its 22 centres and programmes across Singapore. Extra medical supplies for its beneficiaries and staff also added to the costs. Unfortunately, donations did not rise in tandem during this period.
Despite this, MWS continued to care for over 9,000 beneficiaries. This includes the residents in its nursing homes, the majority of whom require moderate to total assistance in their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as feeding and toileting, and are wheelchair-bound or bedbound.
These residents require round-the-clock care and typically have no next-or-kin or little family support, coming from low-income families with per capita income of $700 and below. Many qualify for the maximum government subsidy but are unable to fully pay even the subsidised fees, leaving MWS to bear the remaining costs.
Online and ad hoc philanthropy play an essential role in bringing in funding to MWS. However, these are usually used to raise funds for annual operating expenses; only if a surplus is raised will the next year’s expenses also be covered. Legacy gifts, on the other hand, generate a long-term impact for charities like MWS as they offer sustainable financial support. Leaving a legacy gift allows an individual to make an impact beyond their lifetime and pass on their values and beliefs.
In the last three years, MWS has received 12 estate gifts amounting to over $2 million, the two most prominent being $1 million and $500,000. Most of these gifts came from loyal donors. These grants have allowed MWS to meet shortfalls in operating revenue, plan ahead, and budget for the future.
MWS is one of over 400 charities that CFS works with. At CFS, we encourage conversations about estate planning and leaving a philanthropic legacy so that planned future gifts can be an integral part of our giving culture. Understandably, many people may find discussions about passing on unpalatable. Potential donors may also feel that legacy giving is complicated, but in reality, leaving a legacy of good after providing for retirement and family needs can be as simple as drafting a few lines into a will or trust.
CFS hopes that people in Singapore will increasingly value the lasting impact a legacy gift can have. People of all ages, from all walks of life can live and leave a legacy to support the community. As a cause-neutral philanthropic advisor, CFS can guide you on your journey so that you can make a difference to the causes closest to your heart.
For more information on legacy giving, please go to this page.
For more information on MWS, please visit their website.