For the 2021 edition of the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre's (NVPC) biennial Individual Giving Study (IGS), the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) collaborated with NVPC for the first time to take a focused look at legacy giving in Singapore.

The study – which collects data on giving behaviours, philanthropy and volunteerism at the national level – saw the addition of a dedicated legacy giving module. This comes on the back of CFS' Legacy Giving Initiative which was launched in November 2020. The three-year nation-wide initiative aims to promote awareness, build and share knowledge, as well as support action for engaging donors and cultivating legacy gifts.

CFS has been pioneering research on legacy giving with our partners to better understand the giving landscape in Singapore. Here are some of the key preliminary findings from the study:

Growing positive sentiments on legacy giving

Respondents generally expressed positive sentiments towards legacy giving, reflecting significant room for growth. The report following the study also noted an opportunity to engage and educate prospective givers further through partners in order to grow legacy giving in Singapore.

Family is priority

When it comes to legacy giving, the study found that family and loved ones remain a key priority. The study found that many donors would reach out first to their loved ones to discuss legacy giving – and most potential donors would consider legacy giving once they were comfortable that they had taken adequate care of their dependents.

This is aligned with CFS’ family-oriented mindset – we encourage individuals, after one’s family is taken care of, to consider setting aside a suitable sum for charity.

Donors are passionate about purpose

Most respondents were passionate about purposeful giving – particularly helping others in their community and ensuring their gift would have an impact in the future. Donation of cash in a will was the most popular way to leave a legacy gift, followed by donations of cash via CPF and insurance policy nominations.

The report also noted that reaching out to donors on impact and highlighting popular ways to give may help drive action on legacy giving in Singapore.

CFS is heartened by growing positive views on legacy giving amongst Singaporeans. The Legacy Giving Initiative will continue to build momentum by engaging individuals and partners more deeply in the coming year. Over the long term, CFS seeks to become a centre of expertise and thought leadership on legacy giving in the Singapore context.

Look out for the full detailed results from the NVPC IGS Study in the coming months.

For more information on legacy giving, visit