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Thread: another fund raising event?

  1. #1

    another fund raising event?

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    SINGAPORE : The Singapore Cancer Society says it has received many calls from the public enquiring about this Sunday's NKF Cancer Show on Channel U.

    It clarified Wednesday that the show is different from the Society's own Cancer Charity Show to be shown only in October.

    The NKF Cancer Show - the National Kidney Foundation's first - comes after the success of another Cancer Charity Show, which is the Singapore Cancer Society's inaugural fundraiser which raised $3.2 million last year.

    "We have received many calls from the public regarding the NKF Cancer Show because of the similarity in name between NKF Cancer Show and the Singapore Cancer Society Cancer Charity Show. Many of our supporters are asking whether funds that are generated from the show are going to the Singapore Cancer Society. We hope to raise $10 million this year and we intend to set aside $7million for cancer treatment. We are concerned that with another cancer charity show, the money that's going to cancer treatment will not be coming to us, " said Dr Ang Peng Thiam, medical oncologist and Vice-Chairman of the Singapore Cancer Society.

    The Society is also concerned that the similarity in the names of the two charity shows may have confused the public into thinking that the two shows are the same.

    The Singapore Cancer Society is an organisation with concrete plans and programmes to help cancer patients in the community.

    Said Dr Koo Wen Hsin, Chairman of the Singapore Cancer Society and Head of the Medical Oncology Department at the National Cancer Centre, Singapore: "For the last 40 years, we at the Singapore Cancer Society here have been doing cancer screening programmes, public education programmes, hospice home care, and we provide a lot of public welfare for needy patients. So all these money, every single dollar of it has been spent on these programmes."
    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...155361/1/.html

  2. #2
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    I really wonder... NKF cancer show? Shouldn't they stick to the kidney funding programs and not wonder into other areas not within their scope? As it is, I've read previously on the straits times that they have more then enough funds to run all their programs for 3 years. And these days, I see them sponsoring Chinese TV serials as well?

    What exactly are they doing with their funds?

    If Singapore has so many needy folks, are they really getting the fundings?

    What exactly happens to the amount that is raised? If 1 million is raised, perhaps 900 thousand is deducted for show expenses, lucky draw, talent fees etc etc. And the really needy charities gets only a meagre portion. I'm sure we all know that if it's not commercially viable, TV stations, telco and the likes will not be interested.

    So many questions, no answers...

    Cheers,
    I have dwarf cichlids in my tanks! Do you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by benny
    I really wonder... NKF cancer show? Shouldn't they stick to the kidney funding programs and not wonder into other areas not within their scope? As it is, I've read previously on the straits times that they have more then enough funds to run all their programs for 3 years. And these days, I see them sponsoring Chinese TV serials as well?

    What exactly are they doing with their funds?

    If Singapore has so many needy folks, are they really getting the fundings?

    What exactly happens to the amount that is raised? If 1 million is raised, perhaps 900 thousand is deducted for show expenses, lucky draw, talent fees etc etc. And the really needy charities gets only a meagre portion. I'm sure we all know that if it's not commercially viable, TV stations, telco and the likes will not be interested.

    So many questions, no answers...

    Cheers,

    I am also interested how much salary the chairman, various directors, staffs are drawing.
    If it is a independent organisation, I agree that such should be confidential. However, if they are drawing pay from the donated funds.... It SHOULD NOT be non-disclosable.
    I remember there was a big Hoo-Haa when we were considering building some casinos in Singapore not too long ago. However, it seems that NKF are encouraging gambling very much through their intensive marketing.
    Cheers and Regards,
    Billy Cheong

    I'm not always dumb,
    Just most of the time...

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    Their financial summary is available from their website at www.nkfs.org.

    What I don't understand is that 25% of total expenses is spent on fund-raising activities.
    Also S$27M is incurred for what is termed as total employee cost with an employee strength of 996.

    I think we might just need to be more informed on how they run their organisation.
    They have dawned on me as a very well-run organisation with lots of ideas and connections.

    What they need to impress on most people is how charitable they are...

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    From the number you give, their employee average pay is $2028 per month with AWS. Pay pretty good....

    Jack

  6. #6
    but the other issue is that they are kidney foundation.. why doing a cancer show??
    Please don't buy dogs. Go adopt one !

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    Excerpts from asia1.com. Please read...

    "A CLOSELY guarded secret of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) was finally made public yesterday: the salary of its chief executive T.T. Durai.

    Gasps could be heard in the courtroom when it was revealed that on top of his $25,000 a month salary, he also received 10 to 12 months in yearly bonuses. That makes his annual salary between $550,000 and $600,000, or $1.8 million in total over the past three years."

    Here's the link to read more...
    http://www.asia1.com/st/st_20050712_328079.html

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    Damn it, make my blood boiling now.
    Earth can satisfy our needs but she can't satisfy our greed, live light on this planet coz if we lose it, there ain't no others

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    Quote Originally Posted by curahee
    Damn it, make my blood boiling now.
    Actually, its quite expected such things happened. I stop donating since about 8 yrs back (cant really remember but since after the 2nd one). When a friend told me they pay well in NKF.

    In a nation where people thinks their government had everything covered, such things are nearly sure to happened. Let see if the other fund raising committee will soon have all their secrets exposed, and at the same time, how much NKF will raise this coming Thursday (Yes, still raising this coming Thursday).

    I am just surprise no one from the government body is saying anything now.... hahaha...
    Cheers and Regards,
    Billy Cheong

    I'm not always dumb,
    Just most of the time...

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    Yeah notice tat those board room ppl all seems to be well educated, can't expect them to draw low pay, do u think they wanna make such sacrifice? I always have this mind set whereby the more educated the person is the more selfish he or she will become.
    Earth can satisfy our needs but she can't satisfy our greed, live light on this planet coz if we lose it, there ain't no others

  11. #11
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    The day it all begun... Part 1

    The day it all begun...

    The NKF: Controversially ahead of its time?
    by Susan Long


    A RETIRED contractor who wants to be known only as Mr Tan used to be a National
    Kidney Foundation (NKF) donor until he was hired to install some bathroom
    fittings for its new headquarters at Kim Keat Road in 1995.

    Inside chief executive T.T. Durai's office suite on the 12th floor of the $21
    million building, he says he 'lost it' when he had to install, among other
    things, a glass-panelled shower, a pricey German toilet bowl and a gold-plated
    tap.

    'I started screaming my head off. The gold-plated tap alone cost at least
    $1,000. It was crazy. If you're Bill Gates and own your own multinational,
    whatever you want, fine. But you're a charity, using donors' money,' he huffs.

    After his outburst, he was told to 'just do' his job. The shower stall remained,
    but the taps he eventually installed were 'scaled down' to an upmarket
    chrome-plated model.

    To this day, the 54-year-old belongs to NKF's die-hard detractor camp, unmoved
    by its shining success in social entrepreneurship and its track record in saving
    lives. As he puts it: 'After that day, not a cent from me. I'm not going to pay
    for gold-plated taps.'

    Asked for its response to the contractor's story, the NKF's public relations arm
    sidestepped the details and said yesterday: 'Since you can't give us details of
    the contractor... it is difficult for us to give an answer to enlighten your
    readers.'

    In the past fortnight, the NKF has hogged the headlines. Propitiously, the news
    of its amazing $189 million in reserves broke the very day it celebrated its
    35th anniversary on April 7. Since then, a stream of more than 130 people -
    former employees, former donors and disgruntled members of the public - have
    e-mailed or called this newspaper to let off steam about its hard-sell tactics,
    thick carpets and controversial chieftain.

    At the same time, about 30 others, individuals and organisations, have sent in
    letters of support for the organisation, praising its dialysis programmes and
    pledging continued donations.

    So far, the NKF kitty appears none the worse for wear despite all the
    caterwauling. On April 11, its 11th NKF Charity show raised $6.7 million, just a
    fraction short of last year's $6.8 million. Last night, it netted another $6.4
    million.

    These serious sums of money - how the NKF gets it, spends it and accounts for it
    - have been a well-gnawed bone of contention among its naysayers. Way before
    details of its $5 million tie-up with insurance giant Aviva unleashed a
    ferocious debate on donor privacy issues, charges of 'invasive' fund-raising
    have dogged the outfit.

    But the NKF has made no bones about gunning for the charity dollar - the more
    the merrier, just like any other profit-and-loss business. Relentless innovation
    over the years has brought new ways of fund-raising: greeting cards, live
    charity shows, donations via SMS, consultancy services, even selling its spare
    telemarketing capacity to private companies. In the social service sector, the
    NKF is the unparalleled paragon of the art of 'heartsell'.

    Most impressive of all, notes Mrs Tan Chee Koon, executive director of the
    National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, is its ability to tap on the health
    screening it conducts for heartlanders to ensure a 'sustained pool of regular
    givers'.

    Unlike many charities which rely on large, one-off infusions from wealthy
    foundations, NKF's bread and butter is the $3 to $5 monthly Giro donations from
    about one million ordinary Singaporeans. With such a big base of small heartland
    givers - its website says nearly two out of every three Singaporeans are donors
    - the pennies add up.

    Every day, seven days a week, some 100 'prevention evangelists' and nurses fan
    out to companies, army camps, condominiums and churches islandwide to test the
    blood, body fat and urine of at least 1,600 people daily.

    Since 1997, more than one million Singaporeans have undergone these free health
    screenings, which are followed typically by an impassioned pitch: 'This is
    something we're doing for you; is there something you'd like to do for us?'

    A voluntary sector consultant notes: 'Even old grannies are not spared the
    spiel. Most are pressured to do a Giro contribution for a minimum of six months.
    Nothing they do is illegal, but it's all very aggressive. Nothing wrong with
    that, but when they push the fund-raising envelope, they tend to be insensitive
    to the larger consequences for the charity sector.'

    But the NKF's head of what it calls 'prevention marketing', Ms Shirley Tan,
    makes no apologies for the 'heartfelt pleas' it delivers along with its basic
    health checks, which she notes would cost at least $60 in private clinics. She
    says these are 'free-will offerings' and the 'evangelists' have no financial
    targets to meet at each venue.

    PAINFUL LESSONS

    NKF chairman Richard Yong, 63, a former private banker who has been on the NKF
    board for 18 years, makes clear that lucre is the necessary lifeblood of the
    organisation.

    Every cent literally buys time for each patient. And the NKF's mission to save
    the lives of those with kidney failure is undeniably daunting, which explains
    why there are no other self-funded, non-profit dialysis providers in the world.

    Each patient is admitted for life - or until they are lucky enough to get a
    kidney transplant. The average life expectancy of those on dialysis is 10 to 15
    years, at a cost of $150,000 upwards a head to the foundation.

    Mr Yong says patients themselves pay from nothing to $800 each month for
    three-times-a-week dialysis which would cost at least $3,000 each month outside.

    The incidence of kidney failure here - increasingly a lifestyle disease closely
    associated with diabetes and hypertension - is now the third highest in the
    world, trailing only affluent countries like the United States and Japan. This,
    coupled with a fast growing grey-haired population, means that the NKF has
    plenty of costly work cut out for it.

    Its money-minting machinery, however, was not always so hard-nosed or
    well-oiled. Starting out in an unprepossessing Singapore General Hospital attic
    with just two beds and one metal tray in 1969, Mr Yong says, it battled the same
    growing pains that less publicised, cash-strapped charities face today.

    When it set up its first dialysis programme in 1982 in Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital,
    it dispensed free treatment with little regard for outcomes and costs.

    In 1986, it ran out of money, so he and other board members had to make the
    heart-wrenching decision of who among their 32 patients should continue with
    dialysis, and who would have to be sent home with morphine to die.

    'I couldn't sleep; I couldn't eat. Who were we to play God?' he recalls. It hit
    home then: It was important to have 'healthy reserves that can withstand even
    the most dire economic times', and self-generated income 'so that we can be
    independent, instead of on our knees, poor and begging for life'.

    So the irony is that, despite being one of the oldest, the NKF is yet one of the
    most progressive charities here. As a mature 35-year-old, it is looking at
    sustainability and continuity issues for the next 100 years, even as most other
    voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) grapple with day-to-day survival issues.

    In the international arena, it is such a trail-blazing model of social
    entrepreneurship that American universities like Harvard, Johns Hopkins and the
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology have done case studies on it.

    Locally, however, it is so far ahead of its time that society has yet to keep
    pace. Unlike in the West - where charities aggressively campaign for the charity
    dollar, professional fund-raising is a bona fide industry and tie-ups with
    commercial entities are old news - the social sector here unfortunately is still
    in its infancy.

    According to Mr Terry Farris, head of charity management for Asia at European
    private bank MeesPierson, the fact that it costs money to raise money - the
    accepted norm, he says, is now 15 to 20 cents out of every dollar - may not have
    sunk in here yet.

    Many VWO chiefs note there still exists an arcane expectation that non-profits
    should survive on the 'goodwill and sacrifice' of volunteers, even though it is
    recognised worldwide that the public good is much better served by hiring
    professional managers at market rates.
    Cheers and Regards,
    Billy Cheong

    I'm not always dumb,
    Just most of the time...

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    The day it all begun... Part 2

    The day it all begun... Part 2


    The NKF: Controversially ahead of its time?
    by Susan Long


    TOUGH LOVE

    THE NKF has tried to break away from the 'third-tier' image charities suffer
    from, by sourcing for talent worldwide and paying them fair market value.
    According to NKF's honorary treasurer Loo Say San: 'Many Singaporeans prefer not
    to work for charitable organisations, so we go overseas to hire.'

    It does its recruitment drives at top institutions like the Indian Institutes of
    Management and Beijing University, competing with the likes of General Electric
    and Morgan Stanley for the best brains money can buy. Since 2001, it has also
    tapped the skills of a steady stream of MBA interns from top business schools
    like Harvard and Stanford.

    It staff strength is 947, a figure that NKF defends as necessary to man the
    three shifts of dialysis sessions, each lasting four hours, which its 22 centres
    around the island run daily.

    Pressed for details on staff composition, Mr Yong said 'more than half are
    medical personnel'. The rest are spread among the administrative, marketing,
    fund-raising and communications departments.

    The taboo it seeks to break is that charity is synonymous with poor quality. As
    Dr Gerard Chuah, an eye surgeon and chairman of the NKF Children's Medical Fund,
    says: 'What bothers me is when people say, why can't you continue to function
    out of containers? Hello, just because we're a charity doesn't mean we have to
    operate in a hovel out in the rain.

    'Would you ask a family member of yours who has an honours degree to work in
    a container? We want to get the best people we can find who will run good
    programmes to save more lives.'

    Even when administering its dialysis and patient rehabilitation programmes,
    the NKF approach is controversial. You might call it 'tough love'. According to
    Mr Job Loei, a dialysis patient who also helps counsel new admissions at NKF,
    those wallowing in self-pity are set straight.

    NKF demands that patients co-pay for dialysis, hold down jobs and stick to
    their diet - or pay more. Patients' fees, for example, are reduced by $50 to
    $100 as an incentive, if they find a job, get promoted, tie the knot, give
    birth, or even when their school-going children score As.

    It helps patients find jobs, provides courses to upgrade their qualifications
    and holds personal grooming classes to help them remain attractive to their
    spouses. If their children's grades slide, it even helps engage, and provides
    subsidies of up to 80 per cent for, tuition teachers to coach them.

    As Mr Yong says: 'We don't dialyse them to go home and sleep. We want them to
    have jobs, bring home the bacon, contribute to the economy, have normal
    relations with their spouses and their children to do well in school. We say
    openly to them: 'If you want to die, go and die by yourself; don't come to us'.'

    As a result, 93 per cent of NKF dialysis patients work, support their
    families and lead productive lives, compared to less than 60 per cent worldwide.
    The general philosophy is: No free rides.

    OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY

    LIKEWISE for employees, adds Mr Loo. They are constantly reminded that their
    wages come from donor dollars. To prevent wastage, there is an extensive list of
    fines, from $5 for getting to work five minutes late, to $30 for forgetting to
    switch off the lights. All staff functions are held in the in-house auditorium
    'for fear of being labelled spend-thrift' if they venture outside.

    For the record, Mr Yong says, there is no such thing as 'first-class travel'.
    Senior executives, from directors up, including CEO Mr Durai, fly business
    class. The rest fly economy.

    Little is known of Mr Durai, 56, apart from the fact that his name T.T.
    (Thambirajah Tharmadurai) means a charitable man in Tamil. A former president of
    the then University of Singapore Students' Union, he graduated with a law degree
    and worked in the government legal service for six years until 1977.

    The elegant and eloquent man eschews publicity and, despite 3 1/2 hours spent
    with top officials at the NKF last week, this reporter received only a handshake
    from him. No quotes.

    His staff know him as a 'visionary' who cares deeply for NKF patients and
    knows each one by name. He is also a 'tough taskmaster' who works from 6am to
    10pm, and eats and showers in his office.

    He is said to run a tight, results-oriented ship, with a labyrinth of
    departments within departments and units within units.

    But even the most embittered acknowledge it is a 'dynamic' workplace and
    training ground. Its staff turnover is high; employees are so often poached that
    managers now have to sign three-year contracts.

    One downside cited by former employees is a corporate culture described as
    'cagey', in which staff are discouraged from discussing finances.

    Despite much public prodding and the Finance Ministry's encouragement to
    charities to reveal the salaries and benefits of their top employees, NKF top
    guns are sticking to their guns not to allow more public disclosure.

    What they keep reiterating is: 'Although the NKF is a non-profit
    organisation, the people who have chosen to work in the NKF are private
    individuals, who are entitled to their privacy.'

    But therein lies the chink in an otherwise spiffy armour: NKF's
    forward-looking business model lacks the financial transparency that would
    enable it to stand tall and get out of its controversy-laden shell.

    After all, if it is governed by the creed of the marketplace, it should also
    appply rigorous standards of disclosure and accountability.

    As a VWO analyst notes: 'You can find out how much any CEO of a public
    company makes, so why not them? How can it be that when they feel like it, they
    can be 'private', but when raising funds, they are 'non-profit' and 'public'? If
    any member of the public asks, why shouldn't the information be made available
    to them?'

    As society matures, says Mr Farris, people will have higher expectations of
    non-profit governance.

    'Like it or not, if you turn over as much as $67.5 million a year, you're a
    business, though it be the business of doing good,' he says. 'As a charity, you
    have to always remember: You are spending other people's money.'

    On the NKF's part, so often has it been bad-mouthed - which it attributes to
    'professional jealousy' - that it seems to have developed a persecution complex
    of sorts. 'Why is it us, always us?' is a plaintive cry its board members often
    utter.

    It has also gone beyond plaintive cries, to being the plaintiff in defamation
    suits - at least three times. In 1999, for instance, it sued Madam Tan Kiat Noi
    for sending out an e-mail message accusing it of paying ridiculously high
    bonuses to its staff. An estimated 100,000 people received it. The case was
    settled after she apologised publicly, and paid $50,000 in damages, as well as
    NKF's legal costs.

    Whither the NKF from here? Although it continues to bid the public judge it
    by its works and its effectiveness, detractors will continue to be fixated by
    the shroud over its numbers. Like it or not, rumblings are likely to persist
    until there is more publicly-transparent accounting.
    Cheers and Regards,
    Billy Cheong

    I'm not always dumb,
    Just most of the time...

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