Here at Giving is Social, we celebrate the contribution of women to our community.
More than 70% of our volunteers are women who are from various fields and at different stages of their lives. We believe that they greatly affect the giving atmosphere in the organisations and households where they move. So, THANK YOU for being such huge influencers of change!
As a treat to our beloved women out there, here’s Part 1 of our lists of Guilt-free Activities To Do with Your Girlfriends in Singapore.
by: Pipay Reyes
As an advocacy partner of The Oasis Foundation, Giving is Social leads the efforts for awareness-building, fundraising and volunteer mobilisation in Singapore and neighboring countries. As members, we understand that not everyone has the time and resources to be at the frontlines full-time. That’s okay -- we’re here to remind each other that flexing the giving muscle is much easier than we think! There are certainly many ways to get involved beyond a one-time trip to Pattaya. In fact, the movement thrives on events that are initiated by its own community members, built on capacity and skills
My volunteering journey started when I got into the student council in high school. The only reason I was elected was because my older sister was popular on campus.
Through my last 8 years in school, I spent almost all of my free time doing organisational work. I enjoyed what for me were practical applications of what I was learning from books and my teachers. I organised enrichment talks, fundraising parties, movie premiere nights, presented in corporate offices to ask for sponsorships, and administered a great deal.
Thank you for taking part in inspiring, informing and connecting givers
for a better world in 2016!
Here's a review of our 2016. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for comments or questions.
What fuels the vision of non-profits?
You’re right, passion, values, skills, faith, and all those intangibles fuel the vision. Dare we say, also money? I was naive for a long time to say that money is not one of them.
I've learned that only in the non-existent perfect world can we make non-profits, or any enterprise for that matter, function purely on gifts in kind -- donated food packs to feed the staff, volunteers and their beneficiaries; volunteered skills to administrate and manage their accounting among other many desk tasks; or pledges to pay off monthly utilities. If that is ever possible in this age and time, then there will be no hungry people in the world.
Giving is Social is not primarily a fundraising group, but it inevitably functions as a fundraising supporter to its partners. I very slowly had to acknowledge, with much reluctance, this inevitability of GIS’s role to raise funds for other groups and for itself.
When I started the movement, I had an immature conviction of staying away from fundraising. I didn’t want to deal with any money matters. I said, “I will mobilise people with skills and time and surplus resources other than money.” It seemed easier to ask for donations of items rather than money. It was less audit work too. I’ve quickly learned though that the groups we were trying to help all needed some form of funding. This also became apparent for Giving is Social’s own operations. I had planned to scale up fast, convinced my new team to run leadership and volunteer programs in the Philippines and Thailand in 2016 and to support more beneficiaries. Little did I know that costs will come up, and nothing can replace the need for money. Friends won’t cover costs to transport donations to beneficiaries all the time. Neither would they always offer their spaces for free for charitable events. Money is always a part of the non-profit’s life.
I share this because Giving is Social will have to embrace this role of supporting social work. And to do that, we can’t truly help exclusively of funds. We are campaigning for a few fundraising efforts of our partners here:
Yes, these projects need money! That means, vision is being pursued. Hooray! Thank you in advance for supporting!
Currently reading this book!
"This book is focused on the principle of excellence. Its root word is excel meaning to surpass or exceed. The term implies that while everyone else performs at a certain level (i.e., average), the excellent individual performs above such a level. He makes an impact and is "a head and shoulders" above the rest in quality of his work. He is like a tree yielding abundant, luscious fruits for many. People are blessed because of him.
Excellence means going beyond the average. As one saying goes, 'The difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary is that little extra.' The principle is to exert, at least, ten percent more than what is expected and you will already appear excellent. Whatever is expected of you (for instance, by your boss or customer), meet this expectation and then, a a habit, add a little bit more. Deliver bonus service!" - Rex Resurreccion, author of "Called to Excel"
I read this excerpt, plus a few more, to the team at during our recent get-together. I have been having a little bit of frustrations trying to drive attendance to the difference activations that we have - info sessions, fund-raising workshops, leadership talks, meetings... It's not easy, if I have to be honest with you. Everyone is busy, Volunteer work is not the top priority of people. It gets the "surplus" time and energy, if any at all.
And I understand that. I had been tempted many times to cancel some sessions with potential volunteers because only one would be a "TBC" to come. When I finally decided to push through, I would wait anxiously, hoping there's no "Sorry, I got caught up at work." message that pops up on my phone. Then the person walks in the door. My heart smiles.
Then I remembered about excellence. I do what I do because the God who created me is excellent. And patience is an action of excellence. There's the concept of stewardship too. Serve excellently one person like how you would 100. I'm learning not to slack when the audience is just a few people. "Bring out the presentation and give it all you got!" I trust that in time the investments will grow.
Giving is Social was on the back burner for a couple of months in 2015 because I got married. To say the least, it was a life-changing move. No other endeavor was bigger than that.
I’ve learned that to create an outward impact, you’ll have to be very strong internally. 2015 was all about that - thinking and recalibrating. Now a team of two, my husband Michael and I took time to pray, align our visions, and establish our joint mission. We’re #BetterTogether.
While Giving is Social will still be fronted by me, Michael has been a great added support - emotionally and intellectually. It’s great to have a partner who is also passionate about the community. He works for the corporate responsibility group of the Intercontinental Hotels Group. I’ve been learning a lot from what he does for work. Our minds are #BetterTogether.
A big learning from the past two years - get a team involved! While there were several people who helped enormously, I didn’t focus much on building the core team. This is now Giving is Social’s pursuit. We are building a leadership team that will think, plan and serve together. Sign-up HERE for any of the ‘Leadership Info Sessions’. Hope to see you!
My friend asked if Giving is Social collects donations. She's throwing a party for her kid and she doesn't want people to give her kid gifts. They could instead donate to a group that needs more help. Let me say first that she's an awesome mom, her kid has all that he needs, thus, her alternative idea.
I suggested React, our featured partner this month. I only needed to send her a brief about what React does and a link to the giving portal. She quickly sent a message to her friends, and the fundraising campaign was on!
You too can turn up your birthday celebration this year, before your mom does. Here's the simple planning you got to do:
Step 1: Choose your beneficiary.
Step 2: Think of a party idea. Be creative. Here are some suggestions:
1. A Mexican-themed party at Hombre Cantina. Invite your friends to join your own "Burrito eating challenge" on your birthday. On top of the donations-as-gifts, you can ask your joiners of the challenge to rally for support that can add up to the donations (e.g. $20 dollars for every burrito they consume).
2. A game night. A door fee of, let's say, $25/person serves as your friends' donations. Invite as many friends as your condo unit can hold. Invite your neighbors too so you won't have to deal with complaints about the noise. Ask friends to bring food. Potluck basis especially in Singapore is very well received, in fact, it's been a default arrangement for parties.
Step 3: Set up a page on simplygiving.com.
This is the new cool way to fund raise that avoids the awkward transaction involving receiving money from friends. You can simply direct them to your birthday fundraising page. All of those door fees serve as their donations. All other donations-as-gifts will be facilitated by simplygiving.com. Here's how to get that page up.
Step 4: PARTY!!!
Giving is Social can put you in touch with party venues, entertainers, and of course, beneficiaries for you fun birthday event. We do it for free. We're just happy to connect.
Advance happy birthday!