Welcome to ACSEP’s Philanthropy Microsite

Philanthropy is an important part of the Singapore Story.

This space chronologically maps significant and known philanthropic events in Singapore on a timeline. It also profiles the many faces of philanthropy, past and present, in Singapore.

In parallel with ACSEP’s multi-year research into philanthropy in and around Singapore, the timeline shows that the nature of philanthropy – who gives, for what purpose and in what form – has evolved with the development of the country. When Singapore was a British settlement in the 19th century, philanthropy was mainly communal and diasporic – people generally donated to causes that improves the welfare of those in their immediate community. As Singapore developed as a nation, philanthropy was directed at more national issues; rising income levels also allowed people to give to local and even regional causes.

Conversely, Singapore’s development is critically influenced by philanthropy. Throughout her history, the contributions of philanthropists and philanthropic groups have been important for the survival and betterment of the people in Singapore. Many of them gave generously to build religious buildings, schools, hospitals and social welfare organisations which all helped the colony thrive. Today, even when the Singapore government meets the basic needs of the people, philanthropy is still vitally important in supporting underprivileged groups, and overlooked causes. In some areas, philanthropy also pushes for innovation and change.

Join us on this journey to learn how philanthropy has impacted Singapore.

Click on an era below to begin exploring.

Pre - 1819
1819 - 1900
1901 - 1945
1946 - 1965
1966 - 2000
2001 - Present
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