MORE details on the money collected for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (SPMF) will be published in The Straits Times from today.

The column, which will run weekly until the end of the year, will contain a tally of the amount collected and will name some of the donors for that week. Next year, it will start as a monthly column before getting more frequent towards the end of the year, when donations tend to rise.

'This is a newspaper community project and, as a newspaper, we should take the lead in promoting transparency and accountability to our donors,' said Straits Times associate editor and SPMF organising chairman Bertha Henson.

The newspaper will also put more information on the fund online. For a start, a list of disbursing agencies - including Family Service Centres - where beneficiaries can make inquiries has been put up at

Additional information, including amounts disbursed, will be uploaded from next year.

The SPMF, which is an annual community project initiated by The Straits Times, aims to make pocket money available to children from low-income families. It marked its 10th anniversary this year.

The fund hopes to collect $5 million to benefit more than 12,400 children this year. The fund's administrator, the National Council of Social Service, disburses the money through its network of Family Service Centres, special schools and children's homes.

Just this week, property developer MCC Land (Singapore) and its partners, including OCBC Bank, Maybank and CB Richard Ellis, donated $158,000 to ChildAid, a concert to raise money for the SPMF and the Business Times Budding Artists Fund.

The concert will be held at Resorts World Sentosa, which is the show's venue and production partner.

MCC Land's managing director Tan Zhiyong said it was important for corporations and individuals to remember their social responsibilities, and not get sucked into the race for 'progress and excellence'.

'ChildAid (is) a truly worthy cause that we are honoured and humbled to be involved in,' he said.

Another donation this week came from the Singapore Bangladesh Society, which collected $1,500 from its events and members.

The Singapore-based Esmirada restaurant group will also donate $1 for each bottle of Austrian wine sold during a month-long Austrian wine festival here.

More transparency for ST fund