This article was originally published on The Business Times.


WHILE more businesses have stepped up efforts to give back to society, it is a huge challenge for any organisation - regardless of size - to bring change overnight.

Companies are therefore shifting towards causes that align with their values to focus their corporate giving in areas that will drive the greatest impact. This has also spurred a growing community of social enterprises in less conventional sectors.

Fitness social enterprise Push Pull Give and preschool consultancy company Preschool Market are among those that were able to leverage their expertise and work with a diverse ecosystem of partners in their respective fields to give back to society.

These 2 companies were among the 112 organisations named Champions of Good this year.

Champions of Good was launched in 2017 as a national recognition initiative by Company of Good, under the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC). It recognises organisations that are exemplary in doing good and have been multipliers by collaborating with partners and stakeholders.

Beyond fitness classes and personal training, Push Pull Give creates employment opportunities for young adults who come from disadvantaged backgrounds by offering fitness scholarships and internships.

"Through empowering the disadvantaged in the community with fitness education and knowledge, they are able to utilise these skills to develop a sustainable career in the workforce," said Push Pull Give co-founder Razif Yusoff.

Meanwhile, Preschool Market's expertise in providing business-to-business solutions and services for preschools and organisations has positively contributed to the company's commitment to provide assistance to underprivileged children and their families.

Managing director James Wu said: "Raising the standards of the early childhood sector has always been a key focus of our work as preschool consultants."

"We believe that every child should have equal access to opportunities in learning and education, and to reach their maximum potential in life regardless of their socio-economic status," he added.

Preschool Market also works with charity-based or non-profit preschools, as well as preschools in developing countries that have access to fewer resources.

Apart from tapping their core business competencies, these social enterprises ensure that they are able to contribute to social causes sustainably through key partnerships and collaborations.

"Resources are always finite, but this has encouraged us to rethink the way we do good," said Preschool Market's Wu.

"Previously, we used to spread out our resources thinly among several social services agencies. We then realised that by focusing on just a few key social service agency partners, we were able to make a greater impact in our social causes."

Over at Push Pull Give, Yusoff said that collaboration within the company as well as with its network of partners had helped the company successfully roll out some of its initiatives.

Most recently, Push Pull Give had worked with Singapore-based charity ItsRainingRaincoats to raise funds to improve the well-being of migrant workers here. 

"By creating a safe space at Push Pull Give, we work very closely as a team and encourage each other to utilise our strengths and be creative in finding solutions. We also leverage on the support of our network and partners," said Yusoff.

While it requires resources to do good, Push Pull Give and Preschool Market believe their corporate giving efforts will contribute to attracting talent and driving future growth.

Push Pull Give's corporate purpose, for instance, has helped the company generate publicity and open its doors to more business opportunities, said Yusoff.

"It allows us to build a community of like-minded people who are loyal to our brand and believe in our purpose and, in turn, create a sustainable business model. It also helps to attract talented individuals who are passionate about our cause," he added.

On being among the named Champions of Good 2022, Preschool Market's Wu said: "It has given us much encouragement to continue to do good, and hopefully also help us attract highly talented social minded candidates to join in our work and our cause.