Malaysians are a kind and generous lot – recognised as one of the top five rising countries in the recent World Giving Index (2019), and evident in recent months with the outpouring of public contribution as the country tackled the COVID-19 pandemic. And now there is more reason to be part of the generosity. As Malaysia tides through the second wave of infections with potential economic setbacks, the government is offering incentives for greater public and corporate participation towards driving inclusive socio-economic progress.
Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), which manages the Social Impact Matching (SIM) Grant, is now offering tax incentives on behalf of the government, to those contributing towards a social enterprise’s crowdfunding activities which address social and environmental challenges. Individual, corporate or business donors of a successful SIM Grantee may receive tax receipts of up to 10% of their aggregate income for cash contributions made between 1 August 2020 and 31 July 2021.
“Instead of a one-off charity or donation, individuals and businesses can channel their money to support solutions from social enterprises that create impact in a sustainable manner,” explained Dzuleira Abu Bakar, CEO of MaGIC.
Social enterprises are businesses that proactively create a positive social or environmental impact in a financially sustainable manner. So effectively, what we are fostering is a virtuous cycle of good – where these solutions address a public need, the public participates in supporting the development and expansion of the solution, and the government provides an incentive to spur the giving,” she said.
How the SIM Grant Tax Incentive works
The SIM Grant, announced under the government’s Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA), aims to support local social enterprises and other social impact businesses to sustain their initiatives and programmes, harness their capability to fundraise, increase public awareness in social innovation and scale their solutions for good social and/or environmental outcomes. The grant focuses on solutions in five impact areas, namely community livelihood, food security, health and social wellbeing, environmental protection and heritage preservation.
Any social enterprises, individuals or other organisations which use their business as a tool to create sustainable, scalable and positive impact for society are eligible to apply for the SIM Grant. This is a 1:1 government crowdfunding matching grant mechanism for a minimum of RM5,000, up to a maximum of RM500,000 per application, subject to the eligibility criteria.
Six crowdfunding platforms – GIVE.asia, LaunchGood, NGOhub, Sedunia, SimplyGiving and Sociobiz by Alliance Islamic Bank currently provide support for social enterprises to raise funds. Malaysian individuals and businesses may visit these platforms to select from a variety of impact-driven projects or initiatives they wish to support.
“We want to cultivate ‘Doing Good’ as the new norm and help rebuild the livelihood of communities which are likely to be impacted as a result of the pandemic. We believe the SIM Grant and tax incentives for donors or contributors will promote inclusive and responsible businesses that create a positive impact on Malaysian society,” said Dzuleira.
“We recognise that disadvantaged groups – whether it is at-risk youths, single mothers, orang asli or those from the B40 communities could be hardest hit by an economic downturn. Therefore, by evoking this virtuous cycle of good, we hope to retain a socio-economic net that is steady, strong, most importantly, sustainable.”
Social enterprises continue to get innovative to keep communities afloat during COVID-19
Some of MaGIC’s social enterprise alumni made an impact to the underprivileged communities as well as frontliners during the first wave of the Movement Control Order (MCO). Some examples include:
- Masala Wheels which prepared and delivered 16,000 food packages to medical front liners and homes, employed more than 30 at-risk-youth and collaborated with taxi drivers around the city to fulfil its mission.
- Me.reka, Biji-biji Initiative and their partners distributed over 24,670 face shields, 1505 aero chambers, and 58 patient isolation boxes to 75 frontline organisations.
- Tanoti Crafts brought together the local community and delivered close to 30,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) suits to support frontliners in Kuching.
In March 2020, MaGIC collaborated with Alliance Islamic Bank, Citrine Capital and NGOhub and successfully raised more than RM200,000 for 11 social enterprises to continue their mission in aiding disadvantaged communities.
“We believe more such partnerships to rebuild the livelihood of communities impacted by COVID-19 will emerge – and with greater awareness and collaboration, we can propel the creation of more social enterprises,” Dzuleira said.
For full terms and conditions of the SIM Grant and tax incentives, including the effective date, how the tax receipts will be disbursed and capped amounts, please visit https://mymagic.my/penjana-sim-grant or contact firstname.lastname@example.org To find out more about SE Accreditation, please visit https://central.mymagic.my/sea.
1 Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) World Giving Index 2019 – Ten Years of Giving Trend, pg13 https://good2give.ngo/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/World-Giving-Index-2019.pdf