In any sport or endeavour that requires sponsorship for its sustainability, the source of funds into the activity is usually limted.
Much depends on the popularity of the activity, its target audience base and most importantly endorsement from the powers that be.
In the context of chess, the problem of low sponsorship has inherently stifled the growth of the sport over the last 10 years. We have had it good during the 80s and 90s thanks to the generosity of Datuk Tan Chin Nam, a tycoon who is fervent about chess. It was he who sowed the seeds of China as a superpower in chess by sponsoring the Tan Chin Nam Cup in Beijing in the 90s.
Apart from that, whatever sponsorship SCF collects ( during my tenure of office there) comes from the usual Lee or Tan Foundation, Singapore Pools (before SSC streamlined the funds transfer) and well-wishers who were once prominent chess-players in their youth.
I somehow get the notion that interested parties in the chess community ought to do something about the situation, but why shouldn't parents of chess-playing children take an interest in this matter? After all, with the local scene dominated with junior players, the health of the chess scene directly impacts the chess-playing prospects of their children.The reason why I cannot count on parents of chess-playing children as potential sponsors is the vested interest factor. Most will generally contribute to any shortfall in funding for an activity if it concerns their child, but no further. Most of them will not wait to get off the hot seat once their child stops playing. That is a reality.
The current pool of Life members who are active in chess unfortunately do not see eye to eye with the current SCF administration, so there's no likelihood of any sponsorship forthcoming from them.
Hence it is an uphill task of raising funds, for which there is no immediate solution or fix. The Kasparov visit last year could have been a splendid opportunity kickstart the rise in profile of chess in Singapore, only to be marred in political quagmire because it was FIDE election year. Well, I suppose the current administration may wish to reconsider inviting Kasparov back in Singapore as he is actively championing scholastic chess education throughout Europe? His last visit was to Turkey. It's not FIDE election year after all in 2012..