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Boost to help transform the Non-Profit Sector

Speech by Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Communications and Information at the Launch of Tote Board Non-Profit Sector Transformation Initiative - Organisation Development Programme 

Ms Anita Fam, Board Member, Tote Board and President, NCSS

Mr Fong Yong Kian, Chief Executive, Tote Board 

Mr Sim Gim Guan, Chief Executive Officer, NCSS 

Ladies and Gentlemen

  1. It is my pleasure to join you today, and launch the Tote Board NonProfit Sector Transformation Initiative - Organisation Development (OD) Programme.

    Transforming Singapore’s Non-Profit Landscape

  2. I would like to start by thanking all of you for your contribution to Singapore. First, the Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs), who exist to benefit many segments of the community who need help – be it in terms of financial assistance, social assistance, befriending, and many other aspects. Aside from providing help, you also create opportunities for people who care to serve as volunteers together with like-minded folks to benefit the community. This process not only strengthens interpersonal connections, but also helps cultivate community ownership.
  3. I would also like to express my appreciation of the Tote Board as a major funder of many organisations and initiatives in the non-profit space. Since their inception 30 years ago, Tote Board has approved $9.3 billion in the areas of arts, community development, education, health, social service and sports. In FY17 alone, they approved $741 million and disbursed $469 million, benefitting hundreds of non-profit organisations annually.
  4. The desire to do good is important, but it may not be sufficient in this increasingly complex and dynamic world. Non-profit organisations all over the world are thinking hard about how to go about their work in the most cost-effective, sustainable, and accountable ways possible. With a proliferation of causes that resonate with donors, and greater competition for the charity dollar, the definition of success for well-run NPOs is also being reshaped. They are constantly exploring ways to research their causes; develop thought leadership on the best ways to solve various social and community problems; build active and engaged networks of volunteers; and manage their organisation’s resources responsibly. All this, on top of running successful programmes and driving substantive changes for the better.
  5. Our NPOs are responding to these new needs by trying out new strategies. First, by using the power of new technology. For example, Parkinson Society Singapore is using i-Shine Cloud, a secure cloudbased platform launched by Singapore Pools and NCSS. The platform has tools like Microsoft Office, as well as other HR and accounting solutions, making work easier for staff at Parkinson Society. Second, by finding new ways of engaging stakeholders, beneficiaries and the public, in order to build greater awareness, rapport and trust. Third, by sharing their experience via Communities of Practice, and explore new collaborations with other NPOs to enhance their programmes. One such initiative I’m very happy to be associated with is the Mentorship Community of Practice, which brings together 11 youth service organisations who are all keen to find out from each other how to make their mentorship programmes more impactful.

    Launch of the OD Programme 

  6. To support your development, Tote Board has set aside $10 million for a cross-sector NPO Organisational Development programme in partnership with NCSS. This programme is part of Tote Board’s Non-Profit Sector Transformation Initiative, which aims to support 10 NPOs over the next five years. Tote Board anticipates that each selected NPO would require $1million over 3 years. Of the amount, 90% of the $1milion funding, or $900,000 would be supported through Tote Board through this Transformation fund, with NPOs co-funding the remaining 10%. The support from Tote Board would allow NPOs to effect your transformation plans, such as deploying greater digitalisation efforts in your organisation as well as significantly improving internal processes and systems such as HR, Branding, Finance and Risk Management. NPOs can also utilise the funding to hire dedicated manpower support in your corporate HQ, to drive OD changes on a sustained basis. 
  7. This effort to empower NPOs builds on other existing OD initiatives by the government, such as the VWO-Charities Capability Fund. It also complements the ongoing drive to improve governance and accountability in the charity sector, from the introduction of a Code of Practice for online fund-raising appeals, and recent amendments to the Charities Act. I hope that this new cross-sector OD Fund will propel more of our NPOs to build capabilities to become even better at what they do.


  8. It takes an ecosystem of diverse partners and organisations working together to multiply our efforts for the common good. I would like to specially thank AIC, Enterprise Singapore, MCCY, MSF and NCSS for contributing their expertise to this OD programme. And of course, my appreciation to the Tote Board for funding this initiative and supporting a strong Non-Profit sector. This spirit of collaboration exemplifies SG Cares, a national movement to build a more caring and inclusive society through partnerships across the people, private and public sector. Such partnerships enable us to harness the strengths of different parties to tackle future challenges and meet the needs of society.
  9. And now, it gives me great pleasure to launch the Tote Board Organisation Development Programme! I wish all of you a transformative and purposeful afternoon ahead.

Last updated on 13 March 2019