Boosting capability of social service sector

We thank Mr Joshua Tan Wei Siang for his suggestion to extend resources for capability building to organisations in the social service sector ("Extend productivity schemes to social service sector"; last Thursday).

Voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) and other non-profit organisations (NPOs) in the social service sector play an important role in our society.

Today, government agencies and government-funded bodies provide support in various ways to help them develop capabilities and improve productivity.

For example, VWOs can tap several schemes and initiatives by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) and Ministry of Social and Family Development.

The VWOs-Charities Capability Fund supports initiatives to build professional and organisational capabilities, and pursue innovation and productivity efforts.

Since April 2012, more than $40 million has been disbursed to fund 13,000 such projects.

The NCSS also works closely with other bodies, including the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, to support VWOs and NPOs in other areas, including training and development, organisational development, adoption of IT and volunteer resource optimisation.

Many of these efforts are funded by the Government.

In addition, as part of the SG50 Care and Share movement, the Government is providing a matching grant of $500 million for donations raised by participating VWOs.

These grants can be channelled towards capability and capacity building projects pursued by the VWOs.

We welcome ideas on how we can work with VWOs and NPOs in the social service sector to further strengthen their capability to serve the people in our community.

Sim Gim Guan
Chief Executive Officer
National Council of Social Service

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2015, with the headline 'Boosting capability of social service sector'. Print Edition | Subscribe