Four groups to provide charities with shared services

The Commissioner of Charities said in a statement that charities play an important role in inspiring a culture of care and consideration in Singapore and it is essential that they are able to be effective, efficient and accountable.
The Commissioner of Charities said in a statement that charities play an important role in inspiring a culture of care and consideration in Singapore and it is essential that they are able to be effective, efficient and accountable. PHOTO: ST FILE

Four local organisations will provide shared services to help charities - especially the smaller ones - comply with regulations and stay effective, the Commissioner of Charities (COC) said yesterday.

The organisations are the Chartered Secretaries Institute of Singapore (CSIS), Singapore Buddhist Federation (SBF), iShine Cloud (iShine) and the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC).

The COC said yesterday that charities play an important role in inspiring a culture of care and consideration in Singapore and that it is essential they are able to be effective, efficient and accountable.

However, it is mindful that smaller charities - which make up more than 50 per cent of the sector - may face difficulties in compliance and governance efforts due to limited resources and manpower.

"While many small charities endeavour to do good, and to do their jobs well, some struggle due to the lack of know-how, proper expertise or economies of scale," said the commissioner, Dr Ang Hak Seng.

In the first phase of the initiative, shared services will include assistance in electronic regulatory submissions in line with the new amendment to the Charities Act, governance-related matters, talent management and technology solutions.

In the statement, the COC said that CSIS will help charities with technical know-how in annual submissions and equip them with a better understanding of regulatory and governance matters.

Charities may seek assistance from CSIS through its walk-in clinics and training sessions.

SBF, which will offer similar services, will extend a helping hand to charities of other faiths and sectors, and provide hands-on guidance at its service centre as well as face-to-face consultancy services.

Meanwhile, non-profit IT cloud service company iShine Cloud will provide information technology shared services to charities.

These include an integrated suite of business productivity solutions commonly needed by charities.

The COC is also working with NVPC's Centre for Non-Profit Leadership to identify partners who can help charities acquire talent, the statement said.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu said in the same statement that the partnership between COC and shared service providers is crucial in improving the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the charities sector.

"Many charities, especially the smaller ones, will benefit from their expertise and experience," she said.

"We will continue in our efforts to empower and enable charities to cultivate a well-governed and thriving charity sector."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2018, with the headline 'Four groups to provide charities with shared services'. Print Edition | Subscribe