Singapore, 31 May 2023 – The Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) to equip Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) in Singapore with critical skills to develop revenue-generating innovation and fundraising capabilities to build long-term resilience and remain effective in serving societal needs.
The signing ceremony took place this afternoon at the annual Alibaba Cloud-SUSS Demo Day 20231 held at SUSS, involving over 170 startups, investors, venture capitalists and other ecosystem players.
Since the onslaught of COVID-19, donor giving and volunteerism in Singapore have declined with financial strain exerted on individuals and families due to the loss of jobs and other livelihood challenges. Overall, donation rate dipped from 79% in 2018 to 60% in 2021 – the lowest rate yielded since 2004 based on the Individual Giving Study 2021 conducted by NVPC. However, the same study found that the median amount donated increased from S$100 in 2018 to S$200 in 2021. As NPOs and charities depend largely on donations to deliver their programmes and services to the needy groups of society, it is crucial for them to raise sufficient monetary resources to carry out their social missions without disruption.
In light of the increasing inflationary pressures and donor behaviour changes in the post-pandemic world, the newly inked SUSS-NVPC partnership aims to better equip and transform NPOS into agile, business savvy and profit-making businesses that can pivot, fund and sustain their own operations without heavy dependence on external funding. Key highlights of this collaboration will include the following aspects:
- The novel introduction of the SUSS Venture Builder programme2 to the NPO sector for the first time to cultivate and develop their entrepreneurship skills. Participants will undergo a 12-week immersive training designed to teach them the various aspects of venture creation, including ideation, market validation, business model development and other essential skills to generate alternate revenue streams for their organisations.
- An optional three-week overseas programme will be made available for participants, to pitch their ideas to markets in the ASEAN region and China, and network with regional partners.
- A new fundraising programme co-designed by SUSS and NVPC will be launched to impart the latest strategies and techniques of fundraising to participants. They will learn about non-profit leadership, governance, risk management, fundraising and volunteer management, and social marketing to dramatically raise awareness and drive donations for their causes.
Professor Robbie Goh, SUSS Provost, said, “SUSS is proud to partner with NVPC to be a champion for social good. By meeting the need for continuous training and upskilling of our NPOs in Singapore, we can evolve and innovate in the NPO sector to better serve our society. Our experience in customised, applied learning and venture-building networking, will complement NVPC’s extensive sector knowledge, making this collaboration a perfect marriage to support Singapore’s non-profit sector.”
Mr Tony Soh, Chief Executive Officer, NVPC added, “NVPC is committed to developing the capabilities of charities and ground-up groups to ensure that they are appropriately resourced to create impact and effect social change. The strategic partnership with SUSS is part of our long-term plan to build thriving networks of individuals, communities, organisations and businesses that are empowered to contribute their best towards a more compassionate, inclusive and caring Singapore.”
Joining the SUSS Venture Builder programme as the first participant from the non-profit sector, Ms Siti Zubaidah Binte Yusoff, Assistant Director, SATA CommHealth said, “This is a highly valuable platform that charities could leverage to improve self-sustainability and stay effective in impacting lives. I hope to gain invaluable guidance and relevant skills to generate more revenue and develop sustainable business models to ensure continued provision of healthcare services to seniors and the vulnerable in the community.”
The pioneer batch of NPOs will be onboarded the SUSS-NVPC programme starting from 26 June to 15 September 2023. Interested NPOs can sign up via suss.to/npo by 12 June 2023 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further enquiries.
1About SUSS Venture Builder Programme
The SUSS Venture Builder programme, an immersive three-month training programme, takes budding entrepreneurs through an intensive training and mentoring period to acquire essential skills needed to build their own business. It also offers SUSS student and graduate founders stipend support throughout the programme, and the opportunity to tap into a SGD25,000 grant upon completion of programme, funded by the Ngee Ann Kongsi (NAK) Social Impact Hub.
Since its launch in 2020, the programme has disbursed 12 grants worth SGD300,000 to promising startups to further their product development and growth. SUSS has supported over 120 students and alumni in venture building, with 1 in 2 students going on to incubate their impact-driven ventures.
2About Alibaba Cloud-SUSS Entrepreneurship Programme
Started in 2017, the Alibaba Cloud – SUSS Entrepreneurship Programme is an incubation programme where students work on their business ideas and receive resources, networks and support. To pass the programme, students need to secure funding or achieve SGD250,000 annual revenue. We have supported over 106 startups to date and have helped them raise SGD9.5M in private and government funding.
To find out more about our programme, visit: www.suss.edu.sg/experience-at-suss/entrepreneurship/