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Message From The Board


Shared Services for Charities (SSC) celebrated our 10th anniversary in 2019. We are privileged to have served more than 180 distinct charities over the years. We have completed more than 1,200 projects in controls, policy and process review and manuals documentation with increasing interest in codes of conduct, risk assessment as well as personal data protection. SSC is proud to have been conferred the Charity Transparency Award by the Charity Council for four consecutive years from 2016 to 2019.

In the years since our formation, many client charities have become partners whom we service over cycles of work. We value their confidence in SSC as a partner in strengthening governance which supports growth and development. We seek to reach more charities with our services.

Looking ahead to the next 10 years, our vision of strengthening governance among charities through shared services remains as strong as ever. We are a charity ourselves, in a position to understand the issues and challenges our clients face.

We will build on the foundation that has been established. We will develop and deepen existing partnerships with charities, value-adding to services currently offered. We will also reach to new and smaller charities through workshops tailored to their requirements.

At the beginning of 2019, Yeo Lian Sim, previously a non-executive director, took on the role of Executive Director to refocus SSC on its renewed mission in the second decade of its life. We also welcomed to the Board Professor Sheila Wang who, in the course of the year, assisted SSC with renewing our vision and reviewing our focus on the way forward for the future. SSC began preparing to endorse its Chairman, Gan Seow Ann, for continuation in office while drawing a clearer separation between board directors and members of SSC.

With refreshed leadership at the helm, SSC continues building capability with new staff hires at various levels of seniority. We have stepped up learning and professional development, and will augment in-house experience with external breadth of knowledge through the services of experienced professionals who volunteer with SSC. Collectively, they bring a wealth of commercial understanding and maturity of judgement that is difficult to capture in-house and still keep fees affordable.

We experienced, first-hand, the heavy dependence on funding from VCF consultancy grants by charities undertaking governance reviews and controls assurance. The switch to a twice-yearly cycle of grant funding in 2019 meant that charities adjusted their service demand and timing accordingly. This had an impact on our order book and we only served 43 charities with 76 projects in 2019. Through careful management of resources, we managed to end the year at the same level of funding as the year before. Since then, renewed outreach to charities has generated positive response and an increase in orders for 2020.

SSC marked the year with seminars centred around the theme, “Stewardship”, in partnership with the Centre for Non-Profit Leadership (CNPL). Our Annual Seminar on “The Practice of Good Stewardship – How Does It Create Value?” featured leaders in the charities sector headed by the Commissioner of Charities, as well as our Patron and our Founder, sharing their wisdom and experience.

To draw our 10th Anniversary Celebrations to a fitting close, a Gala Dinner was held on 30 October 2019 at the Conrad Centennial Singapore. The President of Singapore, Madam Halimah Yacob, was the Guest-of-Honour. Lending her support to our cause, Madam President did a Chinese calligraphy piece of the word 和 (meaning “Harmony & Togetherness”) which she imprinted with her seal, bearing her name in Mandarin. This piece is now the property of a new owner, by way of the evening’s silent auction. Among our other guests that evening were charities, partners, donors and friends, all of whom we wish to thank for staying the course with us. The Bicentennial Community Fund, with its dollar-for-dollar matching grant, provided the right impetus for a vigorous fund-raising drive. The Board is pleased to announce that we have met the conditions that allow us to qualify in full for the amount allowable by this Fund.

We, the Board, wish to express our appreciation to our staff, committee members, partner organisations, government agencies, volunteers, interns and donors, who have generously donated their time, resources and expertise to our cause. Our family is grateful to the Singapore Exchange and BINJAItree Foundation for their invaluable support since SSC’s inception. Changes are afoot in 2020. We have moved out of Liang Court, our headquarters for the past decade, to a new office in PTH Building in Geylang. The big challenge in 2020 and beyond is the impact the COVID-19 virus will have on the charities we plan to serve. Nonetheless, with the support of the Commissioner of Charities, donors, volunteers, and the charity sector at large, we know that we will not walk alone as we stride bravely into the next decade.

Chairman & Board of Directors