More help for charities to go digital, boost transparency
Charities will receive support to boost their digital capabilities, and strengthen regulatory compliance and transparency, with a number of initiatives to be rolled out later this year.
They include a new toolkit, which will be ready in November, to help charities embrace digitalisation as support for their corporate and administrative functions.
Speaking yesterday at the virtual Charity Governance Conference, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong said the Charities GoDigital Kit is one of three initiatives to strengthen the capabilities of charities amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Describing charities as the glue that holds Singapore together, the minister said they play a key role in civil society that benefits the most vulnerable segments of the society.
"Much of your work is in fact critical to our national drive to build a more caring and inclusive Singapore," Mr Tong told about 500 charity representatives and partners at the two-day conference which is being held virtually for the first time. The conference is organised by the Securities Investors Association (Singapore) with support from the Charity Council.
Mr Tong also announced a revised Charity Transparency Framework, to be published next month. Transparency, as with accountability, is key in building trust with donors and stakeholders, he said.
"The more well governed a charity is, the more confidence a donor will have in that charity," he stressed.
"This framework serves as a guide to help charities define their policy and approach to transparency... It will outline good disclosure practices and help charities communicate better with their stakeholders."
The framework was launched in 2015, and the revision was announced last year.
In a statement, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth said the framework, to be published on the Charity Portal and the Charity Council website, has been redesigned to suit charities of different sizes.
Mr Tong also announced that four more organisations will be helping to strengthen charities' regulatory compliance and effectiveness. These shared services partners will do it at low or no cost.
They are the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants, Law Society Pro Bono Services, Institute of Internal Auditors Singapore, and Shared Services for Charities.
This brings to 11 the organisations that are helping charities to access IT solutions, recruit talent and file annual reports and financial statements.