It is an honour to be Chairman of the 5th Charity Council and to have this opportunity to contribute to the charity sector in Singapore.
Since the formation of the Charity Council in 2007, the Council has set about establishing and enhancing the governance standards of the charity sector. To that end, the Council has achieved various milestones such as the launch of the Code of Governance in 2007 and Charity Governance Awards in 2012. The past Council also initiated the process of enhancing transparency in the sector which is an important component of good governance. In the new term, while building upon the good work done, we will also refine and review our initiatives to ensure they meet the evolving needs of the sector. We will also step up our engagement efforts to form new partnerships with professional bodies to tap on their areas of expertise and to help the charity sector achieve higher levels of governance.
Good governance holds the key to sustainability and growth of the charity sector. It is a work in progress, and charities must proactively put in the time and effort to achieve and maintain a well-governed organisation.
Transparency and accountability are key cornerstones of good governance. They form the foundation for building trust – a key commodity for charities. Among the many charities in Singapore, only those that are credible and practise transparency can remain sustainable. By having a rigorous and transparent reporting on your organisation’s activities, financials and governance, you are seen as being authentic, accountable and accessible. The visibility of your organisation is enhanced and your stakeholders, be it volunteers, members or donors, will remember you each time they want to contribute to a good cause.
Donors and funders also have a key role to play, to improve governance in the charity sector. They should recognise that spending on governance and good administration is a necessity for charities. They should send out the message that only well-governed charities are deserving of their contributions. By practising informed giving, this helps to ensure that their donations would be used well.
Good governance is a continuous journey – we still have room for improvement, particularly in the standard of reporting. The Council will continue to be here with you in this journey, to provide the sector with the necessary support and equip them with the relevant knowledge and skillsets to be well-governed.
Together, we can realise our aspiration of a well-governed and thriving charity sector.
Gerard Ee, Chairman, Charity Council