Closing Remarks by Ms Tan Li San, NCSS CEO at the Singapore Volunteer Management Conference

11 Apr 2023
  1. Thank you to the panel for a very illuminating conversation on how we as a community can harness the power of collaboration for more volunteer partnerships. Indeed, volunteerism allows each and every one of us to play a part in caring for those who need more support.

A. Reaffirming importance of volunteer management in harnessing valuable time, talent and resources that volunteers bring

  1. We have heard many times today: to drive stronger and more sustained volunteerism, strong volunteer management capabilities are critical.1
  2. A recent study (2018 pilot Volunteer Manager Funding Scheme evaluation study) conducted by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) on 10 social service agencies (SSAs) found that when the SSAs hired a volunteer manager, their volunteer pool increased by more than 50% from 27,000 to 41,000 from 2016 to 2018. Volunteer hours also more than doubled from 189,000 to 422,000 hours over the same period. Volunteer managers are therefore a key asset to social service agencies, as a way to augment manpower and better serve those in need. I believe the same would apply in other sectors as well.
  3. We have also heard from today’s panellists about the importance of:
    1. A clear Volunteer Management Framework and Strategy
    2. Volunteer Development pathway so that volunteers feel a sense of growth. [This includes a Volunteer Leaders structure/formation which we know SINDA and Singapore Red Cross have implemented.]
    3. Collecting and analysing volunteer data so we can monitor and demonstrate to volunteers the impact they have made
    4. And many other insights.

B. [Demand Side] Volunteer Resource Hub is the go-to for volunteer resources

  1. NCSS remains committed in supporting you and your organisation in building volunteer management capabilities. Over the years, we have, together with many of our partners, developed resources that can be found on the Volunteer Resource Hub, on the NCSS website.
  2. Some key resources include:
    • Volunteer Management Toolkit 2.0, which contain practical tools and guidelines for building your Volunteer Management Framework.
    • Volunteer Role Redesign Guide, which helps your organisation take a more intentional approach to designing volunteer roles to fit your agency’s needs, better leverage assets of volunteers while allowing staff to focus on their professional roles.
    • Learning and Development Roadmap, to help VM practitioners understand the skills and competencies they need, and how best to acquire them. As part of the roadmap implementation, NCSS works closely with learning partners such as Social Service Institute (which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year), SUSS and SIT to curate courses for VM practitioners

    C. [Supply Side] Resources for Corporates/Communities who want to get involved in volunteering

    1. Corporates and community partners who take volunteerism seriously can also benefit from our resources. NCSS has developed
      • Corporate Volunteerism Guide to help organisations better plan their volunteering efforts, including how to identify non-profit partners that are aligned to your organisation’s goals , and how to make these Volunteer Partnerships more sustainable.
      • We are building a Skills-Based Volunteerism Toolkit to be launched in a few months’ time to guide corporates who wish to uplift the capabilities of non-profits such as HR, marketing, digitalisation, etc. In a recent NCSS Skills-Based Volunteer Partnership Challenge, we saw organisations such as P&G helping AMKFSC Community Services’ social enterprise, Bakery Hearts, revamp their marketing collaterals.2


    1. “We make a living by what we get, We make a life by what we give” – Winston Churchill. When we volunteer, we do not just benefit those we help, but Shared Value is created as the volunteer experiences personal growth and learning. Corporates with high rates of volunteerism also tend to have high rates of employee engagement. As DPM said this morning, “if we strengthen our social compact, we can turn challenges into opportunities and find the silver lining in whatever comes our way”.
    2. With that, I hope you have found the sessions fruitful so far! I would like to take this opportunity to thank the panel speakers, moderators, DPM Lawrence Wong and Mr Speaker Tan Chuan Jin for their valuable insights. I wish you all a fulfilling time in the practice seminars this afternoon. Thank you.