Breakthrough in Charity Governance

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In this episode, Dr. Tan talks about the focus on accountability, particularly in the context of the new code of governance set to be implemented. This code emphasizes how charitable organizations must ensure accountability, especially when utilizing public funds. Transparency in financial reporting, reflected in annual reports, is highlighted as a key message. By 2025, all charities will be mandated to comply with these new standards.

The guest today is Dr. Isabel Sim, who is an experienced finance trainer and consultant for nonprofit organizations. She emphasizes the significance of accountability and stewardship in the charity sector. Isabel’s passion for aiding charities in building strong accountability systems shines through her work.

Isabel traces her journey from being a medical social worker to her foray into finance. Her background in both fields led her to recognize the financial challenges faced by many charities. This realization prompted her transition into nonprofit financial management.

The discussion focuses on the six key principles of the new code of governance. These principles are designed to guide charities in ensuring ethical and transparent practices:

  1. Serving the charity’s mission and achieving objectives.
  2. Effective board and management.
  3. Ethical, fair, and integral behavior.
  4. Strong management and future planning.
  5. Accountability and transparency.
  6. Active communication to instill public confidence.

Isabel highlights the importance of adapting to the evolving landscape and the new emphasis on ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) policies. As well as common pitfalls, such as lack of proper risk and crisis management practices. She also discusses the significance of managing board members’ tenures and succession planning. Properly addressing these areas contributes to the sustainability and effectiveness of charities.

Isabel addresses the crucial issue of financial sustainability. Many charities focus solely on their services and neglect building financial reserves. Financial management skills are essential to ensure long-term success.

They conclude by underlining the importance of financial sustainability, risk management, and accountability in the charity sector. Isabel encourages charities to embrace ESG policies and emphasizes the role of transparency in building donor trust.

This podcast sheds light on the evolving landscape of charity governance in Singapore. The new code of governance highlights the importance of transparency, accountability, and proper financial management. Dr. Isabel Sim’s insights provide valuable guidance to nonprofit organizations striving to make a positive impact while navigating the complex world of financial stewardship.

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