Singapore is currently home to over 100 local and International Non-Profit Organisations (INPOs), comprising inter-governmental organisations (IGOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with a social, humanitarian or environmental focus, industry associations, philanthropic foundations, think tanks, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) organisations. They include major players in a variety of fields such as World Vision International and the International Air Transport Association. An increasing number of social enterprises, which incorporate social or environmental causes in sustainable business models, and social enterprise platforms, have also called Singapore home. More information can be found at the website of the International Organisations Programme Office (IOPO), which has been set up to facilitate interested international non-profit organisations in setting up base in Singapore.
This growing pool of International Organisations (IOs) and NGOs in Singapore offers a plethora of volunteering opportunities. Volunteering is one of the best ways to connect with different communities in Singapore. It allows you to make a personal impact on communities within and outside of Singapore while meeting others and expanding your skills, network and experience.
Find out more about some of these IOs and how you can volunteer with them:
Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES)
The Singapore-based Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) believes in promoting community involvement in tackling international animal welfare issues and in building partnerships with all various stakeholders to improve animal welfare.
The society is driven by its concern for animals and adopts research projects on the use of animals in various fields. Research findings are then used to educate the public to promote active community involvement in the animal welfare movement, as well as strive towards synergistic partnerships with local and international stakeholders.
Mercy Relief is an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity, established in response to the human tragedies in Asia. It aims to promote a civic life of compassion, care and volunteerism. Its aid programmes include providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken locations; and longer-term developmental projects to uplift the lives of impoverished and disadvantaged communities, focusing on water & sanitation, shelter, healthcare, basic education and sustainable livelihoods.
Save the Children International
Save the Children International is the leading independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world. Co-location of two Regional Headquarters that will oversee centralized management functions for all of its Asia programmes, which comprise over 40% of its global programme activities.
Singapore International Foundation
The Singapore International Foundation is a non-profit organisation. It aims to build a better world through shared ideas, skills and experiences, so as to uplift lives and create greater understanding between Singaporeans and world communities.
Their activities involved working with local and international communities for sustainable development, exchanging ideas for greater understanding, and forging friendship for Singapore through developmental and humanitarian projects in five core areas: healthcare, education, the environment, arts and culture, and livelihood and business
Singapore Red Cross Society
The Singapore Red Cross is part of a world-wide, non-political, non-religious movement which bases its work on the fundamental principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. An independent humanitarian organisation, it raises funds to serve humanity locally and internationally.
Temasek Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic organisation anchored in Singapore that seeks to contribute to sustainable growth and a bright future of hope and opportunities for people in Asia. The foundation works with partners to support programmes that develop people through health care, education and research, programmes that build bridges between peoples, programmes that build institutions of excellence through good governance and ethics, and programmes that rebuild lives and livelihoods affected by natural disasters.
World Toilet Organisation
World Toilet Organisation (WTO) is a global non-profits organisation headquartered in Singapore that is committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide. It recently expanded its GHQ in Singapore, to building a Bottom of Pyramid (BoP) hub.
World Vision (WVI) is the second largest humanitarian NGO globally focused on improving the well-being of the poor and suffering, in particular children. WVI currently has a satellite office in Singapore which supports the regional office based in Bangkok, Thailand. WVI has recently restructured its operations to have two RHQs in Asia: Bangkok for East Asia and Singapore for South Asia and the Pacific Islands. The proposed RHQ in Singapore would undertake regional strategic management and project coordination functions.
WWF is one of the world’s largest environmental non-profit organisations. WWF International’s Asia Pacific Headquarters is based in Singapore. The office here is WWF’s regional operations hub for finance and human resources, regional communications and public relations hub and regional learning and development hub.
Check out the list of IOs with a presence in Singapore here.