Asian Insights on Nonprofit Leadership

- a blog by Usha Menon

From surviving to thriving

Singapore has the ability to be one of the key countries where fundraising should thrive, given supportive policy environment like the 250% tax benefit, the $500 million government matching through the Care & Share movement for capabilities building of the social service sector, a digitally wired smart nation, standards of education and living that are […]


Posted in Fundraising &Philanthropy, Leadership, Management | Leave a comment

Understanding misunderstandings

This past week I arbitrated a misunderstanding between staff of one of my clients, was asked to intervene in a communication breakdown between two of my friends, as well as observed a miscommunication dilemma that a mentee was facing. My judgement of each of these scenarios would be unfair for the parties involved, as I […]


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ABCD Of The Change Making Fundraiser

  My 29 years as a fundraiser and working with fundraisers across continents have strengthened my view that the success of fundraising in most parts depends on the characteristics of the fundraiser. Here are the ABCD of a change-making fundraiser, as I see them: Authentic Being authentic is about the credibility in one’s words and […]


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Changing landscape of fundraising for social good

The world of social impact is changing. Where there used to be clear divides between ‘non-profit’ charities, ‘profit-for-purpose’ social enterprise and the ‘for-profit’ commercial sector, we are seeing the blurring of lines between these entities and the focus has shifted from money that works only to provide a financial return, to one that also ensures […]


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fundraising and philanthropy observations from Asia – China

‘Not to know and know that you don’t know, that is to know” -Chinese proverb. I love the work I do as it’s a continuous process of studying, sharing and strengthening the social impact sector, organisations and its leadership across Asia.  Here are some of my recent observations and learning about the fundraising and philanthropy […]


Posted in Fundraising &Philanthropy, Leadership | Leave a comment

Fundraising Practices in Singapore

I am delighted to have collaborated with the National University of Singapore’s Centre for Social Development Asia (CSDA) to launch Singapore’s first exploratory studies on fundraising practices, with a focus on the Health, Social and Welfare sectors. The studies include a quantitative research on the disclosure of fundraising practices covering 126 IPCs (Institutions of Public […]


Posted in Fundraising &Philanthropy, Leadership | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Fundraising Landscape in China

The nonprofit sector According to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, at the end of December 2015 there were a total of 658,000 social organizations in China. These included 326,000 community organizations, 4,719 foundations, and 327,000 private non-enterprise work units. By way of comparison in 2014 there was a total of 606,000 […]


Posted in Fundraising &Philanthropy, Management | Leave a comment

iORDER – Duty of Care and Prudence

Nonprofit boards have a duty of care and prudence in performing its role. This fact is well known and accepted. However, as stewards of nonprofit organizations, knowing what these duties entail and how to operationalize their responsibilities are issues faced by the board members. Here is a mnemonic that I have devised to help us […]


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Seven Life Lessons as a student, parent and businesswoman

In this post I take a break from my reflections on nonprofit management and fundraising. Today I would like to share with you the Seven Life Lessons that I have learnt over the years. I have used the colors of the rainbow to help me organise my thoughts. For the first 3 colors I focus […]


Posted in Leadership | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Becoming a Non-Profit Director

This article was first published on 6 June 2016 in The Business Times and BT Invest (a financial portal of The Business Times), under the column “Boardroom Matters” by the Singapore Institute of Director. It is not uncommon for board directors who sit on “for-profit” boards to also serve on the boards of non-profit organisations […]


Posted in Leadership, Management | Tagged , , | Leave a comment