What you want to know.
A groundup is a group of individuals who voluntarily come together to carry out a self-organised project or initiative to benefit the community. Groundups are not-for-profit and are not registered organisations.
Fantastic! However, before you go about implementing your solution, take some time to review your idea. Be able to clearly articulate the problem you’re trying to solve and how your idea addresses the problem. Once you have that down, start by going out to talk to stakeholders to test whether your problem holds true and if your solution will meet that need. For more detailed next steps, try this article.
Starting a groundup can be both an exciting and intimidating idea at the same time, and we've got some tips to help! When starting a groundup, you’re likely to face a series of decisions to make. From research and our experience working with groundups, we’ve found that the main contention points are the pains of ambiguity (as with all things new), how to fund your operations, the most effective way to reach out to people, getting volunteers on board and sustainability of the groundup. Read more about what these experiences look like here.
Check out giving.sg! We've always found volunteering with other existing organisations as a great way to start learning about the many causes out there - and yourself. It's a period of self-discovery, and by exposing yourself to various causes, you can find out which you resonate with and go from there!
If you’re just starting out, don’t worry so much lah. But if you've started a groundup that's currently active, drop us a friendly hello so that we can keep you in the loop when we organise groundup activities or come across opportunities that might be up your alley!
It is compulsory under the Societies Act for you to have a legal structure if your organising team has 10 or more persons, but if you have fewer team members than that, then not registering is an option as well. There are certain benefits to registering, such as improved credibility and access to new funding channels, but it also comes with costs involved like increased compliance and registration costs. Find out more here.
You don't necessarily have to take that step to incorporate your groundup as a registered organisation. (Most don't!) If you do decide to take that next step, start by asking yourself 2 questions: What are your motivations for registering, and what is your desired funding model? Read on here.
The usual ways we’ve seen groundups fund their operations come from four main buckets – self-funding, grants, online crowdfunding and collaborations with companies. There are also a number who choose to go down the social enterprise route by registering their groundup as a company and subsequently selling a product or service to sustain their social impact. Are you funding your work in a different way? Let us know!
House-to-house and street collections are limited to registered charities only, but groundups can still conduct public fundraising through online crowdfunding campaigns. There is a code of practice and a number of obligations that online crowdfunders have to adhere to (which you should be meeting, even without the law saying so), and in addition to that, any fundraising appeals for foreign charitable purposes require a permit
Setting up a crowdfunding campaign is easy (crowdfunding platforms have made sure of that), but getting your campaign to be effective is a different story. We’ve learnt a little about social crowdfunding campaigns that work from our experience running giving.sg, and you can find out more here.