With effect from 1 April 2023, Samaritans of Singapore will officially complete our transition to Samaritans of Singapore Limited (SOS), as we shift our operations from a Society registered under the Registrar of Societies (ROS), to a Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG) under the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
This change will strengthen the governance of our organisation and our services and operations will continue without disruption. Our mission remains the same – to be an available lifeline to anyone in crisis.
Over the last few years, SOS has noticed a shift in Singapore’s suicide prevention landscape. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, more individuals have been reaching out for support, with an 89.9% increase in service users seen across our resources during this period. While there was a decrease in suicide deaths from 452 to 378 from 2020 to 2021, this was met with a 23.3% rise in suicide deaths among youths aged 10-19.
These statistics, along with the increasingly diversified needs of the at-risk community we support, underlined the importance of SOS continuing to adapt to the ever-changing suicide landscape, to ensure our organisation can continue standing in the gap to support those in distress. The transition to SOSL allows our organisation to future-proof the agency, and crucially, allows us to ensure the sustainability of our resources for anyone who may require support now or in the future.
SOS’ legal entity will transition from ‘Samaritans of Singapore’ to ‘Samaritans of Singapore Limited’, and this change will take effect on 1 April 2023. The UEN of this new entity will be 202245684D, and we have continued to adopt SOS as our official abbreviation.
SOS is currently registered as a Society, and this transition will see us adopt the operations of a CLG – a legal structure introduced by the Singapore government for non-profit organisations like us. However, just like our current operations as a Society, this transition will continue to see us registered as a Charity and Institution of a Public Character (IPC), which means that there will be no changes to our charity work.
Will there be any changes to SOS' programmes and services?
No. All our programmes and services will continue to operate with no changes, as we continue to support anyone in distress.
What will happen to my personal data?
We would like to assure both our service users and the wider public that SOS will continue to put in place all necessary measures to keep your personal data safe, and to comply with the Personal Data Protection Act. All your personal data will be migrated from Samaritans of Singapore to Samaritans of Singapore Limited.
To find out more about 'Deemed Consent', please click here.
Will there be any changes to SOS’ helplines?
No. For at-risk individuals in need of immediate emotional support, they may continue to reach out to us via our 24-hour Hotline at 1767, or our 24-hour CareText WhatsApp service via 9151 1767.
Will there be any changes to SOS' volunteering procedures?
No. SOS’ volunteering pre-requisites, application processes and duty requirements will remain as they did when SOS operated as a society. Through this transition, our mission remains steadfast – to be an available lifeline to anyone in crisis.
DONORS, PARTNERS & EXTERNAL STAKEHOLDERS:
Will there be any changes to SOS’ resources through this transition?
No. Our programmes and services, as well as our training workshops and outreach initiatives that you have supported will continue to operate as they did when SOS operated as a society.
How do I donate during this transition?
SOS will continue to receive donations during this transition period until 31 March 2023. With effect from 1 April 2023, donations should be addressed to Samaritans of Singapore Limited. Donations are accepted via several methods: PayNow (via QR code), Bank transfer, GIRO, Cheque, and Online platforms (Giving.sg, GIVE.asia). Donors may donate via any of these mediums to Samaritans of Singapore’s new bank account. For more information, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens if I accidentally donate to the previous bank account?
For accidental donations to our Society’s bank account, our team will trigger a transfer of your donation to the new entity, Samaritans of Singapore Limited, and you will be notified by our fundraising team. No action is required on your part.
What will happen to my recurring donations? For donations via GIRO:
For donors currently donating via GIRO, our fundraising team would have reached out to you informing you of the required changes, and to provide a reminder on the termination of GIRO payments to Samaritans of Singapore from 1 April 2023. For redirection of your GIRO donations to Samaritans of Singapore Limited, please click here.
For donations via Standing Instruction:
If you currently have a standing bank arrangement tied to our current bank account, you will be required to terminate/remove the current instructions, and to create a new one with our new bank details as Samaritans of Singapore Limited.
For donations via Online Platforms (Giving.sg, GIVE.asia):
Effective 1 April 2023, all donations via Samaritans of Singapore (i.e. our society) will be closed and will be redirected to Samaritans of Singapore Limited. Donors donating on a recurring basis via these platforms are strongly encouraged to continue contributing via this entity.
Will there be any changes to the billing process?
There will be no changes to the current billing process, except for the following: From 1 April 2023, all invoices will be issued in the name of Samaritans of Singapore Limited for services rendered. For payment to SOS, a new bank account in the name of Samaritans of Singapore Limited has been set up to receive payment from our clients. For cheques issued to SOS, the payee’s name should be Samaritans of Singapore Limited. For payment via PayNow, a new QR code for Samaritans of Singapore Limited has been generated to receive payments from clients.
Will I still get to receive tax deductions?
Yes. As Samaritans of Singapore Limited is a registered charity and Institution of a Public Character (IPC), all eligible donations will continue to receive a 250% tax deduction from 1 April 2023 onwards.