Starting a groundup



COVID-19 measures

Frequently asked

What does starting a groundup look like?

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.

I'm figuring out how to fund my groundup's work. How are the groundups out there usually funded?

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!

I'm thinking of running a crowdfunding camapign to raise funds. How do I go about running an effective fundraising campaign?

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, and you can find out more here.

Do I have to notify anyone that I am starting a groundup?

If you’re just starting out, don’t worry so much lah, police won’t come and catch you for doing good things. 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!

What's allowed and not allowed for public fundraising?

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.

Should I register as an entity?

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.

Where can I register my groundup?

There currently isn’t an avenue where you can lodge notice of your groundup’s existence and activities, but if you would like to register as an entity, it is possible to do so with ACRA or the Registry of Societies.

What entity type should I register as?

There are 9 possible entity types to register as, and which you choose broadly depends on two questions: What are your motivations for registering, and what is your desired funding model? Read on here.

Will there be funding available for my initiative through Groundup Sandbox?

We recognise that funding isn't always the most pressing need for initiatives that are looking to start up - oftentimes it could be sourcing for potential partners or resources. That said, we have prepared three awards of $2,000 each, helping the initiatives that do the need funding to kickstart their journey of good.

I'm unable to attend an upcoming session. What should I do?

Groundup Sandbox is designed to be an experiential journey, where each session builds on the previous ones. While we hope that everyone will be able to experience the entire journey to reap the most of the programme, we understand that plans can change or you might have something urgent crop up. All we ask is for you to communicate your absence to us as soon as you're able to so that we're able to adjust accordingly, as our programme planning is tailored and customised with each of you in mind.

Wow, I'm excited to be put in touch with practitioners in the space! Who are the industry mentors for this run of Groundup Sandbox?

We have a wide range of industry mentors joining us this run! From mental health to the environment, every project idea will have a great mentor to guide them along. Check out the full list of industry mentors here!

I know that a successful mentor-mentee relationship is highly dependent on the fit. How will I be matched to my industry mentor?

We know this too and we take it very seriously in the programme design of Sandbox. Based on the project ideas that you have shared and the interest areas of the mentors, we'll make an initial shortlist of your potential industry mentors. You'll then get to meet your 3 shortlisted mentors over Zoom on 16th Jan where you will get to indicate your mentor preference. The mentors will do the same, and from there we'll allocate the mentors in the most optimal way possible for everyone.

I understand that there are two types of mentors for Sandbox - industry mentors and NVPC mentors. What is the difference between the two?

We handpicked the industry mentors based on the ideas that each of you are working on, with the aim of putting you in touch with the right people who have the subject knowledge and networks to level up your idea and initiative. Many of them are well-versed in specific domain areas and familiar with leading teams, projects and initiatives, so tap on their expertise to tackle the questions that you have regarding strategy, direction, feasibility and execution. The NVPC mentors are on hand for you should you have more administrative questions surrounding your initiative, so that your time with the industry mentors can be focused on the questions that really matter. Things like locating resources for your initiative and whether to register as an entity are possible topics to tap on the NVPC mentors for, and also if you have random ideas that you just want to bounce off with a friendly face!

The mentors must be really busy people! How much time do I have with my mentors for each of the 4 mentoring sessions?

Each mentoring session lasts for one hour. Two of the sessions are with industry mentors, and two are with NVPC mentors. To respect everyone's time, do show up for your mentoring sessions punctually :)

I'd like to plan out my Sandbox journey! When will my mentoring sessions take place?

After meeting your potential industry mentors on 16th Jan, you'll be informed of your mentor pairing by 18th Jan. The first mentoring session with your industry mentor is encouraged to be scheduled between 18th Jan-6th Feb, and the second one between 20th Feb-13th Mar. The two mentoring sessions with the NVPC mentors can take place anytime from the start of Sandbox on 9th Jan till 31st Mar. Remember, the onus is on you to take the intiative to reach out to your mentor to schedule a session :) Check out the full Sandbox schedule here!

Where will the mentoring sessions be held?

This is entirely up to you and your mentor - it can be over a meal or coffee, it can be virtual, or it can even be wherever you're testing out your solution! If both parties would like to meet in-person but can't secure a space, let us know and we'd be happy to work out an arrangement where you can meet in the NVPC office.

I understand that most of the Sandbox sessions are held in-person. What are the COVID-19 safe management measures in place?

The health and safety of everyone involved in Groundup Sandbox is of utmost importance to us, and we'll take every reasonable precaution possible to ensure a safe execution of the in-person sessions. Safe management measures that we have taken for all sessions organised by us include (but not limited to):

  • Temperature screening (done by mall management when entering Clarke Quay Central)
  • SafeEntry/TraceTogether upon entry
  • Mask on policy at all times unless consuming food and beverages
  • Physical spacing of at least 1m
  • Thorough cleaning of the spaces being used
  • Provision of disinfecting agents such as hand sanitisers

I have a question that I can't find the answer to. Help!

Fret not! Get in touch with us and let's chat :)