Charity Offers Money Back Guarantee for Youth Intervention Programme, impact will be assured by the world’s first Social Impact Guarantee (SIG)


The YMCA of Singapore is offering their donors* their money back if the programme does not produce results. In partnership with Tri-Sector Associates, together with a private Guarantor, YMCA is looking for donors to support three enhancements to the YMCA’s youth intervention programme, Project Bridge Vocational and Soft Skills Programme (VaSSP), promising to return funds if outcome targets are not met.

The world’s first Social Impact Guarantee (SIG) aims to encourage collaborations between the people, private, and public sectors in making positive social impact, while boosting the charity’s accountability and rigorous outcome-focused practices. For newer donors, this also promises each dollar contributed will have an impact, and that they will be reimbursed for any funds that did not achieve the intended outcomes.

In 2018, 5.2% of the resident population aged 15 – 29 years old were unemployed, with 2,700 of them involved in crime**. The COVID-19 situation has created even more job uncertainty and negative economic impacts for the country.

Over the past nine years, VaSSP has strengthened over 600 youth, and successfully re-engaged an average of 62% of graduates into education or employment in the past five years. VaSSP equips out-of-school and at-risk youth with job skills such as hairdressing, culinary arts, make-up or web design, and soft skills including resume writing, interviewing skills and conflict management. It emphasises on providing life and career guidance, work experience, and emotional support from social workers to encourage long-term planning. The programme thereby hopes to encourage youths to further their studies or help them find employment.

To produce even better results, VaSSP hopes to secure $150,000 in funding to provide three enhancements to the programme which involves a stronger link between training and workplace experiences and interventions tailored to the youths. The YMCA foresees this to lead to over $280,000 of additional impact over five years, in the form of increasing the youth placement rate in education and work by over 10%.

Rizqi is among the VaSSP graduates who have benefited from the programme. He had stopped schooling for a year to better cope with his mental health when he was introduced to YMCA VaSSP. By 17 years old, he had secured a job as a junior content creator for a social enterprise and worked as part of a team at a local production house. He also wished to complete his GCE ‘O’ Levels with newfound determination.

“Through our youth intervention programmes, the YMCA of Singapore is committed to strengthening out-of-school and at-risk youth to rise above their circumstances and build a brighter future for themselves. Through this partnership and initiative, we hope to reassure potential donors, while dedicating our efforts to ensure that we engage as many youths as we can,” said Steve Loh, General Secretary & CEO, YMCA of Singapore.

About Social Impact Guarantee Model:

YMCA is partnering with Tri-Sector Associates, a Singapore non-profit that helps to create innovative philanthropic models, to launch the world’s first Social Impact Guarantee (SIG). The SIG is a cross-sector collaboration model that helps to maximise the impact of social funding.

A SIG functions similarly to a money back guarantee – it allows a Donor to ensure that their donation achieves the social impact it was meant to achieve, or the donation is returned. A SIG involves a few steps:

1. A Donor agrees to provide funding to a Social Service Provider to deliver a service

2. The Donor, Service Provider, and Guarantor agree on the social outcomes the programme will aim to deliver, and terms of the guarantee

3. The Service Provider delivers the programme and engages in continuous programme improvement with the support of an active project management team

4. A third-party Evaluator evaluates the program to determine whether the agreed-upon outcomes were achieved

5. If the program did not achieve the agreed-upon outcomes, the Guarantor reimburses the Donor according to the terms of the agreement

“In Singapore, as in many countries around the world, donors are becoming increasingly sophisticated and want to understand the actual impact of their giving. At the same time, new tools adapted from different sectors are allowing social sector organisations to better measure and achieve impact. We are excited by this ground-breaking partnership with the YMCA that can help donors get the most ‘bang for their buck’ and drive program innovation for the benefit of those in need,” said Kevin Tan, CEO of Tri-Sector Associates.

For partnership opportunities, please contact Brenda Teng at

*In consideration of the Donor providing the Grant, the Impact Guarantor undertakes with the Donor that in the event the Project fails to meet the outcomes (as reported in either the Final Evaluation Report or the third party audit, as the case may be), the Impact Guarantor shall make a contingent donation in a manner as agreed beforehand to a lawful organisation of the Donor’s choosing within 2 months of delivery of the Final Evaluation Report, or within 2 months of the verification of results by a third party in the case of a dispute. The contingent donation can be given to the YMCA or to another IPC programme that focuses on youth employment or education.

**Statistics from National Youth Council’s “Youth Statistics in Brief” (2019).