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About Tote Board Overseas Scholarship

The Tote Board Overseas Scholarship is the pinnacle leadership development progamme for non-profit leaders offered to top Executives or C minus 1 level in Senior Management.

Scholars can typically look forward to being exposed to the latest management ideas and concepts, emerging trends and challenges, and be equipped with new tools to address challenges. Scholars will also be supported in learning journeys in their study destinations, to enable them to further engage other non-profits, intermediaries and/or academic partners to further their network, practice knowledge and insights.

Check Your Eligibility


Applicant must:

✔ Be a Top Executive or C minus 1 level in Senior Management generally with the following designations (CEO, Executive Director, COO, Senior Director, Director) from the Arts and Heritage, Community Development, Education, Health, Social Service and Sports sectors
✔ Be a Singaporean or Permanent Resident
✔ Have at least 5 years of working experience, with a good track record in the NPO sector. Applicant should have at least one year of working experience in the current organisation at the senior management level
✔ Possess a strong interest in, and commitment to, the development of the NPO sector
✔ Not be a board member of the nominating organisation
✔ Not be employed in a Government Ministry or statutory board, including those on secondment to NPOs
✔ Have the endorsement of the Governing Board of the NPO, preferably the Chairperson/President or head of organisation (CEO or equivalent)

In addition, the applicant's organisation:

✔ Must be an official Charity (registered under the Commissioner of Charities)
✔ Should have an annual operating expenditure of more than $1million in the last financial year, and in good standing

Current Courses

Duke University (USA)

Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership (ECN)

Course dates are to be confirmed

Learn More

Harvard University (USA)

Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management (SPNM)

Course dates are to be confirmed

Learn More

INSEAD (France)

INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Programme (ISEP)

Course dates are to be confirmed

Learn More

Stanford University (USA)

Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders (EPN)

Course dates are to be confirmed

Learn More
Edwin Ker-Scholar

Mr Edwin Ker, Executive Director, Singapore Swimming Association

The Singapore Swimming Association is the national governing body for swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, water polo and open water swimming in Singapore. Edwin Ker, Executive Director for the Singapore Swimming Association attended the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management (SPNM) programme at Harvard University in 2018.

Reflecting on the experience, Edwin noted, "The networks built with peers from all over the world working in non-profits allowed me to be even more inspired and passionate to contribute. In a community of non-profit senior executives, we have to care for something bigger than we are, tackling the toughest questions while working with limited resources."

He added that the course was distinctive from other courses that he had previously attended, "It's not just the lessons from the course materials that I appreciate but to experience an entirely different learning culture in the United States, as well as one of the best educational institutions in the world at Harvard - it was an unforgettable experience!"

"I hope to share my experience with even more like-minded senior professionals in sports and hope to make a bigger impact that what we have delivered - to deliver even more national pride as well as healthier and more resilient citizens," he added. 

Ms Soh Swee Ping, CEO, Council for Third Age

Soh Swee Ping, CEO of the Council for Third Age (C3A), an organisation that promotes active ageing in Singapore, attended the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders (EPN) at Stanford University in 2014. Swee Ping found out about the Tote Board Overseas Scholarship programme when she attended the inaugural Non-Profit Management Porgramme for the 21st Century at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, also funded by Tote Board.

"I wanted to have the opportunity to interact with, hear and learn from other colleagues in the social sector, who were residing and operating in a different country, in a different economic and political climate. I was very curious and wanted to understand the issues they were facing, how they operate in their countries, their policies, and the community efforts to service or handle the needs in this sector," she said.

Swee Ping found the discussions during the programme with her classmates and lecturers extremely useful. She explained, "Particularly because my views are from the Asian perspective, while my classmates were mainly from the US, we learnt a lot from one another and it opened my mind to other alternative views which I may not have thought of in the context of Singapore."

"I'm satisfied with the experience of attending the scholarship programme. For those thinking of applying, I would say go for it! But, be prepared to do lots of reading, and to be able to read very fast!"

Soh Swee Ping - CEO, C3A
Tan Wearn Haw, Head, National Youth Sports Institute

Mr Tan Wearn Haw, former CEO, Singapore Sailing Federation 

(currently Head of National Youth Sports Institute)

Tan Wearn Haw, former CEO of the Singapore Sailing Federation, a national sports association that manages and organises the sport of sailing in Singapore, took up the Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership (ECN) at Duke University in 2013. He learned about the scholarship through correspondences with Tote Board and SportSG, and felt that it was worth applying.

"I felt there was a need for someone from the sports sector to have a closer involvement with the larger social sector, and this scholarship provided the knowledge, experience and network for this important connection," said Wearn Haw. 

Wearn Haw found out through the course that challenges in the social sector are universal, just in a different context and setting. "This places the importance on us to constantly look outside (of Singapore) to find solutions which can be adapted to Singapore's context."

He also added that being in an overseas setting amongst inspirational social activists and pioneers, discussing and sharing ideas was beneficial, and had this to say to future scholarship applicants, "Take up such opportunities, come back to share the learnings and contribute in whatever way possible!"

Mr Terence Ho, Executive Director, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Nominated Member of Parliament (09/18)

Terence Ho, Executive Director of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO), the only national and professional Chinese orchestra in Singapore and the Southeast Asian region, attended the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management (SPNM) course at Harvard University in 2010. He found out about the scholarship through Tote Board. With the support of the SCO Board that felt it would be of great value for him to attend, Terence decided to apply.

He said, "At the strategic level, it you can attend a course at Harvard Business School, it is a dream for the organisation and its Executive Director." Terence shared that he gained insights on outcomes and how they can create a social impact. He also learned about what it means to be an inspiring leader - earning respect is everything. Terence explained, "A good leader needs to earn respect and through that, he gets respect from the team, so everyone can work as a team and product better outcomes."

With his new-found knowledge, he also got to understudy at the Boston Symphony Orchestra for a week. "The whole experience was fulfilling for me," he added. 

And thanks to the scholarship programme and discussions with other Singapore VWOs, Terence has refined the Orchestra's Caring Series programme that works with VWOs to perform and stage charity concerts to raise funds.

Terence Ho, ED, Singapore Chinese Orchestra

Our Past Scholarship Recipients

Since 2008, 46 scholars from the various Singapore Non-Profit Organisations have been undergone the Scholarship programme. They include senior leaders from Singapore Children's Society, Rainbow Centre, Metta Welfare Association, Ren Ci Hospital, Care Corner Family Service Centre, Singapore Symphony Group, National Gallery Singapore and many more. 

List of Previous Courses

  • Columbia University - Developing Leaders Program for Nonprofit Professionals
  • Duke University - Advanced Nonprofit Leadership Certificate
  • Duke University - Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership
  • Georgetown University - Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate
  • Harvard University - Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management
  • INSEAD - INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Programme
  • Stanford University - Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders

Submit Your Application


Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications early.

What to expect after application submission:

1. Application Acknowledgement

After application submission, the applicant will receive an acknowledgement of the application within five working days.

2. Application Assessment

Prospective candidates will be required to undergo an interview with the Scholarship Evaluation Committee before selection.

3. Application Outcome

An email notification will be sent to inform the applicant on the outcome of the application.



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