14 November 2019

ACV11: How To Start A Charity (Dr Goh Wei Leong, Healthserve Founder, Part 2)

Dr Goh Wei-Leong, a general practitioner, co-founded and chairs HealthServe (instagram, twitter: @HealthServeSG), an NGO that reaches out to under-served foreign workers in Singapore. HealthServe and Wei-Leong were awarded the ‘Singaporean of the Year 2017’. He has a personal mission to be a ‘Catalyst Bringing Life!’ and is passionate about social justice and connecting people to one another.He also thoroughly enjoys engaging millennials over a good cappuccino. Dr Goh cares deeply about life and keeps a regular rhythm of rest, reflection and work to constantly calibrate true north.

On this episode, Dr Goh shares practical advice about starting a charity. Even so, these are principles that are applicable more generally to any endeavour you may undertake.


  1. When staring a charity, you need a team around you. Don’t be afraid to sell your friends about your vision, and look for domain expertise amongst them and then ask for help – people with the skillsets that can help solve your problems (e.g. provide legal or financial advice)
  2. You might face rejection, but choose instead to celebrate the little successes – the people who say yes and get behind you. And even the people who say no at first – they may come on board a couple of years later
  3. Practically – funding structure for charities. You want to tap on the larger corporate CSR budgets, but at the same time it’s useful to mix that with a broad base of individual donors so that you’re not beholden to one giver.

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