Meet Qin-Liang: "Poking my nose into community development"

Qin-Liang joined Just Cause for an internship this year and very quickly proved himself to be a superstar. For someone at the very start of his career, he blew us away with his ability to take the initiative, think strategically and produce well-researched, insightful work. Our team was consistently inspired by the honesty and humility with which he approached every task.

We caught up with Qin-Liang recently to reflect on his time with us. He won’t graduate for another couple of years yet, but social sector watch this space!

Interested in working with Just Cause? Get in touch.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Since 1997, I’ve been persistently poking my nose into other people’s lives. Recently, I’ve been trying to channel this skill in a more careful critique and appreciation of society – by pursuing my interest in community development. I’m currently studying for my Bachelor’s in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) at NUS, and am also a research fellow at the NUS Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Centre.

Why community development? I believe that our happiness is intertwined with the wellbeing of our local communities. While communities can sometimes be intrusive and intolerant, they also provide support, inspiration and a backdrop for people’s emotional and spiritual lives. However, the community’s relevance and vitality has been eroded over time. I believe that strengthening and empowering local communities could be an antidote to many of our pressing social issues today.

What did you work on at Just Cause?

I supported the Arts Giving Guide, which aims to inform donors of the funding gaps within Singapore’s Arts sector and direct more philanthropic funds towards these gaps. We profiled different charities to elucidate the diverse types of art programmes that donors could fund.

I also helped to guide the philanthropic strategy of a large conglomerate with a landscape analysis of healthcare workers in Asia-Pacific.

How was your experience?

In three words – it was purposeful, impactful, and exciting.

Working with Just Cause helped me to understand how NPOs could truly be empowered to make an impact on the communities that they are in. NPOs often have difficulties articulating and evaluating the impact of their programmes. Similarly, many donors want to stretch the impact of every dollar they give but are unsure of how to do so. At Just Cause, I learned how NPOs and donors can develop a process and culture of jointly striving for social impact using the theory-of-change framework.

I was struck by how dynamic, brilliant and compassionate the team at Just Cause is. The team upholds the highest possible standards of quality in their work. Firstly, they really invest the time and effort to understand the unique aspirations and challenges of their clients. Following that, they are very creative in helping clients develop a tailored impact management manual.

What’s more – they are incredibly warm, caring, supportive and a fun team to be around!





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