Skilled Volunteers Help Empower Vietnam Nonprofits

 
$340
$14,910
Raised
Remaining

On 22 October 2014, the LIN Center for Community Development hosted the closing ceremony for the Community Partnership Initiative (CPI) 2014. Nearly sixty representatives were in attendance, including nonprofit, corporate and volunteer members of the seven competing teams, the CPI support team and panel judges.

The theme for CPI 2014 was "Improving nonprofits' financial sustainability". In May 2014, ten nonprofit organizations were matched with a company or a team of volunteers and given just over four months to help their nonprofit partner build or strengthen their existing approach to generating funds for their respective causes. In October, a panel of experts - comprised of both fundraisers and financial management professionals - reviewed the fundraising strategies of each of the seven remaining teams.

 The top prize was awarded to the ICS-Mash team!

ICS is a community organization dedicated to promoting and protecting LGBT (lesbian – gay - bisexual - transgender) rights in Vietnam. Mash Agency, a member of The Purpose Group, provides digital and direct marketing services to clients throughout Vietnam. Together, they produced an impressive plan and initial fundraising results for ICS, some of which were successfully implemented to support VietPride 2014. Thanks to support from Irish Aid, ICS was awarded VND 40 million, which they can use to improve financial sustainability and thereby strengthen the support they provide to their beneficiaries.

Ms. Nguyen Duc Thuy Anh, a member of the judging panel and a project advisor shared her thoughts on the winning proposal:

"[ICS] fundraising strategy was professional, from the presentation, slogans, text and implementation strategy. Thoughtful detail was evident in every text, every idea! Though the proposed plan is quite expensive, ICS demonstrated that the organization has the capacity to accomplish what they are proposed."

Highlights from the four-month long initiative were shared through a video clip, an interviews with members of different teams. While LIN undertakes a survey and debrief with CPI participants, we would like to share some early results:

  • Over 50 skilled volunteers contributed their time and professional skills to support the work of 10 nonprofit organizations participating in CPI 2014.
  • Over 400 volunteer hours were dedicated to this project, valued at over VND 200 million.
  • By October, seven of the ten teams made it to the end of the competition, each submitting their own fundraising strategy . All together, the teams came up with 21 creative fundraising ideas to test out (and some have already begun).
  • The collaboration between NPOs and Skilled Volunteers will directly benefit more than 500 beneficiaries , including children affected by HIV/AIDs, community members concerned about environmental issues, LGBT and disadvantaged children in Ho Chi Minh City.

During the CPI 2014 Closing Ceremony, team members representing participating nonprofits and skilled volunteers shared their thoughts about the process of cooperation over the previous four months, some even encouraging others to attempt viral fundraising initiatives in the near future.

If you would like to learn more about CPI 2014, please click here.

Are there any HR professionals out there who would like to share their skill sets? CPI 2015 will focus on strengthening the Human Resource management capacity of local nonprofits. If you are interested to form a team or advise LIN on the project, please contact us at: Volunteer@LINvn.org

Links:

 4share and Thien Tam Huong's Orientation meeting

It was nearly 7pm at Dung Dinh café on a rainy day at the beginning of June. The LIN team was ready to meet with the Sex Rights team and their volunteer mentors for the LIN Community Partnership Initiative (CPI) orientation meeting. At 7pm sharp, all participants arrived and the meeting started.

LIN introduced the agenda and the meeting's objectives. Everything went as planned until Ms. Thien Thanh - VNG Marketing Manager, leader of the mentoring group, raised her voice, "I think we should consider another name for Sex Rights Group."

"The name?" questioned the other members. This year's CPI is focused on financial sustainability; however, the mentor team started asking about the group's name, their human resources, core activities and legal status...

Ms. Thanh explained that although progress has been made, it is still taboo to mention "sex" or sex-related topics in daily conversation. The sensative name of the organization thus might make it difficult for them to communicate with their stakeholders. She then moved on to explaining the importance of a well planned structure for a fledgling not-for-forfit organization like the Sex Rights group. At the end of the meeting, everyone agreed that the house of "Financial Sustainability" would need to be build on its essence.

***

In another meeting, Mrs. Hong To Hue Lan, Founding Director of Ceporer Hoc Mon, surprised her team by speaking fluent French with two sponsors who were visiting the shelter. Larger than all the plans and efforts she had done following LIN's suggestions, Mrs. Lan did teach us a lesson: "The string that is connecting beneficiaries and sponsors is not made from ink and a well-thought out plan but from the language they can speak together, heart to heart."

Cám on các chuyên gia tình nguyen ã tham gia buoi hop luong giá giua ky voi LIN

 

BAN TIN . NEWSLETTER 

No. 5                                                                                                           21/8/2014

Cám on các chuyên gia tình nguyen ã tham gia buoi hop luong giá giua ky voi LIN

Update on CPI:

Update 1: Team Cimigo Vietnam - Tinh Than Network
Due to personnel changes, the current team does not have enough capacity to continue its participation in the CPI. 
Update 2: Important Milestones
See the below diagram detailing the team's status as 


September 20th: Deadline to submite fundraising tools, including (1) A fundraising plan for 2014 and the next 3 years, (2) a 3 year summary of fundraising ideas; (3) Report on fundraising activities that were performed during the CPI.
October 17th: CPI Awards Ceremony (6:00 PM-8:00 pm)

Update 3: New Volunteer Coordinator at LIN
As of 01 September, Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Truc is on temporary leave from LIN to pursue a Masters Degree in Orgnaizational Development from the University of Dublin. In her place, LIN recruited Mr. Nguyen Minh Nhat who is settling in nicely.  
Anh Minh will take over Truc's responsibilities for managing the participating CPI teams.


Links:

Skilled volunteers and NPOs met for the first time
Skilled volunteers and NPOs met for the first time

The LIN Community Partnership Initiative (CPI) 2014, one of LIN's signature projects to connect skill-based volunteers to local nonprofits, was officially launched on 23 May, 2014, with the "Meet& Greet event" at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 

Now in its third year, CPI 2014 rallied experts with background in Marketing, Communications and Finance to form teams to support local not-for-profit organizations (NPOs) in their effort to strengthen their fundraising strategy and become financially sustainable in the long run.

In this report, we would like to highlight some the activities that have taken place in the first stage of the project:

1. Meet & Greet event

The purpose of this event was for NPOs and volunteers to find their good match. After spending time chatting with each other, 3 teams of professionals from 3 companies (VNG, BMC and MASH), along with 6 groups of individual volunteers, were each matched with one NPO of their choice for a 4 month partnership. From June until late September 2014, teams of volunteers will coach their NPO partners to improve their donor stewardship plan, build a fundraising strategy and carry out a fundraising activity. As part of the program, LIN provided small funding for each NPO to expand their donor database by attending networking events held in Ho Chi Minh City.  

2. Orientation meetings

In the first two weeks of June, LIN facilitated the first orientation meetings with each team to set their expectation and objectives for the partnership. After that, each team arranges to work together at their own pace and schedule. Most teams chooses to meet once a week to plan for their activities, and several teams have taken advantage of the opportunity to present about themselves at one of the networking events. 

3. Action & Learning sessions

To support CPI teams' effort in their planning and building strategy, HSBC Vietnam offered 5 Action & Learning sessions in which professional trainers and staff  from HSBC work one-on-one with 5 NPOs to help NPOs solve their challenges in trying to stay financially sustainable. In each session, which lasts for 3 hours at LIN Community Center, HSBC team and skilled volunteer team walk the NPO through their problem using the technique of Questioning & Answering. The first session took place on 14 June, with four more lining up until the end of June. 

Stay tuned for more exciting activities from each team to realize their objectives in this project.

Our special thanks to Irish Aid , the main fiscal sponsor for CPI 2014.

For more information about CPI 2014, please Click here

Thank you for your continued support!

Sincerely,

The LIN team

 

Team 4Share-ThienTamHuong at their first meeting
Team 4Share-ThienTamHuong at their first meeting
Action & Learning session with HSBC Vietnam
Action & Learning session with HSBC Vietnam

Links:

Le Thuy Linh
Le Thuy Linh

For the past three years, LIN engaged skilled volunteers to help draft our annual report. In addition to supporting our team with an essential task, having an outsider's perspective on our work has proven to be invaluable to LIN for two reasons. Firstly, we are learning how to better explain our work to key stakeholders. The second benefit is to have an unbiased person supporting the process of reflection and evaluation of our work and our outcomes. This past year, we were fortunate to meet Ms. Le Thuy Linh whose professional experience and personal interests suggested a perfect fit for the task of writing up LIN's 2013 annual report.

In this interview, Linh shares her tips to create an annual report that is both professional and eye-catching.

How did you get to help LIN write its Annual Report?

Linh: I had known about LIN for a while before I registered to volunteer for this organization. During a discussion with Ms. Dana Doan, my supervisor at LIN, I was asked if I could help to write the LIN 2013 Annual Report. I thought this would offer the best opportunity to gain an overall understanding about an organization, since I would have the opportunity to talk to not only LIN staff but also its beneficiaries and partners. Because my background was in market research, I was particularly interested in this project which would enable me to apply my analysis and presentation skills.

How long did it take for you to complete the report? What did you have to do?

Linh: The first step was to compile all data into an internal report, followed by drafting the content  for the official report. The entire LIN team especially Ms. Dana Doan, contributed to the content through discussions and interviews. Since the target was a short report that delivers the most essential information about LIN, I spent quite a lot of time to select data and plan the draft.

However, it was the presentation of the report that was most time-consuming. I am very critical when it comes to presentation. I am not skilled in graphic designing, therefore, I tried to read many annual reports by other organizations to learn from their layout and design. I spent quite a lot of time going back and forth with different layouts and designs, as well as selecting photos from LIN’s database and editing them in Instagram. My boyfriend is a designer so he also volunteered to help me with the design. I spent a total of one month on the report.

In your opinion, how important is the annual report for an NPO?

Linh: The Annual Report is a tool to share information about the organization and its activities and achievements. It is an effective way to archive data and helps the staff to gain an overall picture of the work of the organization and set their targets for the coming year. For not-for-profit organizations, the Annual Report has another important function: the opportunity to inform the donors and the community about their work, raise the awareness and indirectly call for action or rally support for a causes that the NPOs are advocating.

What skills are required of a volunteer to write an Annual Report for an NPO?

Linh: First, the volunteer must be interested in reading and learning about the NPO he/she is supporting. Second is the ability to analyze and select data, however, the most important skill is storytelling. The volunteer should be able to pick the right information to create the plot and use visuals to present the story in the most compelling way.

Thank you!

“We are proud of this report!”

"The LIN team learned a great deal from Linh during the three months that she worked with us. She always prepared for meetings and asked great questions. One of the first things she did was to explain her proposed approach and suggested timeline, which helped to set our expectations and ensured that we would be prepared with the information she needed to complete the report. She engaged easily with the LIN team and spoke with several of our stakeholders, making a deliberate and sincere effort to understand our work.

Opening up Linh's first draft of the annual report was an awesome experience. She accomplished something we had   always wanted to do but did not know how to do ourselves. The format and design of the annual report managed to tell the story of LIN's work in 2013, using data and visuals in a meaningful and effective way. We are so proud of the report that Linh created for LIN and truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from her."   

- Ms. Dana Doan, LIN’s Consultant

Click here for LIN’s 2013 Annual Report

(Read more about LIN's Volunteer projects from our Volunteer Newsletter at: http://www.linvn.org/cms/upload/FCKFile/file/Newsletters/Volunteer%20Newsletter%20Q1_EN.pdf)

Links:

Nearly 300 people volunteered with LIN in 2013.
Nearly 300 people volunteered with LIN in 2013.
  • 292 volunteers contributed their skills to the community via LIN in 2013, generating more than 10,000 volunteer hours, valued more than 240,000 USD.
  • Skills contributed: Communications, Marketing, Financial management, Proposal writing, Fundraising, Translating, Legal consulting, etc.
  • Beneficiaries: 50 local NPOs in Ho Chi Minh City, including LIN

More than 80 people came to LIN Volunteer Day, an event held on 7 December, 2013 to appreciate LIN volunteers who made substantial contribution to the community in HCMC and announce the result of the LIN Volunteer Stories Contest.

The event was organized on the occasion of International Volunteer Day, with the topic: “The impact of skill-based volunteers”.

In her presentation about LIN Volunteer Services in 2013, Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Truc, LIN’s Volunteer Coordinator, said LIN could not be where they were without the help of hundreds of amazing volunteers. “LIN is a not-for-profit organization with a very small team of staff. We could not do what we did this year without the wonderful support from hundreds of volunteers. Their contribution is tremendous to LIN and I would like to thank each and every volunteer who has been helping us!”

In 2013, LIN facilitated and worked with 292 volunteers who generated more than 10,000 volunteer hours to the community, valued more than 240,000 USD. 93 skilled volunteers were matched with local NPOs to mentor NPO staff on various skill sets and support NPOs in skill-based tasks. The skills contributed by these volunteers included communications, marketing, fiancial management, proposal writing, fundraising, translating, legal consulting, etc. Another 31 experts volunteered to lead a workshop or provide one-on-one consultation with NPO staff on organizational management topics. Another 168 volunteers provided direct support to LIN during the year 2013.

The impact of skill-based volunteers was highlighted in the speech of Mr. Mai Bao Trung, manager of Nhan Ai Social work club. In 2013, the volunteer group was matched with a team of employees from MindCaster PR agency who mentored Nhan Ai members on communications skills, and Mr. Nguyen Quy Duc who produced a video clip for Nhan Ai, pro bono. “Skilled volunteers like Ms. Nghi, Ms. Giang from MindCaster and Mr. Duc are invaluable to NPOs like us,” Trung said. “Their experience and expertise enable us to improve our capacity in areas that we are still very weak. I hope there will be more skilled volunteers to help local NPOs like us so that we could do our work better and serve the community better.”

At the event, Ms. Tran Thi Kim Chung, UN Volunteers (UNV) program officer, said that UNV aimed to promote volunteerism for sustainability around the world, therefore UNV supported LIN and its Volunteer Stories Contest to raise the awareness about volunteerism, especially skill-based volunteerism. “We wish to continue to support LIN and the volunteers in many activities to leverage their voluntary contributions and inspire people to act,” she said.

During the Volunteer Stories Contest Award Ceremony, LIN announced the result and presented awards to the best authors. A book of 16 selected stories will be issued in early 2014.

LIN Volunteer Day and LIN Volunteer Stories Contest 2013 were generously sponsored by Irish Aid and Intel, with in-kind sponsorship from ACET, Yoga Living, Yves Rocher, UNV, Zalora, Scott & Bình’s, Au Parc, Sweet & Sour, Wrap & Roll and Coca Cola.

Experts provided consultation to NPO staff.
Experts provided consultation to NPO staff.
Volunteer speakers at capacity building workshops.
Volunteer speakers at capacity building workshops.

Links:

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Organization

Project Leader

Dana Doan

Founder
Ho Chi Minh City, NA Vietnam

Where is this project located?

Map of Skilled Volunteers Help Empower Vietnam Nonprofits