LIN Center for Community Development

LIN's mission is to provide support services to local NPOs, skilled volunteers and donors who are committed to building strong communities. The LIN Center for Community Development serves grassroots not-for-profit organizations (NPOs) and individual and corporate philanthropists located in and around Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. By helping local people to meet local needs, LIN aims to promote a healthy environment for philanthropy in Vietnam and strengthen the communities in which we live and work.
Jul 22, 2016

Thank you for your support!

NPOs and volunteers meet and connect in CPI event
NPOs and volunteers meet and connect in CPI event

Dear Donors, 

The LIN Center for Community Development would like to express our gratitude for your contributions toward our project titled Skilled Volunteers Help Empower Vietnam Nonprofits on GlobalGiving.org. With your support, we made a difference in the community by implementing three programs that address the project’s objectives:

1. Community Partnership Initiative: An annual, theme-based program that matches companies and skilled professionals in HCMC to local not-for-profit organization (NPO).

  • Outputs: LIN’s Community Partnership Initiative engaged 125 skilled professionals from 60 different companies to improve communications, fundraising, HR management and other professional skills for 36 different nonprofit organizations.
  • Outcome: 36 NPOs, like Ceporer Hoc Mon and Happier, were able to strengthen their capacity to better serve their beneficiaries. The impact of the project was clearly demonstrated by both participating NPOs and volunteer mentors. For example, Ceporer Hoc Mon, an NPO supporting underpriviledged children, winner of the first CPI, and Happier, an NPO providing psychological support to child patients, winner of the second CPI, both reported gaining more public attention and financial support thanks to having a new brand identity and communication strategy coming out of the partnership. On the other hand, volunteer mentors reported having better understanding of the causes and the hard work of organizations addressing those causes. ProSelf, a company participated in CPI on HR management, extended their pro bono work for another year at their NPO partner after the project ended, offering the much needed support to strengthen the organization that provides education and training to visually impaired youth.

2. BlueBees.org website:  LIN launched and now operates the first (and only) web based platform in Vietnam that connects skilled volunteers to short-term volunteer opportunities with local not- for-profit organizations.

  • Outputs:  144 nonprofits and 727 skilled volunteers are registered & 213 volunteer opportunities have been advertised through the website.
  • Outcome: Smaller nonprofits, like VAVA Cu Chi, a nonprofit supporting victims of agent orange and dioxin, can easily access an impressive database of skilled volunteers to support their work.  VAVA Cu Chi was in need of a consultant to develop their program for special education for their beneficiaries. After posting their request on the site, they were able to find a volunteer consultant to help them develop the cirriculum.

3. Mandala Night: Since 2015, LIN hosts regular networking events to raise awareness about skilled volunteerism and to faciliate networking among like-minded people.

  • Outputs: 7 events held, attracting nearly 700 people in total.
  • Outcome:Raised awareness about corporate employee engagement programs, helped orient skilled professionals to the realities of volunteering and connected nonprofits to skilled volunteers. At a Mandala Night event in 24 May 2016, Ms. Huong Truong, CEO of the Minh A Company, was introduced to the Thien An Shelter, which provides vocational training for visually impaired adults. Her company now employs 2 of Thien An Shelter’s past beneficiaries. Watch a video interview of one of her current employees and staff talking about the mutual satisfaction with the arrangement. Include hyperlink: http://jobforblind.com/cong-viec/nguoi-khiem-thi-trong-xuong-lam-thu-bong-74.html

In an effort to streamline our resources and strategic approach, the LIN Team decided to close the Skilled Volunteerism Help Empower Vietnam Nonprofits project on GlobalGiving.org and we would like to ask you to transfer your recurring donations, or continue to support our work through another project on Global Giving: Build A Home for Vietnam NPOsThis project is a consolidated fund that supports LIN’s efforts to accelerate the capacity of nonprofit leaders to address the needs in our community while connecting them to skilled professionals and organizations that share their desire to improve the quality of life for all people in HCMC. We believe that this is the best path after analysis of the current landscape and we hope you will continue to work with us.

We encourage you to learn more about the exciting vision behind Build A Home for Vietnam NPOs:

https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/lin-new-year-lights-campaign-bild-a-home-for-npos/

As always, we thank you for your contributions and appreciate your continued support. Progress and development in our community would not be possible without your generosity. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach me, or one of my colleagues at LIN.

Sincerely,

Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Truc

Director of Programs

Volunteers and NPOs speed dating at Mandala Night
Volunteers and NPOs speed dating at Mandala Night

Links:

Jul 22, 2016

A training for NPO Leadership Circle

Chi Doan (middle) at the training with Dee Koch
Chi Doan (middle) at the training with Dee Koch

On July 2nd, 14 members of the NPO Leadership Circle attended a training on leadership for young leaders with Ms Dee Koch, Partnership Relations Director of The George Foundation Organization. She has worked with non-profits in fundraising and building partner capacity for 27 years.

Mr Chi Doan, the leader of the HCMC bus organization, shares what he learned from the training with us: 

“I have always considered group conflict, personal mistakes and the missteps of  others’  as terrible things. I have to fight this tendency because of its adverse affect on both my personal and group work.

However, if individuals accept the reality and reasons of conflict, they will be more open to solve problems together. The important thing I learned from Ms Dee with is consensus. A leader has to inspire their employees by their confidence and their polite attitude in order to reach consensus within the group.

According to Ms Koch, there are two main methods to resolve conflict:

Leader confidence, bravery, positive attitude and compassion

A leader must be positive and inspiring through his confidence and bravery but also compassionate when dealing with other people’s fault.

These qualities help a leader not only guide  members to achieve their goals but also ignore their egos and personal interests for the common benefit of the group.

Remove barriers between members and the leader through  games

Group games allow members and the leader to understand each other more fully. They include answering a random funny questions in a box,  a game Ms Dee played with Leadership Cirlce 2016’s members in the meeting.

I learned a lot of useful knowledge and effective teamwork methods from Ms. Koch’s experience and skills and  realized that: accepting mistakes and resolving conflicts are popular challenges for young leaders. The key to success is accepting potential risks in every activity. And leaders have to be ready to get out of their own comfort zone to achieve their goal.

As a trainer, Ms. Dee Koch was inspired by the participation of the leaders. “Thank you for providing such a great session with the Young Leaders," she says. "I feel so invigorated from sharing with the group. You are doing such a great job of building their pathway to a great future. This opportunity/experience you have shared with me will be a great memory I take with me from Ho Chi Minh City. The memory will bring a smile to my face each time it is recalled.” 

Jun 14, 2016

How a company nurtures an NPO through employee volunteering: A story from Horizon Capital

Employee volunteering: A case by Horizon Capital
Employee volunteering: A case by Horizon Capital

Three staff of Horizon Capital Group joined LIN's Board of Directors and provided critical help to LIN in terms of human resources, finance, legal advice, strategy and so on.

Ms. Ngo Thi Van Nga, representing Horizon Capital Group and Mr. Pham Truong Son, representing LIN, shared their respective experiences with cross-sector collaboration along with over 100 participants at a Mandala Night event hosted by LIN in Ho Chi Minh City in March 2016.

Four key experiences were mentioned:

*How can volunteers balance their career and their volunteer work?

Skilled volunteers can manage their personal work by a job description listing tasks to be done and days needed to complete them. Mr. Son said that he and Horizon's finance team agreed to meet on the last day of every month, with a volunteer present to collect and help LIN with financial management.
A skilled volunteer will always prioritize his/her office job, with volunteer work following in 'out of office hours' or free time. Once a clear commitment is made, volunteers and NPOs can easily cooperate.

*What is the motivation for businesses and volunteers to keep supporting an NPO like LIN?

From her perspective, Ms Nga said it was because they would like to see the development of LIN. In the early days, LIN only had one staff. Now there are 8 full-time employees. In the beginning, LIN needed help across the board and engaged many Horizon staff. Now that LIN is six years old, we engage the Horizon team on a more ad hoc basis, as needed. Horizon was happy to see LIN develop, "It is like you see your bird can fly alone after being taught".
In addition, Mr. Son said the more effective support NPOs received, the better reputation enterprises and volunteers can get. This is what NPOs bring to volunteers and to companies through this kind of coordination.

*Is it better when a business supports only one NPO rather than many NPOs at the same time?

The response to this question was that, it is better to focus on supporting the sustainable development of a particular organization. Once an NPO is stable, the business can seek out other organizations to support, if desired. A business cannot support all NPOs so it is essential to encourage the connectivity experience between businesses and NPOs allowing social issues to be addressed more comprehensively.

*Ms. Yen, from ICS clarified the benefits to NPOs of having support from the business sector:

"In the early days, ICS's employees were not professional which is why we did not know how to work with sponsors. For instance, we did not know that sponsors' logos had to appear at the beginning of the program... When LIN connected ICS with a communications agency, their skilled volunteers made it clear to us how to approach donors as well as how to share our information with partners in a way that could build lasting relationships.

In my opinion, businesses need to consider whether their support can make changes. This is why NPOs should share more information with businesses to make them understand the situation better and so that they may get more motivation out of their volunteer experience."

Links:

 
   

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