Dear LIN Supporters,
Yesterday was a happy day and I wanted to share some good news and also a few updates regarding our project:
* On 5 June, GlobalGiving transferred all of the funds you helped us raise to our bank account in Vietnam. That included the total amount raised during the challenge - USD $16,033.15, plus a USD $3,000 cash prize from GlobalGiving (for taking 3rd place in their Open Challenge).
* During the competition, a new law was passed in Vietnam, requiring that all foreign aid coming into Vietnam - whether for charitable or community development purposes - be approved, in advance by the government. LIN worked with the folks at GlobalGiving to obtain the necessary documents, we translated them into Vietnamese and submitted a complete application in mid-June. Yesterday, 19 July, LIN received the official decision from the Government permitting us to receive these funds (refer to the attached letter - sorry that it's only in Vietnamese), which means that we can now use your funds!!!
* Despite the inability to access the GlobalGiving funds over the past month, LIN continued with our scheduled capacity building programs and activities:
- On June 4th, we organized a workshop on "Trends and Best Practices in NPO Fundraising" for over 70 representatives of not-for-profit organizations (it was our most well attended workshop and we got some of the best feedback we've received to date - refer to the attached workshop report).
- On Saturday, 10 July, we organized a roundtable meeting with 20 NPO representatives on "Roles and Responsibilities of a Not-for-Profit Board of Directors". The focus was on the basics: what are the inherent roles and responsibilities of a member of a Board, what is the difference between different types of Boards (Governance, Advisory, Trustees, Management) and what is the current situation in Vietnam. Among Vietnamese NPOs, there are less than a handful of organizations that have operating governing boards. Most NPOs only use managing or advisory boards. This is something that we think may change with rising attention to good governance practices...
- Currently, we are in the midst of reviewing grant applications from NPO partners. This will be LIN's second grant allocation for 2010. This time around we introduced a new element to the grant review process. After the members of the allocation committee reviews and individually evaluates each application, they will come together for a meeting to raise any questions or concerns about each application. After that, they will have an opportunity to meet with one or two representatives from each of the NPOs to ask questions. The grantees will be announced in early August...
- For the month of August, LIN has scheduled a workshop on "Measuring Your Organization's Performance" (5 August) and a roundtable on "Conducting Effective Meetings" (7 August). We are fortunate to collaborate with an NGO consultant from the US, with over 30 years experience, on these two trainings programs.
As you know, we set a goal for ourselves to raise USD $11,384 to help empower nonprofits in Vietnam throughout 2010. Since you helped us to raise much more than that, we talked to our team and spoke with a few donors about how we could make the best use of the additional funds. One donor, who made a contribution of over USD $5,000 to LIN during the GlobalGiving Open Challenge, agreed to apply USD $3,000 of his donation to support a competition that LIN just launched called, "We Want Your Volunteer Stories!" (Please visit our website for details about this competition. You can copy and paste this shortcut: http://bit.ly/volunteerstories).
On 1 August, LIN will celebrate its first birthday (we launched in Ho Chi Minh City on 1 August 2009). Two of our board members have generously offered to organize a small party in HCMC to celebrate this important milestone. If you will be in HCMC on 29 July and would like to attend, please send us an email at: Donor@LINvn.org and we will send you the invitation. Either way, I'd like to take this opportunity to "thank you!" from the bottom of our hearts, for your support to LIN during our first year. Thank you so much for making all of this possible.
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