Mandala Night features a partnership between a businesses and nonprofit (03/2016)

Mandala Night features a partnership between a businesses and nonprofit (03/2016)

Written by  Tham

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 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 LIN?

From her perspective, Ms Ha 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."

Click here to view more March Mandala Night photos

The event is powered by LIN Center for Community Development, sponsored by The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the Loft Cafe.