Results from Narrow the Gap Community Fund’s first Grant Round of 2016

Written by Thao Vy

Project proposals for the first grant round of 2016 were due on the 28th of April. The volunteer panel of reviewers had two weeks to evaluate the proposals using LIN's evaluation template. Representatives from the NPOs with the six highest-scored project proposals were then invited to pitch their proposals to the grant committee on May 8th, at the LIN Center.

Four of the six finalists were approved to receive a grant, including:

  1. SOSUB – VND 50 million to support the "SOSUB" project, which sets out to create a free, e-Learning Hub platform that will help to build English language skills.
  2. Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange (VaVa Cu Chi) – VND 49 million for their project "Illiteracy Eradication classes for children with disabilities"
  3. International Volunteer Club (IVC) – VND 30 million for the project "IVC goes with you to school", which will improve the quality and quantity of meals for primary school children in a remote hamlet of Binh Phuoc Province.
  4. Healthy Children, Happy Children Club – VND 45 million for the project, "Model class and network to connect relatives of patients treated at the HCMC Blood Transfusion Hematology Hospital (Pham Viet Chanh branch)"

For more details about these projects, please click here.

We welcome your feedback, contributions and engagement in the Narrow the Gap Community Fund. Please contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any comments, questions or offers of support. We welcome your involvement!


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.