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[Organized by LIN] Call for Participation LIN Community Partnership Initiative 2015


The Case for Corporate Volunteerism:

Companies on average spend 25% of their budgets on overhead – everything from legal to human resources to marketing.[1] These functions are critical to the success of every company, and yet funding for these same resources for nonprofits is incredibly limited. Pro bono services provide a critical path to access these resources.[2] This is why many nonprofits rely on pro bono services for as much as 20% of their budget.

Corporate pro bono is not a new concept; however, an increasing number of companies are now recognizing the benefits of providing volunteer service opportunities to their employees. Corporate pro bono programs are a win-win-win: non-profit organizations get the support they need, companies can invest more deeply in their community partners, and employees gain professional opportunities they want. That is why the LIN Center for Community Development has helped facilitate pro bono programs that connect non-profit organizations (NPOs) and companies while promoting skilled volunteering throughout Ho Chi Minh City over the past six years.

Skill based volunteering is often best understood in the context of the full spectrum of community investment strategies that companies now deploy:

[1] The Bridgespan Group, “Nonprofit Overhead Costs” (2008)

[2] Pro bono – short for pro bono public – has come to mean professional services delivered at low or no cost to not-for-profit orgnaizations.

chart 1

The Community Partnership Initiative (CPI):

Since 2009, the LIN Center for Community  Development (LIN), has matched over one thousand skilled professionals and corporations with local NPOs requesting specific skill sets and expertise. In 2014 alone, LIN matched 274 volunteers who contributed over 13,000 hours of professional services to nonprofits. Three years ago, LIN launched a unique program designed to match companies with short-term, skill-oriented, volunteer opportunities with local nonprofits thereby offering a ready-made, impact oriented, CSR program. In just three years, the Community Partnership Initiative (CPI) engaged 80 skilled professionals from 48 different companies to help NPOs improve their communications, fundraising and marketing efforts. Based on the need and demand of LIN’s NPO partners, CPI 2015 will focus on building the human resource management capacity of local NPOs.

The graphic below provides an overview of how CPI works (see pages 4-6 for further details):

[1] The Bridgespan Group, “Nonprofit Overhead Costs” (2008)

[1] Pro bono – short for pro bono public – has come to mean professional services delivered at low or no cost to not-for-profit orgnaizations.

chart 3


Building the human resource management capacity of local NPOs.

The Need for Human Resource Management Skills:

Currently, LIN has over 150 NPO partners, located in and near Ho Chi Minh City, many of whom would benefit from assistance and support from business professionals to enhance their activities. When LIN established in 2009, NPO staff requested capacity building in areas they prioritized (e.g., communications, fundraising, strategic planning and financial management). By 2013, LIN began to survey our NPO partners on an annual basis, which allowed us to start tracking trends and identify gaps in capacity. One area where a capacity gap became apparent, both through our analysis of 2014 survey data as well as feedback from CPI 2014 participants, is human resource management.

While 81% of NPOs responding to the survey have at least one full-time, paid staff (68% have at least one part-time, paid staff), 89% make use of volunteers to run their operations.

chart 4chart 5

49% of NPOs have at least one staff that received technical training and 49% have at least one staff that received on-the-job training.

The majority of NPOs report having organizational charts (72%), job descriptions for staff (79%) and volunteers (62%), and a Board of Directors or Advisors (62%). Fewer than half have official HR and volunteer management policies (46%), 50% have personnel policies and only 13% have policies to promote gender equity.


Average Score




Organizational Chart



Job Descriptions for all staff, including management team members



Job Descriptions for Volunteers



Board of Directors or Board of Advisors



HR and/or Volunteer Management Policies



Personnel Policies



Gender Equality Policies



When asked about different formats for receiving support on human resource management, 46% said they lacked information, 39% said they would need training and 17% said they need actual staff assigned to HR.

chart 6

Some of the specific HR management challenges mentioned by our NPO partners in the 2014 annual survey include, but are not limited to:

  • Communication with staff and volunteers;
  • Setting appropriate expectations for staff and volunteers;
  • Building the capacity of staff and volunteers;
  • Succession planning;
  • How to draft better job descriptions for staff recruitment; and
  • Recruiting volunteers, staff and/or board members.

Objectives of CPI 2015:

  • To facilitate meaningful corporate community engagement through employee volunteering;
  • To provide an opportunity for professionals to volunteer their skill sets to support social impact organizations; and
  • To build the human resource management capacity of local NPOs.

Benefits to CPI Participants:

Benefits to NPOs:

  • Improved HR management capacity of NPO;
  • Better understanding of staff in HR skills and techniques;
  • Connection to individuals and companies willing to contribute time and skills to NPOs.

Benefits to Companies and Skilled Volunteers:

  • Better understanding of how NPOs are operating in Vietnam;
  • Opportunity to support social impact by building the capacity of NPO staff;
  • A meaningful way to practice or improve professional skills, such as: leadership, teamwork, project management, etc.;
  • Recognition for their support, from the NPO and from the community.

Target Audience for CPI:

Not-for-Profit Organizations (10)

  • At least one staff member responsible for HR at their NPO.
  • Able to summarize current HR challenges.
  • Willing to commit X hours per week over the course of XX weeks to work with Mentors.

Companies and Volunteer Teams (10)

  • At least three professionals who are experienced and involved in HR.
  • Team can summarize their combined HR skill sets and strengths.
  • Willing to commit X hours per week over the course of XX weeks to work with Mentors.

 CPI 2015 Program:

  1. Call for Participation (Until July 15th)
  1. Matching Process (July 15 to 31)
  • Evaluate NPO Needs and Volunteer Resources

Participating NPO’s will be asked to complete a survey designed to understand their respective needs and current challenges.  Meanwhile, participating companies/volunteers will be asked to complete a different survey designed to assess their current skill sets and strengths.  This information will be help the LIN team to narrow down three potential NPO partners for each corporate or volunteer team.

  • Meet & Greet Event

NPOs and corporate/volunteer teams will be invited to a Meet & Greet event. At the event NPOs and corporate/volunteer teams, in groups of three, will each have a chance to introduce themselves formally and then spend some one-on-one time to talk with each other. By the end of the event, corporate/volunteer teams and NPOs will match themselves and sign a partnership agreement, which will help to facilitate effective communication and collaboration

  1. HR Capacity-Building Workshops (Aug, Sep)

The LIN Center for Community Development will work with HR experts to organize 1 to 2 workshops that will address HR challenges and needs as expressed by the participating NPOs in their CPI surveys.

  1. Mentorship (August to October)
  • Orientation

Immediately after being matched, LIN will organize a general orientation session for both NPOs and corporate/volunteer teams.  In addition to the general orientation, partners will hear from one NPO that has worked successfully with skilled volunteers in the past and have an opportunity to ask questions about the program, benchmarks and timeline.  There will also be time for teams to get to know one another.

  • Mentorship

Corporate/Volunteer teams will have 12 weeks to work with their respective NPO partners. LIN recommends that partners work together to undertake the following four steps (in the same order):

Step 1: Defining the NPO’s HR challenge(s).

Step 2: Identify one or more possible actions/solutions to address the NPO’s challenge(s).

Step 3: Implement one or more action/solution within the CPI timeframe.

Step 4: Evaluate the impact of the action(s)/solution(s) taken.

  • Updating the CPI 2015 Microsite

Partners will be asked to update the CPI 2015 microsite by submitting a weekly roundup article (e.g., what you did that week, any changes to the original plan, urgent next steps). The goal is to keep partners on track, informed of important milestones to maintain the energy and momentum of all partners.

  1. Evaluation (October)

LIN will establish an advisory panel to assist all CPI Partners throughout the program and to help evaluate the outcomes of each collaboration. Panel members may be contacted for advice on goals, KPIs, implementation progress as well as any collaboration or communication challenges faced by NPOs or corporate/volunteer teams.  In addition, they will be asked to evaluate the outcomes of each collaboration and to provide feedback to each partner.

  • Selection of Advisors

Members of the advisory panel will have at least five years of professional HR work experience in the private, public and/or non-profit sector. Advisory members may not represent a company or NPO that is participating in the mentorship component of the CPI 2015.

  • Evaluation Guidelines

LIN will provide guidelines and score sheets to help the advisors in their review and evaluation of Partners’ collaborations. The following key criteria will be evaluated:

Partnership Process (50%) – The score will be based on feedback received from both Partners (the NPO and their corporate/volunteer team), as well as check-ins, the quality of the weekly roundups and timeliness. (This score will be calculated by LIN.)

Building of NPO’s HR Management Capacity (50%) – The score will be based on the quality of the solution implemented by the Partners’ in order to improve the NPO’s management capacity. The solution/product will be judged based on its own criteria (i.e., the purpose of the product, the perceived likelihood of the product to achieve the desired result, the quality of the product itself).

Note: If any NPO does not wish to reveal its HR strategy to its peers or to the general public, they may “opt-out” of the evaluation process. This decision should be made in consultation with the NPO’s corporate/volunteer team.

  1. Closing Ceremony (November)

LIN will organize a ceremony in early November to recognize the accomplishments of all teams and to share the experiences and results of the partnerships. The three teams receiving the highest scores from the evaluation will be invited to share their experiences during the closing ceremony.

All participating NPOs and corporate/volunteer teams will receive recognition for their efforts and achievements.

  1. PR & Communication

LIN promote the CPI 2015 using our website, a CPI microsite and existing communication channels.  Our current network reaches more than 10,000 people including representatives of local and international companies, NPOs and media channels. Please refer to our PR and Communication Plan for further information

  1. Monitoring & Evaluation

Throughout the CPI 2015 program, LIN team will be checking-in with participating NPOs and corporate/volunteer teams. We will collect weekly reports from Partners, to track and assess progress towards the milestones and overall objectives. Before the recognition event, participants will also be asked to review the program by completing a questionnaire.

Then, three to six months after the program ends (February to May 2016), LIN will once again reach out to all participants. The purpose oft his second evaluation is to: (1) find out if (and how) the participating NPOs benefited from the experience; and also to (2) find out if the companies/volunteers maintained contact with the NPOs and/or whether they have a positive opinion about their experience and would do something similar in the future.

The results of our M&E will guide the LIN team in future programing, help us to measure the impact of pro bono support to NPOs and provide better information about pro bono programs to other individuals and companies in Vietnam.

CPI_Press Release_2June15-0


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