On November 11th 2012, LIN Center for Community Development organized the “Not-for-profit Community connects to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)” workshop with nearly 50 participants from different NPOs working in Ho Chi Minh City. This is a part of the event series about fund-raising skills organized by LIN in 2012.
Mr. Carey Zesiger, from Global Standards, and Ms. Catherine Walter, from Attune Consulting, gave an overview look about CSR and why companies care about their responsibilities with the communities where they are working. After that, Mr. Carey emphasized on the main concerns of firms related to CSR and how NPOs can utilize these concerns to translate them into community development activities. Then, they can suggest a plan which satisfies both NPOs and enterprises. “NPOs must know about firms’ concerns and planning their goals, as well as their benefits to maintain a successful partnership and results beneficial to both sides” Mr. Carey clearly stated.
To give more information, Ms. Catherine introduced some combined models between companies and NPOs in Vietnam, China, and Thailand. From then, she went into the details of “planning a project” because this is an important step in the cooperation process between NPOs and firms to find the same voice in reaching both sides’ expectations. In this part, NPOs need to pay attention to the content and the scope of work; the achievements from the proposing part; how to execute the project and what needs support from enterprises’ employees; and lastly, an agreement on cooperation which clearly points out the roles and the responsibilities of both sides.
The panel discussion brought up a practical meaning, with the participation of Mr. Colin McDonald, CEO of Canada Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam. Three speakers fully answered every participant’s questions, from how to distinguish between a good and a bad company; how a firm can engage in planning a project to achieve best performances; how global economic situation relates to firms’ sponsoring…
“In the current state of global economic crisis, Vietnam is still in good shape. In this state, emphasizing on CSR and community investment is a smart move, chosen by many companies. With that, they can prove that their company always accompanies the community, especially those who are in disadvantaged backgrounds and have low incomes.” Ms. Catherine shared her opinion.
After the break, Ms. Trần Thị Đan Phượng, CSR Manager of Talisman Ltd. Inc, presented the company’s CSR strategy with specific examples on Talisman’ sponsorship activities for SCC, EMW, Operation Smile… in different areas: Education, Environment, and Empowering community. With the sponsorship of $10,000 for community projects, Ms. Phượng said: “Our Company aims at impactful and solid ideas for community more than the amount of money we sponsor; therefore organizations can send us project overview before-hand, and when we are interested in that project, organizations and us will plan it out together.”
At the end of the workshop, with a question of “why do the examples and reality show that, multinational companies (MNCs) sponsor for foreign organizations more than domestic ones?” three speakers emphasized that, domestic organizations need to improve their capacity first, building a strong and professionally developed structure. Their employees also need to be sharp, participating in many corporate events, marketing their own activities, and finally planning 4 to 5 project ideas to make use of the opportunities of approaching firms.
“This conclusion, once again, proves that LIN Center’ support giving to the NPOs in Ho Chi Minh City is going on a right track of society and world’s trend of development.” Mr. Phạm Trường Sơn, LIN Center, said.
LIN Center sincerely thanks Talisman Ltd. Inc for sponsoring the cost of organizing and presenting their CSR activities; ERC Institute for lending us the venue; Global Standards, Attune Consulting and CanCham for participating in presentation and answering the NPOs’ questions. Your contribution has made this workshop a successful one, and brought up practical meanings for the participants.
“After this workshop, I learn more about the companies who have awareness for social responsibilities through NPOs and cooperate with them to improve qualities of life for the people. I hope in the future, more companies will recognize this issue and engage more in supporting community.” Ms. Bùi Thị Lệ Hằng, from Khánh Hội Orphanage, said after the workshop.
Translated by Minh Phuc – LIN Volunteer