Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What kind of work can I do?
- Do I have a choice about where I volunteer?
- How can I be sure that the NPO’s activities support community development?
- During the time that I am volunteering, what is LIN’s role/function?
- How often do I need to report to LIN while I am volunteering with the NPO?
- How long do I have to commit for?
- How much time do I need to give?
- Can I volunteer with family, friends or co-workers?
- Are there age restrictions?
- Do I need experience or qualifications?
- I work full time, how can I volunteer?
- If I want to volunteer, how can I register?
- Will I be interviewed?
- I've been referred to an NPO… what happens next?
- What happens if I start volunteering but I decide to leave?
- Once I finish my commitment, what can I do afterwards?
- What are the benefits of Volunteering with LIN?
- Will volunteering cost me anything?
Almost any. Tell us what you know how to do and what you like to do. There are a range of opportunities ranging from office administration to public relations, computer programming, child care, etc.
Absolutely. While LIN tries our best to match your interests and skills with the specific requirements of not-for-profit organizations, you will be consulted about where you would prefer to work as a volunteer and have the final say about whether or not you want to engage with the proposed organization.
Prior to matching any volunteer with an NPO, the LIN Center staff will conduct due diligence on the NPO to determine whether or not they meet the following two criteria: eligibility and capacity for partnership.
- Not-for-Profit: LIN does not support for-profit corporations or individuals. [LIN may decide to support an income-generating project, which is introduced by a not-for-profit organization, provided that the profits from are reinvested into the organization to support its programs and services.]
- Location: Organizations must be based in and around HCMC [i.e., projects in Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Long An are eligible] and be providing programs and services to people residing in Vietnam.
- Affiliations: Recipients must not be seeking funding for religious or political purposes.
- Non-Discrimination: Partners must demonstrate a track record of not discriminating on the basis of age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, national origin, political affiliation and religious belief.
- Accountability: Partners will have a clear and simple decision-making and approval processes and identify those individuals that are responsible for making decisions.
- Mission: Partners must be working to improve the access to services and quality of life for poor, underserved and/or disadvantaged groups in Vietnam.
- Needs Test: Partners will be able to demonstrate a clear need for support and demonstrate that the need is consistent with the scope of work.
- Legal: Partners must operate in accordance with Vietnamese law.
- Good Faith: Partners will be open to building a mutually beneficial relationship, based on trust, integrity and accountability.
- High Potential:Partners will demonstrate commitment and resilience, based on the organizational history and programs, the qualifications and experience of its leaders, the ability to manage and retain staff, and/or a result-based orientation.
- Proactive: Programs that offer a curative or preventative approach are given preference over programs offering short-term solutions.
- Community Engagement: We seek partners that are open to or actively building relationships and strategic partnerships with its stakeholders.
Generally, LIN looks for partners that have the capacity and the commitment to achieve our common goals and objectives.
LIN performs a variety of support services to volunteers before, during and after being matched with an NPO Partner. We divide our services into the following six steps:
Step 1: Identify Prospective Volunteers & NPO Partners
- Initial consultations with individuals expressing an interest in volunteering to set appropriate goals, objectives and expectations.
- Initial consultations with not-for-profit organizations to ensure that the organization meets LIN’s partnership criteria and whether or not the team expresses enthusiasm for skilled volunteer support.
Step 2: Administer the Application Process
- Prospective Volunteers are asked to complete an Application Form, which details their availability, skill sets and fields of interest. Upon completion, the Volunteer is asked to complete LIN’s Online Volunteer Orientation.
- Prospective NPO Partners are asked to complete a Partner Application Form and a Volunteer Request Form, which detail information about the organization and specific requirements for technical assistance.
Step 3: Matching NPO Partners with LIN Volunteers
- LIN advertises volunteer opportunities to eligible individuals (or teams of volunteers). LIN then screens applicants to identify the most qualified candidates for each volunteer opportunity.
- An interview is scheduled so the NPO can meet with eligible candidate(s) to determine whether or not there is a match. If a match is not made, a second candidate is introduced (and so on until a match is made).
Step 4: Draft the Volunteer-NPO Agreement
- The NPO Partner is asked to designate a Volunteer Supervisor, who will be responsible for Volunteer orientation, management and evaluation. LIN helps to orient the Supervisor to his/her roles and responsibilities.
- LIN prepares a Volunteer-NPO Agreement, which must be signed by both the Volunteer and the NPO’s Volunteer Supervisor to demonstrate their mutual commitment and to the roles and responsibilities agreed upon in the job description.
Step 5: On-Going Support
- General Services - Throughout the duration of the contract, LIN Center staff will be available to the Volunteer and the NPO Partner to answer any questions, provide resources and information and to try and prevent, address or resolve any problems that arise.
- Volunteer Support – LIN Volunteers are invited to attend hosted gatherings of Volunteers and to participate in conversations about volunteerism hosted on our Facebook page.
- NPO Support – NPO Partners are invited to attend regular capacity building workshops organized by LIN.
Step 6: Impact Evaluation
- Impact Measurement – LIN will help volunteers and NPOs to measure the impact of their agreement through the calculation of the number and the value of volunteer hours committed to an NPO.
- Opportunities for regular feedback are facilitated by LIN to ensure that the program meets the needs and objectives of the volunteers and the NPO Partner. This includes, but is not limited to, periodic surveys, meetings and follow-up calls.
Partners are asked to provide feedback on any impacts, outcomes and lessons learned. Information may be provided via surveys, email updates, reports and/or telephone consultations, as may be preferable and agreed upon with our volunteers. At a minimum, we ask that the Volunteer report to LIN upon the conclusion of their agreement, whether or not the volunteer completes the full term as laid out in the Volunteer-NPO Agreement.
It's your choice. Your commitment to a particular volunteer position depends entirely upon your circumstances, interests, and the length of time the volunteer position is needed, as determined by the NPO. Nevertheless, volunteers are asked fulfill their commitment to the best of their ability (e.g. arrive on time, do the work as indicated in the job description, etc).
You can volunteer at any time of the week, day or night, depending on what you want to do. Virtual volunteering provides flexible opportunities to volunteer online.
Some volunteer opportunities are available for groups – though there are more choice available for individuals. Check with LIN Foundation about available group volunteering opportunities.
The minimum age requirement is 18 years old.
This depends on the job description. Attitude and experience are very important. Some volunteer roles require specific job skills or qualifications, while others ask only for a willingness to learn.
There are many volunteer opportunities that do not require you to be available during "normal" office hours. One of the best things about volunteering is that it can be done at a time that best fits with your lifestyle. Many organizations would love to find volunteers that are able to work evenings, nights and/or weekends.
To register as a LIN Volunteer, you will first need to submit an online Volunteer Application Form (English or Vietnamese ). Upon receiving your application form, we will send you an invitation to our online Volunteer Orientation. The orientation will take approximately thirty to forty-five minutes to complete. Once we receive notification that orientation as completed, you will be automatically entered into a pool of eligible LIN Volunteers. You will also begin receiving updates regarding available Volunteer positions. Contact LIN once you come across a position that is of interest. Otherwise, LIN may reach out to you.
Possibly, depending on the organization and the volunteer job description. The interview process gives the volunteer and the organization a chance to feel each other out and offers an opportunity for you to ask questions about the NPO. It is important for you to ensure that you are well matched to a volunteer opportunity so take any interview as an opportunity to make sure that the described role meets your expectations and that you have the necessary skill sets to meet the expectations of the NPO.
Some NPOs will contact you with a start date and time while others will want to conduct an interview first. This gives you and the NPO the chance to assess each other. In addition, it gives you the chance to get a feel for the NPO, and sometimes the opportunity to meet the people you'll be working with.
You're under no obligation to keep a volunteer position that makes you unhappy. To see if your issues can be addressed, please provide the opportunity to talk with your supervisor, the head of the organization and/or LIN Center staff before you make your decision. And please give an appropriate amount of notice to the NPO and to LIN that you're leaving your voluntary role.
If you feel strongly that something should be done to address the situation that caused you to end your contract early, please submit your grievance(s) to the LIN Center so we have the opportunity to address the situation properly and prevent the same problems in the future.
It is up to you. Upon completion of your Volunteer commitment, you will be asked to complete an evaluation form, providing an opportunity for you to share your experiences – both the good and the bad. In the evaluation form, we will also ask whether or not you may be interested to be matched as a Volunteer through LIN again with the same organization or with a different organization. If you wish to continue as a LIN Volunteer, the process would begin again.
The skills and experiences that you gain while volunteering can often turn out to be useful in your career development and even in life in ways one may or may not expect. The volunteer experience may help relief stress, enhance your resume, help you test out an interest in a new role or even a new career. Some volunteers gain leadership experience, which helps build the confidence necessary to move up within an organization. NPOs may be willing to serve as a reference – so don’t be afraid to ask for one.
It does not cost anything for individuals to volunteer outside of the cost for transportation to and from the NPO. Reimbursement of any out of pocket expenses must be agreed upon by the NPO. Such out-of-pocket expenses might include: travel, meals purchased while volunteering, special clothing required, etc. It is a good idea to enquire about expenses you may incur and any costs that will be covered by the NPO before committing to a volunteer role.