Key Points

Vietnam’s steady economic growth over the past two decades interacted with existing patterns of inequity, social exclusion, and geographic disparities to widen the gap between those who can and cannot obtain quality education, a stable income, and access to quality basic services. Meanwhile, after the World Bank classified Vietnam as a lower middle-income country in 2010, several international and bilateral donors announced plans to gradually decrease their development assistance.

It was under these circumstances that Vietnam’s first community foundation, the LIN Center for Community Development, was established in Ho Chi Minh City in 2009. Its mission is to build a stronger community by providing support services to local philanthropists, including nonprofits, donors, and skilled volunteers, to help local people address local challenges.

This article shares the experience of the institutions, companies, and individuals that have contributed, directly or indirectly, to LIN’s objectives. It looks at factors that led to donor decisions to invest in LIN or other local organizations; donor satisfaction and perceptions of the impact of LIN’s work; benefits of and challenges inherent in partnering with local organizations; and the potential for future partnerships with local nonprofits. It aims to serve as a case study of the development of community philanthropy in a large urban center within a socialist market economy.

Open Access