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Dear Friends of ACS,

There is an Augustinian notion that, within every city is a beautiful side and a dark side. While ACS has been brokenhearted by the fear, pain and division racking Hong Kong, we are deeply grateful to be part of a community seeking to serve, learn, grow and contribute. In the midst of uncertainty, we moved forward with our “Fall semester” focused on training NGOs to know their beneficiaries, and to tell meaningful stories and strengthen communications with traditional and social media.  

Thank you, NGOs, for the small and big ways in which you tirelessly serve our society, with limited resources, in spite of many difficulties and discouragement. You inspire us, and we hope to keep working for good alongside you in the years ahead.

Thank you, dear volunteers, speakers, venue sponsors and funders, who make our work possible. Just since September, more than 200 business professionals have volunteered on our programs to serve over 100 NGOs which address diverse issues ranging from at-risk youth, to care for the disabled, to animal rights and the environment, to migrant worker needs and active ageing.

It has been a difficult time for all of us, but we press ahead, and we are not alone.   

As we enter the holiday season, if you would like to make a donation to ACS, here is the link to financially support our work. Thank you for your generosity.

We wish you and your family a joyful Christmas and a happy New Year!

- Karen Chau, Executive Director
What We've Been Up To

ASCEND: Strategic consulting-style workshops

We are pleased to have served Mission For Migrant Workers, Resolve, Teach For Hong Kong, and Wu Zhi Qiao (Bridge to China) Charitable Foundation, in our last round of Strategic Planning and Fundraising Strategy workshops this year. Special thanks to our amazing team of dedicated volunteer consultants for their insightful input and expertise, as well as the kind support we received from our venue sponsor - Fidelity Asia Pacific Foundation.

ASCEND will kick off 2020 with its first cycle starting on 27 February. See below for more information.

Jockey Club ENGAGE Digital Exploration

🎬 In case you missed our ENGAGE Volunteer Appreciation Evening
Jockey Club ENGAGE Digital Exploration: Beneficiary Outreach
This October, we successfully launched our final theme on Beneficiary Outreach under the JC Engage Digital Exploration program, which focuses on effective communication, impactful messaging and visual storytelling.  

With 6 out of 10 rounds completed, we took time for a celebration and appreciation evening hosted by Deloitte Foundation on 21 November. Special thanks to the probono expert speakers, who have shared with us their global and local experiences, and to our volunteers who have worked alongside the NGO teams to apply the learning. 

ENGAGE will kick off 2020 with a session on crowdfunding on 9 January.

IGNITE Next Generation Seminars

🎬 Find out here how NGOs and journalists can work together as friends and allies to make great story telling. 

We continued our Fu Tak Iam Foundation sponsored IGNITE Next Generation: Future of Work seminar series, learning about “The Power Of Media” from media professionals and from NGO leaders.

First, an interactive workshop facilitated by Simon Buckby and Clare Mui from Instinctif Partners guided attendees to identify their NGO's objectives, target audiences, key messages, and best-fit media channels. David Ko from RFI Asia followed by focusing on an NGO's social media strategy, and how social media influencers might feature in that social media strategy.

Seasoned news editor Olga Wong from the SCMP, veteran voice of RTHK Hugh Chiverton, Victoria Otero (Founder/CEO of Resolve Foundation), and Inti Tam (MarComms Manager at The Women's Foundation) treated the audience to a lively and insightful panel discussion on harnessing the power of media, with practical tips on developing an effective working relationship between an NGO and the media in order to tell the NGO's story.

IGNITE will kick off 2020 with a session on Collaboration on 11 February.

Sprint - A Hackathon for Social Good

🎬Want to learn more about what happened that day?
Stay tuned on our ACS social media!
Sprint - A Hackathon for Social Good
Like all our Sprint Hackathons for Social Good, the latest one on 30 November on “Power Up Your Social Media: Launch a Successful Campaign” was intense and fun.  With the help of volunteers and the curriculum and tools, in one day, all participating NGO teams completed the creation of a social media campaign plan, 2 “WOW Content” posts, and learned how to access and analyze post data to improve performance. With over 150 attendees, it was a high-energy event encouraging networking and collaboration.

Special thanks to our curriculum design team of probono experts. We also appreciated the encouragement from our judges panel including leaders from HSBC Philanthropy Services, Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, WYNG Foundation, Bloomberg, Google and Bureau Veritas. 

Thank you to PwC for the beautiful venue, volunteer team and grand prize sponsorship. Thank you also to the Carolina Gutterres Memorial Fund for their support.

Sprint will kick off 2020 with a session on 28 March.
Coming Up at ACS
Check out our full event calendar for 2020  here and save the dates!

ASCEND: Strategic consulting-style workshops

Is your NGO at an inflection point? Our volunteer teams can help your leadership team to deep dive and rethink your Strategic Planning, Fundraising Strategy or Board Governance. The next round of probono in-depth consulting workshops will be run on 27 February, 12 March and 26 March, supporting NGOs to build up their capacity and organizational effectiveness. Senior NGO representatives are required to attend all 3 sessions, which will take place on the weekday evenings, from 6.00pm-9.00pm. 

Do visit our website or email us at ascend@asiancharityservices.org to find out more and to apply.

If you have been wondering how other NGOs have successfully used an online crowdfunding platform to fundraise, but have never tried it for your own NGO, JC Engage Digital Exploration can show you how making an inspiring crowdfunding campaign is easier than you think, and guide you to a blueprint for a successful online crowdfunding campaign. 

Our #crowdfunding series on 9 January 2020 will be the last Crowdfunding series in our 3-year Digital Exploration Program for NGOs. So don’t wait!  Grab this chance to unlock your Crowdfunding Strategy with experienced speakers and passionate volunteers! 

To preview past crowdfunding training material: click here
For enquiries, please email to engage@asiancharityservices.org.
Learn More / Sign Up
I am a Face of ACS: Dora Wong
Dora Wong is a working mum who joined ACS during her career break in 2017. After participating in several ASCEND workshops, she helped to create a new ACS program – the Sprint Hackathon. Since then, she has been a committed member of the Sprint curriculum and strategic planning team, even after she returned to the workforce.
1.  What 3 words would your friends use to describe you?
Helpful, easy-going, conscientious

2.  When did you first start your volunteering journey, and why ? 
I started to volunteer with ACS in mid-2017 when I took a career break.  It had always been my wish to contribute back to society.  However, this plan never got executed previously because of my busy work schedule and family commitments.  The career break allowed me to rethink my personal priorities and initiate my volunteering journey.  I have been back at work now for more than a year, but I am still committed to continuing my volunteering journey.

3.  What new things/ skills did you learn in your volunteer journey?
My volunteer journey with ACS has been rewarding.  I began as a volunteer consultant in the ASCEND program, teaming up with other volunteer consultants and the senior management and board members of NGOs to help solve their challenges in board governance, fundraising and strategic planning.  I learned a lot about NGOs and the challenges they faced, and it was also good to work with other experienced business professionals in the workshops. 
 
Being part of the curriculum team of the then new ACS program Sprint was particularly interesting for me as I learned a lot through research and working with subject matter experts on topics such as design thinking and social media.  I gained new insights on simplifying complex concepts and using fun games so that new ideas and thinking could resonate better with NGO participants. These insights also broadened my own horizon as a business professional.  It was wonderful to witness the birth and the evolution of Sprint!

4.  What advice would you share with someone considering volunteering for the first time ?
Do not procrastinate…just act now.  If you struggle with where to start, talk to your friends, relatives and colleagues or go to the web.  I’m sure you can find something interesting to start with.  It is also important to share your volunteering aspirations and get the support of your family and colleagues. 

5.  If you could have one wish granted for the social sector space in Hong Kong, what would it be ?
There are thousands of NGOs in Hong Kong with a wide diversity of size and social causes.  I would like to see more collaboration among NGOs to promote social innovation, and to enhance beneficiary centricity and operational efficiency.
Community Outreach
ACS regularly meets with local NGOs to learn more about what they do. Here are a few of the amazing organizations we met recently - you can find out more about them below.

Have we met you yet?  If your organization would like to be included in our community outreach visits, please send a message to Jen Wannenmacher at communityoutreach@asiancharityservices.org.

Chinese Family for Christ Hong Kong

The last population census taken in Hong Kong in 2016 showed the rate of divorce to be 2.4% per 1,000 marriages, which is more than double the rate in 1991.

Chinese Family for Christ Hong Kong (CFFC) believes that this downward trend can be reversed by providing marriage guidance to couples. Their services include pre- and post-marriage counselling, and teaching communication skills and biblical principles application within relationships. CFFC also believes that a person learns better by doing, and not just by listening : by serving others, volunteers themselves will further understand the impact of a healthy family unit. 

InspiringHK Sports Foundation

All too often, millenials and Gen Z relax and socialise via electronic devices. But there is an NGO in HK which believes that there is a better way...

ACS met with Judy Kong, the Chief Executive of 凝動香港體育基金 InspiringHK Sports Foundation, an organisation which believes that sports and its beneficial, positive influence can be powerful. Judy and her team design programs and curricula which integrate sport with self-growth elements, and are especially keen to give underprivileged children access to their programs. Judy also shared more about her work and views on sport education during the JC ENGAGE Volunteer Appreciation evening - check out the highlight video: here

HK Seeing Eye Dog Services

A dog is Man’s best friend. And, for a visually impaired individual, a dog can be even more invaluable, serving as his eyes and connection with the world. A trustworthy seeing eye dog helps the user regain confidence to live independently within a community, increasing a sense of dignity and self-reliance.

ACS met with Raymond Cheung, the Chairman of Hong Kong Seeing Eye Dog Services (HKSEDS) and his fellow dog-lovers Joseph Wong, CEO and Brenda Pang, Trainer. HKSEDS aims to promote the professional services of seeing eye dogs in Hong Kong, in addition to training and breeding dogs locally. Through their work and advocacy, they hope  that the local community will become more sensitive to the needs of the visually impaired. 
Resources and Opportunities
Easi Ramp:  Easi Ramp (http://easiseat.com/easiramp/) has received funding from the Kadoorie Foundation to sponsor free door ramp installations at wheelchair users’ homes, in order to facilitate their mobility. NGOs interested to find out more about these services for their beneficiaries, please contact Dennis Leung at fhkn046@gmail.com.

Foundation exchange:  Foundation Exchange is a network of 111 philanthropic foundations in Hong Kong. Local NGOs seeking to diversify their institutional donor base may register and submit funding proposals to them via: https://hkfx.org/

Google Ads: Google Ad Grants aim to grow charitable giving online and help nonprofits succeed by connecting people to causes. With US$10,000 per month in free Google search advertising, nonprofits can create meaningful ads to educate, attract donors and help people around the world. More information is available at www.google.com/nonprofits. You can review the eligibility requirements and apply here.

Heart01: The story of crowdfunding was first introduced in 1997 and gained popularity in the entertainment industry. With the advent of digital technology, the crowdfunding ecosystem has now evolved to a diverse and accessible fundraising channel for NGOs.  If you are looking for a Cantonese-friendly, no-administration-cost platform that might be able to enhance your visibility in the Chinese community, check out local crowdfunding platform (Heart01), initiated by local online newspaper platform HK01 (Chinese only).

HKPC: Technology is an essential in today’s world, including for NGOs. The Hong Kong Productivity Council will conduct an information session on 20 December 2019, on a new program to address IT Capacity Building for local NGOs, an initiative funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Find out more details here (Chinese only).
 
What We Are Reading
5 Video Marketing Strategies You Can't Live Without |  Killer Visual Strategies
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but according to Forrester Research, "a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words."...
Social Media Health Check | Sendible.com
When you are managing several social profiles across a number of platforms, it is vital to know what is working in your social strategy, and identify where you can gain higher results...
A Strategic Guide to Social Media for Nonprofits | Sproutsocial.com
With limited budgets and small teams, nonprofit organizations already fight an uphill battle to raise awareness, engage with their supporters and generate donations. And when you consider the changing algorithms and oversaturation of social platforms, those goals can seem even further out of reach....
12 Effective Ways To Operate A Nonprofit Like A For-Profit Business | Forbes Nonprofit Council
Ensuring your organization meets its yearly revenue goals is a must. It can be easy to get caught up in the minutia of the day-to-day operations without giving a second thought to what your profits are year to year. But, you owe your donors more...
Report on the Future of Philanthropy : Insights from Multiple Views around the World | The Future of Philanthropy.org 
This decade sees philanthropy at a pivotal point. The evolving geopolitical landscape, the rapid creation of new wealth and a greater awareness of how philanthropy can create social change have already led to exciting innovation and new thinking...
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