Meet the Team: Nic

Go behind the scenes and learn more about the people who ensure that Give2Asia's programs and services are running smoothly! This month, we get to know more about our Program Associate Nic Villegas.

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How did you get involved with Give2Asia? (And what do you do?)

Having worked in the nonprofit world in development positions, I realized I preferred helping deliver funding to worthy projects rather than searching for that funding. In the fall of 2016 I saw the opportunity to work for a Donor Advised Fund working in Asia and immediately jumped on the opportunity!

What has been your favorite Give2Asia project?

The best part about my job is being able to see a multitude of projects helping thousands of people every day, so my ‘favorite’ project changes rapidly. I currently love the work Sarvodaya Suwasetha Sewa Society is doing helping shelter and educate homeless youth in Sri Lanka.

What is one thing people should know about Give2Asia?

We have an extremely rigorous vetting process to ensure the programs we support are safe and effective.

How did you become a Program Associate?

I spent a few years after college jumping around a few industries as I tried to find my calling before settling on this career path. My background in database management, non-profit development, and an international focus were key to starting me in this position.

Three fun facts about yourself?

  1. I am an avid reader. My favorite book series is the Wheel of Time.
  2. I’ve broken 3 bones playing soccer, but I don’t ever plan to stop playing.
  3. I grew up on an island. Unsurprisingly I love spending time in water!  

Favorite place in San Francisco/the Bay Area?

I love Golden Gate Park. When I lived next to it, I would walk through it or lay down in front of the Conservatory of Flowers every week. To me it’s San Francisco’s best feature.

Current Obsession?

Board games! I’ve downsized my collection to about 50 games, but I still sit down to play board games at least once a week.

Supporting Capacity Building in Asia Leads to Stronger Communities

By Aqeela Jogee, Vice President of Programs, Give2Asia


At Give2Asia, we have a network of over 2,000 nonprofit organizations across 25 countries in Asia that we have vetted and or partnered with. In the past decade, our experience has highlighted a notable growth of nonprofits. For example, in China, the number of nonprofits grew 10% in the past two years alone to over 600,000 organizations. In India, the number of registered nonprofits is even more staggering, with a total of 2 million organizations. A similar trend can also be observed in South Korea, Taiwan, Philippines and other countries across the region. 

Observing this trend has been very exciting! Across Asia, we have witnessed local nonprofits working every day to strengthen communities, provide critical services to indigenous populations, and advance access to equal opportunity and services. However, as the number of nonprofits in Asia grow to meet increasing social needs, they face challenges that limit their ability to make sustainable impact.

Building strong resilient organizations with diverse funding streams.

While their grassroots mission may be better suited to serve local communities, those very factors limit their opportunity to compete for funding. A reoccurring concern voiced by local nonprofits across Give2Asia’s network is that it is challenging to build resilient organizations because they face barriers to securing diverse funding. In developing social sectors, communities may be more focused on their own sustenance. With limited funding opportunities in their local communities, nonprofits often seek to obtain funding from external funders. 

Smaller organizations also face a lack of trust and confidence from donors. Recently a study by FSG, the Global Philanthropy Forum and the Rockefeller, Gates and Ford Foundations found that philanthropists are eager to support local nonprofits, but they lack confidence that nonprofits can to deliver because they appear under-resourced. It is also challenging for local nonprofits to compete with the marketing strategies that larger organizations have, and ultimately local organizations fall into a communication trap where their limited English-language ability, technical capacity, and online media presence overwhelm their locally-driven and community-led solutions. 

Developing efficient staffing, systems and leadership to sustain successful programs.

Faced with limited and uncertain funding opportunities, lack of confidence from donors, and an inadvertent communication trap, nonprofits are left with very little time, capacity, or funding to develop efficient staffing, systems, and leadership to quell donors’ fears and sustain successful programs for local communities. 

Nonprofits who are successful in attracting donors feel obligated to expand their services due to pressures to maximize impact. Expansion inevitably leads to an over-stressed staff and inefficient operations, a phenomenon that is exacerbated by the fact that most donors support project-specific grants that designate between 10% to 20% of the total grant amount towards operational costs such as staff salaries, systems strengthening, or leadership training. 

Strengthening the infrastructure of nonprofits is vital to the sustainability of local nonprofits.

If the philanthropy community really is committed  to strengthening local communities across Asia, a commitment to strengthening the organizational infrastructure of nonprofits is necessary. Give2Asia provides two actionable methods for donors to support and strengthen nonprofit operations.

The first method is Give2Asia’s Fiscal Sponsorship program which offers donors an option to donate to over 250 vetted Asia-based charitable organizations. All donations are unrestricted gifts which nonprofits can designate as needed. The flexibility of this program allows nonprofits to utilize critical funds towards strengthening organizational infrastructure.

The second method is through Give2Asia’s Advisory Services program which leverages Give2Asia’s field network to provide customized technical training for local community organizations. With support from donors, Give2Asia provides training on proposal development, project implementation, evaluation and reporting best practices, and donor stewardship and diversification. The trainings are provided by experts in the local language with the local context.

By elevating the importance of supporting capacity building and sharing actionable ways to address capacity gaps in local organizations, Give2Asia hopes to help develop a stronger nonprofit sector in Asia, and ultimately healthy and vibrant societies throughout the region.

August 10: Vietnam Country Profile Webinar

Philanthropy in Vietnam

Give2Asia Country Profile Webinar Series



USA – Thursday, August 10, 2017

Vietnam – Friday, August 11, 2017


USA West Coast (PST) - 6:00 PM

USA East Coast (EST) - 9:00 PM

Vietnam (IST) - 8:00 AM


To register, please fill out this form. You may submit your topics of interest or questions you would like to discuss. Please register by August 8th, 2017.

How to Participate

Join the webinar by following this link.

If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before, click here to test your connection and click hereto get a quick overview. 

Vietnam is home to a rapidly growing NGO sector. This webinar will explore the needs of communities in Vietnam, as well as the opportunities and challenges of the NGO sector. Local nonprofit organizations will also showcase the community impact they have been implementing. This webinar will also provide tips and recommendations from local NGO leaders on the importance of capacity building.

Broaden your understanding with:

  • An overview of the Vietnam social sector
  • A deeper understanding on the needs of underserved communities 
  • An exploration of the importance of capacity building and the different ways NGOs benefit from capacity building
  • A list of Give2Asia's recommended nonprofit partners Vietnam

In order for us to address your queries better during the webinar, please submit your questions when you register. We look forward to your participation. 

Best Regards,
Give2Asia Team

Give2Asia's webinars feature practitioners and subject experts representing different perspective on the social sector in featured countries. These webinars will provide an opportunity to learn more about the social sector in Asian countries; however, due to the dynamic nature of the region careful due diligence and partnership selection is necessary. 



Dinh Kieu Nhung
The Asia Foundation - Vietnam

The Asia Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to the development of a peaceful, prosperous, just, and open Asia-Pacific region. The Foundation supports programs in Asia that help improve governance, law, and civil society; women's empowerment; economic reform and development; and international relations. In Vietnam, the Foundation supports initiatives that advance economic growth and private sector development, good governance and legal reform, and improved international relations. Other activities address women's empowerment, the environment, and human trafficking.

Nguyen Thi Phuong Hao
Association for Empowerment for Persons with Disabilities (AEPD)

Based in Quang Binh province, AEPD was borne out of an international humanitarian organization Survivor Corps/Landmine Survivors Network (SC/LSN). AEPD is committed to improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities through economic and social empowerment and access to health care. AEPD’s support for Persons with Disabilities is a right-based approach to develop capacity, promote social inclusion and participation and contribution to the community and country development.


Skye Maconachie
Blue Dragon Children's Foundation (BDCF)
BDCF is an Australian grassroots charity serving children in crisis throughout Vietnam. Blue Dragon kids are street kids, children with disabilities, and children who have been trafficked. BDCF rescues kids from danger and slavery, reunite them with their families when possible, and provide all the services needed for recovery and growth. BDCF strives to give exceptional care, doing everything in their ability to lead children out of crisis and nurture their growth. BDCF's work assists individuals, families, and whole communities; BDCF takes their insights and experiences to effect change to institutions, laws, and systems.