7 tips for creating successful partnerships with NGOs

Dr Saumya Arora About Dr Saumya Arora

Dr. Saumya Arora is a development professional with cross-disciplinary experience in project management, resource mobilization, donor relationship management, community mobilization and project execution at the field level. She is currently working towards building fundraising and resource mobilization capacity of community-based organizations, apart from developing functional linkages with donors across the world.

This is a time for collaborations, partnerships, scales and thus revolutionizing the social development milieu. Especially in the wake of corporate social responsibility and sustainability concerns finding their ways into corporate strategies across countries and geographies; the state, the private sector and the ‘third’ sector are collaborating across spaces to lead to a better, converging picture in this context. NGOs are looking forward to this shift, and so are the corporates.

But finding a good match needs a good amount of research and is a time-taking exercise. For CSR initiatives, many companies have their own foundations and initiatives, but an expert in the field can be a true asset for a company. So here are a few tips for creating successful partnerships with NGOs:

  1. Find the ‘cause’ your company is going to support and then choose:

In your boardroom discussions, your company’s strategies are decided, and CSR strategies are no different. Once you are clear about what cause aligns with your business values, do your research and find your potential partners.

  1. Look for an alignment of mission, vision and values:

An NGO with aligning vision and core values, with professional staff and expertise is what you should look for. For example, a company which is a big multinational information technology firm, has committed its CSR efforts towards IT training and skilling for underprivileged children and youth, so it has collaborated with various NGOs working in skilling sector in various states in India. This helps them align their goals and objectives with that of the NGOs, while working towards the social responsibility.

  1. Involve the leadership and management:

Involving the founders, CEOs and top management and those in leadership roles is very important for both sides. This ensures the real alignment of vision and values of both organizations, builds trust and also paves way for lasting and enduring partnerships in strategic terms.

  1. Long term thinking:

Think of the partnership as a long term strategic investment. In terms of your company’s future strategies, sustainability initiatives, the CSR strategies must be linked with long- term goals. So thinking long term is very important. 

  1. Clearly define roles and responsibilities:

Clearly setting the roles and responsibilities of each party in the beginning itself will be helpful in the long run. It will also prevent any role clashes later. Clearly writing these in the contract/ MoU (Memorandum of Understanding)/ such documents can serve as guides for the implementation of the programs later.

  1. Trust:

Trusting your NGO partner is the key to a successful partnership. Trusting would not mean completely agreeing to everything, or thinking the same way as the other. It means developing an equation that allows you to communicate freely, express your opinion, debate and discuss and then come up with conclusions with everyone’s inputs.

  1. Make use of your ‘core competency’:

Each organization has its own strengths and core competencies. Your core competency might be marketing, while an NGO may have expertise in climate and environment. Finding a good match, making best use of each other’s strengths is the attribute of a successful partnership. So trust your own vision and values, research, plan ahead, find potential partners for your organization, and remember, no relation is perfect, you can work together towards making it one, and you just have to know that the cause is worth it!

Latest Funds for NGOs

Applications Open for NYCI’s Artist and Youth Work Residency Scheme Programme!

British Embassy Montevideo Call for Bids: Montevideo Project Fund 2017

U.S. Mission to Saudi Arabia: Seeking Applications for Saudi Young Leaders Exchange Program

USAID/Guinea Malaria Bilateral: Addressing Critical Malaria Prevention & Control Issues in Guinea

Swedish EPA Call for Proposals: Supporting Projects in the Field of Sustainable and Efficient Transport Systems

Resist Grant: Supporting People’s Movements for Justice and Liberation in the U.S.

Lipman-Miliband Trust:  Seeking Applications for The Southern Africa Fund

EU Call for Proposals: Innovative Approaches for Local Nutrition Governance Program in Bangladesh

Connecticut Health Foundation: Diverse Advocacy and Consumer Engagement in Health Reform

OSISA Call for Proposals: Youth, Arts and Culture Initiative

Department of Health and Human Services: Economic Studies of Immunization Policies and Practices Program

High Commission of Canada in Kenya: Canada Fund for Local Initiatives 2017-2018

The Department of Justice and Equality: Disability Awareness Raising Grant Scheme 2017

FRIDA Call for Proposals: Inviting Young Women-Led Groups for Climate and Environmental Justice Special Grants

ASEF Call for Proposals: 17th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights

High Commission of Canada in Jamaica: Canada Fund for Local Initiatives

Apply for the Jeremy Wilson Charitable Trust Grants for Young People!

Partnerships for International Development Fund: Seeking Applications from New Zealand

EJC’s European Publishers Longterm Reporting Grant: Raising Awareness of Sustainable Development Goals

European Journalism Centre: Innovation in Development Reporting Grant (IDR) Programme

Applications Open for EJC’s Global Health Journalism Grant Program for Germany!

The British Academy: Tackling Slavery, Human Trafficking and Child Labour in Modern Business

USDA-FNS: Seeking Applications for Child and Adult Care Food Program Training Grant

Applications Open for U.S. Embassy Zagreb Small Grants Program 2017!

Comments

  1. Elizabeth Kalembe says:

    I find these articles every educative and informative. Thank you so much for your effort. I will definitely share with friends.

  2. Thank you for bringing me information and inspiration
    I am so happy to share with you.

    Best regards,

* indicates required

You have Successfully Subscribed!