So here are a few tips for creating successful partnerships with NGOs:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.