Implementing CSR With The Right NGOAnil Birla | September 21, 2015
No matter how big or small an organisation is, choosing the right partners for its CSR projects is always a big deal. This is a decision which can cement your company’s position as a socially active and responsible organisation. And a well-executed CSR strategy can tremendously increase stakeholder engagement and even affect the value of your stocks.
A good CSR partnership goes a long way in helping your organisation strike a balance between profit and purpose. Partnering with, or investing in the right NGOs for your CSR activities is as essential as finding investors who bring more to the organisation than just money. Don’t approach CSR with the aim of compliance under the Companies Act, 2013 . Instead, look for an NGO which mirrors the vision, mission and core values of your organisation.
Let’s take a look at the things you should keep in mind while selecting NGOs who’ll bring value to your CSR efforts.
1. What Does The NGO Do?
In order to narrow down your search, find out exactly what your potential CSR partners do. The reason behind this is obvious. You want to work with an NGO whose work is as closely linked to your line of business as possible. For example, if you work in the processed food industry, try and find an NGO which works with local agricultural communities. Help them provide social and economic support to farmers, who are the lifeline of the processed food industry. This way you can directly help your primary stakeholders, the people who provide you with raw material.
2. Reputation Matters
As of 2014, India has one registered NGO for every 600 people and just one policeman for every 943 people! However, even with such a high density of NGOs, there are only a few organisations who’ve actually managed to establish themselves as reliable and impactful CSR partners.
It’s also important that you choose an NGO which is well respected amongst your employees, investors and customers. This move can potentially lead to a fair increase in stakeholder engagement.
3. Previous Interactions With The Corporate Sector
The easiest way to gauge how well an NGO can support your CSR endeavours is to check their track record with other corporates in the past. See what kind of activities they’ve engaged in and how effective their efforts were.
There are many NGOs out there who may have excellent management and processes but may not have any projects which fit into the corporate scenario. On the flip side, there are NGOs who have impeccably structured corporate campaigns but fall flat when it comes to implementing and executing those strategies.
If you find an NGO that delivers quality and has a strong work ethic, you could easily set up a long-lasting partnership with them on mutually agreed upon terms.
4. What Does The NGO Offer?
Carefully consider what the NGO will bring to the table when you partner with them. What is the nature of engagement? How experienced is their staff? Are they equipped to provide training or educational resources?
5. What is the Approach of the NGO ?
Ask the NGO if it is open to a partnership model. CSR is always about building partnerships. If the NGO wants only your cheque, you need to ask yourself if this is the right approach. Also it would be great if a shared value approach can be taken. This would enable you to make the maximum impact
Find answers to all these questions before signing a deal. A good NGO will be able to seamlessly blend their activities with your CSR concerns. Remember, your money and resources are also being utilised, so make sure that it’s a win-win situation for both parties.