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7 principles of building effective partnerships between corporations and NGOs

Jun 10, 2015

Based on the Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility and civil society in Latvia conducted by Roger Ritvo and Anna Feldmane, the following best practices for successful partnerships between NGOs and corporations were listed:

1. Find partners with shared goals. Mutual interests can frame discussions and decisions.
2. Develop specific and measurable objectives. It is not enough just to say "Let's work together." Interorganizational relationships can be enhanced with agreed upon objectives for a 1-3 year period.
3. Structured Communications are essential. Meetings planned in advance with agendas will help make the best use of people's time and contribute to the sense of involvement.
4. Top-level commitment should be complemented by wide-spread involvement in both systems. When CEOs or top executives agree to a project and plan, most often these responsibilities are delegated. This is where and when the work gets done. The more people are involved, the more likely it is that the collaboration will succeed.
5. Develop a clear budget so that each organization knows and can plan how to meet its commitments. Ad hoc financing cannot be relied upon. A possible goal would be for each partner to contribute up to 1% of its non-personnel budget. It does not have to be an equal split on funds since other resources are also important (indirect costs, public relations, transportation, and printing).
6. Start with small, manageable and focused efforts. Building on successes creates a stronger foundation than a large effort that is only partially complete.
7. Jointly Assess, Review, Modify and Celebrate the program. Too often, NGOs do not publicize their efforts, while corporations often overstate results. When evaluating against pre-determined criteria, the process can be managed throughout rather than just upon conclusion. This can also help meet the emerging pressures for greater transparency.

To read the entire survey click here.

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We re-affirm our commitment to the values that AmCham stands for and that we share.

Kārlis Danēvičs, Board member, Head of Credits and Risk at SEB Banka