More Business, Less Charity

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More Business, Less Charity

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How can business approaches be useful to NGOs in tackling some of the world's most daunting challenges?
Wednesday, September 8, 2010 - 10:00am


There's a new trend emerging among a small number of NGOs (non-governmental organizations, used in reference to global nonprofits). Here's what it looks like in comparison to the traditional nonprofit approach:

  • Traditional: NGO raises charitable dollars. Hires expert staff to send abroad. Expert staff sets up offices and the necessary facilities (clinic, school, etc.). Expert staff proceeds to provide services. NGO counts and reports on the number of people it helps abroad. NGO continues raising money to fund the staff it has established in its international offices. Or, in some cases, the expert staff moves on to another community, and there is no infrastructure at the local level to ensure ongoing services and implementation, nor any external system for monitoring and reporting.

  • New School: NGO raises charitable dollars. Hires expert staff--most often local--to work on programs. NGO leverages its dollars to raise funds from the local community and local government, thereby forming a three-way partnership to achieve the goal--whether that's to establish a new health clinic, school, or access to clean water, etc. NGO provides expertise to help local government and community to achieve the goal, train people from community or region to provide the ongoing service, establish a viable revenue model for a sustainable business model, and perhaps establish a local business enterprise to provide long-term services. NGO counts and reports on the number of people it helps abroad. More importantly, NGO monitors the project to ensure longer term success--making sure services are being provided over time, not just after the project is finished. NGO moves on to other communities, thereby increasing its impact. NGO seeks to have their models spread virally by being replicated by others, beyond just the areas where it works.

A good example of "New School" is Water for People.

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Korngold Consulting LLC assists corporations in building fully integrated, high-impact CSR strategies, including leadership development through nonprofit board service.  Korngold Consulting trains and places business executives on nonprofit boards, and consults to nonprofit boards and leaders to strengthen governance for financial and strategic success.



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Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility | ITT | WASH (water | Water for People | World Health Organization (WHO) | hygiene) | sanitation