Collaboration Between Enterprises and NGOs

Today I participated in a discussion regarding collaborations between enterprises and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations). The meeting was arranged by CSR Sweden and Charity Rating.

Marianne Bogle och Camilla Backström

Marianne Bogle och Camilla Backström

After the introduction by Marianne Bogle from CSR Sweden and Camilla Backström from Charity Rating a presentation by Lovisa Cottrell, from Sponsoir Insight, followed. Lovisa gave us some highlights from a study they have performed regarding companies’ CSR initiatives. 240 companies have responded to a range of questions and the answers have also been followed-up through interviews.

Lovisa Cottrell

Lovisa Cottrell

Lovisa presented some of the interesting results from the study, e.g.:

Drivers for CSR initiatives:

Building the brand (79% of responders that work with CSR said YES)

Build employee loyalty (72%)

Competence development (65%)

Risk management (55%)

Product development (32%)

”Give back to society” (16%)

Others (12%)

Areas for collaboration with NGOs:

Children (49% of responders that have a collaboration with an NGO said YES)

Environment (42%)

Aid / Charity (37%)

Sports (33%)

Health (29%)

Cultur (23%)

Human Rights (22%)

Research (20%)

Others (12%)

After the introduction and the presentation by Lovisa, a panel discussion followed. The panellists were Lovisa, myself, Vivianne Gillman (Connecta), and Erik Zachrison (FRII Insamlingsrådet). The discussion was moderated by Kaj Török from Futerra.

We had a good discussion, with a lot of interaction with the audiance. I came back time after time to one of my ”key messages” when it comes to collaboration between enterprises and NGOs. The collaboration has to be driven by a ”business reason”. All our CSR-initiatives, including of course NGO-collaborations, are integrated into our business strategies. A part of our operations. In the discussions we used expressions such as ”driven by the brain” in contrast to ”driven by the heart”. As you know if you have followed me here on the blog (see for instance the blog post from March 29 last year) I feel strongly that in my ”professional life” brain shall govern when we decide on a collboration wiht an NGO, wheras in my private life I am very often guided by my heart when I decide to which organization I make my own donations.

Another topic we discussed was the need for NGOs to become more ”professional”. It is, and may become even more so in the future, a competetive edge for an NGO to act very ”professionally” in the contacts with companies, and to develop processes in order to better report back on goals, objectives and deliverables. However, it is important, stressed for instance very nicely by Erik Z, that NGOs do not ”loose their heart” in their ambition to become more ”professional”. There are of course good reason why there is, and probably should be, differences in drivers for NGOs and enterprises…

A good discussion and I look forward to the coming events in this so called ”SAM series”. Keep your eyes open for events on March 15, April 7, and April 28.


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