Corporate social responsibility or CSR is the word of mass weightage in today’s time in both corporate and social world. CSR means to take up social responsibility or to give back to the society considering that company is a part of society thus, it is the moral duty of the company. Government has made CSR compulsory in India considering the fact that corporates are blessed and have the ability to bring about big difference.
There are many other bodies also, other than government, which are totally dedicated to the cause of social welfare and these bodies are none other than NGOs or Non-Governmental Organizations. Another very important element in society’s development is Non Government Organization or NGOs. NGOs are actively participating in social welfare activities and contribute a lot in development of underprivileged section of the society .
While CSR is serving the society on a broad basis, keeping in mind the big basic problems and needs of the country, NGOs are working on micro level and are penetrated deep into the most ignored part of the society.
Although the working style, pattern and concept of both CSR by corporates and NGOs is different, yet their ultimate goal is same that is maximisation of social welfare. Corporates mainly fulfil their responsibility of social welfare by giving up of resources mainly their profits. NGOs on the other hand mainly attain money from other bodies to achieve the objective of social welfare. NGOs help the needy ones by giving them different types of services and facilities.
In such case, companies and NGOs can join hands to have a next level of impact on the society. This partnership will prove to be beneficial not only for corporates but for NGOs and society too. How? Let’s discuss:
Corporates have resources, in terms of money, but not the expertise and comprehensive understanding, to carry out social welfare projects while NGOs have the plan and action for social welfare but they lack funds. So, their tie-up can lead to fruitful gains for the society. It is beneficial for the company as they just have to take out money recommended for CSR and then put the rest of the onus in the hands of NGOs. So companies can focus on their business, leaving the work of CSR to the NGOs. It is beneficial for NGOs as they will have easy access to funds, to better resolve the problems faced by society at large. The tie-up is beneficial for the society at large because they get the society gets benefited from both the ends. It is thus, a win-win model.
After the government of India made CSR compulsory for corporates, the interaction of corporates with NGOs escalated at an unprecedented rate. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has directed companies to partner with NGOs who have a established track-record of three years in performing similar projects or programs.
Reaping the advantage of the model, there are many companies who are successfully partnering with NGOs to accomplish the combined objective of social welfare. Assocham in its assessment “CSR: Quantitative Analysis” said that 67% of the domestic companies chose the option of partnering with NGOs to achieve CSR objective.
This model is as simple to talk about but complex to implement. The biggest challenge is finding the right partner to ensure that task is achieved without any window-dressing. The companies’ concern is that money should be spent well. The NGOs should have right amount of knowledge, capacity and skill to accomplish task. NGOs should be reliable and credit-worthy. The companies normally employ a screening process to choose NGO. It can conduct credibility test, field visit and background checks before entering into partnership. Partnering with credible NGOs reduce the risk of frauds and malpractices.
For NGOs too, partnering with right company is important to build a good value chain. The company should be willing to spend the amount promised. The company should not be too interfering in the working of NGO. Autonomy is desired for effective working. The outcome or output is not visible in concrete terms so it is difficult for NGOs to showcase the work in quantitative terms.
Handing over the resources or funds of CSR to a well established NGO can assure the company about effective and efficient utilisation of their CSR share. NGOs have a great responsibility towards themselves too, as they have to work with dedication as well as they are answerable about the utilisation of resources to the resource provider. And if once the desired results are not found by providers future assignment of responsibility comes on a questionable point. Hence NGOs try their best to plan the utilisation properly.
Challenges are many and they exist at both the ends. There is a strong need of a platform where both corporates as well as NGOs can connect. A strong platform which can make the task for both corporates and NGOs easier by delivering at both the ends. The CSR Times is an initiative is this direction. It aims to promote, strengthen CSR initiative by connecting like-minded partners. The CSR Times provides consultancy to NGOs to showcase their work through impactful videos, press release, article writing, write-ups, process documentation etc. It provides NGO database to companies, geography-wise, operations-wise etc to match to their requirements. After- all, connecting for social development is the aim and objective of all.
Written By Bhawna Munet & Shubhi Mehta