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Roadmap for NGOs for accessing CSR funds

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) under Companies Act is not an act on extension of charity. It is neither an act on regulating philanthropy nor be treated as guaranteed giveaway for the Non-Government Organizations (NGO). NGOs include Voluntary Organizations, Civil Society and Community Based Organizations. There are set norms and limitations for taking up activities under CSR. The below article is an expression of understanding these two extreme ends thereby creating win-win (space) for companies and NGOs. Philosophically one could define CSR as giving back to society (thereby creating a sound society). After all, business comes from the society and business thrives in a better society. It is heartening that in the milieu of all these discussions, personal philanthropy and charity are unscathed.

Prospective NGOs approaching corporate need to walk that extra mile in speaking about their founding ethos (philosophy) and guiding principles that drive their interventions (programs). There is no scope for assumptions that corporate would understand unsaid (unspoken) statements for the program support. It is of immense value to have an updated website, a blog and a presence on social networking sites to disseminate information. It would be easy for the modern (next gen) companies to connect and browse through the past. Moreover, it would be an added advantage for the corporate to work with a more progressive NGO with strong ethos and grassroots experience while sound with ultra modern media engagement.

In the absence of dedicated teams driving CSR, there is always a dilemma, on whom to approach for the foot in the door opportunity with a company (corporate). It is one of the biggest obstacles in approaching a private company in initiating a dialogue in seeking funding to take up interventions. Then, what is the best way to approach a company? There is no one foolproof method or sure success shot. It is a good idea to approach any of these senior executives in the private set up (company), the Chair Person, Chief Executive Office, Chief Financial Officer or President – Human Resources in that order.

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