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A Collaboration That Does Wonders by Shritama Sarkar

By Volunteer Shritama Sarkar, FHI Bangalore

India is a developing country and each day; someone is innovating a policy or a strategy to make things better and faster. But before that, what is development?

When you ask this question to yourself, you might have several ideas. But I hope your idea of development is inclusive of societal, environmental and educational development along with economic. It might seem from a distance that a country which has developed economically is capable to develop on other factors eventually and so the other issues could be taken care of later. But when you look at it closely, that’s not how it is. All these factors go hand in hand. Development should be approached holistically.

We all might be glad to know the value that each of us hold in the development of the society. Every time you donate, you receive a thank you message for your valuable support because all the NGOs need each of ours support to bring a change. Along with the individual donors, NGOs equally require the support of corporations.

When this was realised, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was made mandatory for corporate organisations and India was one of the first few countries to implement this in the year 2014. So, all the corporate companies these days collaborate with NGOs and Non-Profit organisations to contribute to social sustainability. This concept is supported by the idea that corporations should no longer be considered as isolated economic entities operating in aloofness. Somewhere, we all need to get together because we need each other’s mutual support to ensure the development of the community as a whole.

Looking at the big picture, let’s now go into the details a bit.

  1. Source of Funding

Needless to say, corporate organisations can be a great source of funding for the Non-Profit organisations, especially in times of difficulty. Funds are an essential part of an NGO. The current situation is a perfect example that depicts not every time, service doesn’t require funds. At times, it’s a compulsion and the only choice left.

  1. Access to Strategic Resources

This collaboration also facilitates NGOs in accessing the strategic resources. An IT giant, for example could provide technological support to NGOs for educational, security or safety initiatives. It could provide effective monitoring and tracking mechanisms for NGOs to recognise places where help is the needed the most.

  1. Organisation’s Strengths Leveraged

An organisation’s strengths could be leveraged for social change. Corporates and NGOs could collaboratively come up with creative plans that benefit both, and that does not have to do something directly with funds.

We have seen few such cases earlier where a telecom company provided advanced communication network to ease access to safety, real time coordination with volunteers, and mobile based training and education in disaster prone regions. In another case, a facility was provided to community health workers to store medical information about pregnant women and new mothers, and advise them on maternity and infant health via mobile phones. Even healthcare apps were developed.

Another company came up with a plan of donating one solar lamp to an NGO for every lamp sold, to help children read, write and play even after dusk. A healthcare giant associated with an NGO, had initiated to transform an antiseptic into a life-saving product for new-born babies. 

Such plans also increase companies’ profitability by attracting more customers who want to be a part of the social change in some way.

  1. Trust and Credibility

With this kind of collaboration, NGOs get in a better position with all the funds and capital which in turn increases the efficiency of their work and adds to the impact. This not only fuels their cause but even increases the visibility of their contribution to the world. This immensely builds trust and cultivates credibility.

Not just through funding, companies could be of large help to the NGOs through kind and capital. A company’s profitability and reputation are also strengthened in this process. This mutual support benefits both of them. We can see how wonderful such a collaboration can turn into!

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