15 April 2010

What NGOs need to do to gain respect

They need to:
  • Make an honest assessment of their core competencies, competitors and consumers so that they understand and can articulate where they fit in the marketplace -- and make a market play if they can deliver a competing service more effectively. The end goal is to solve problems, not get along, right?
  • Take more risks in how they deliver solutions and how they fund them. The status quo is not enough, so think big and act accordingly.
  • Say no to funders who demand new programs or changes to programs that detract from the organization's theory of change or core competencies.
  • Diversify revenue streams so that they are not beholden to any one funder or funding stream.
  • Demand that board members invest significant time and money in the organization, or get out.
  • Fire under-performing staff. This is such a taboo in the sector, but with limited resources and mounting social problems to be addressed, do we really have time to invest in people who can't deliver?
  • Be brutally honest with funders, board members, others about the true costs of running operations effectively and don't apologize for, or hide, administrative expenses
  • Create a bold strategic plan that will drive the organization toward social impact and sustainability, not mediocrity.
From Change.org.

That's exactly what we have been trying to do in AIESEC Norway - and we are beginning to see the successes of it. I still love one of the quotes from one of our members "AIESEC is volunteer? Yes, volunteer to join, volunteer to leave, but while you are here you work your ass off".

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