Last updated on 3 April 2019 at 12:13 pm
Recruiting committed and proactive volunteers have always been a problem for NGOs in Malaysia, but volunteers aren’t all to blame here.
A skilled NGO should be able to retain their volunteers and also attract new ones. Volunteers play a pivotal role since there’s always a substantial list of what a community needs assistance with, as well as tasks for the organisations that they’re volunteering for.
Besides recruitment, monetary support is also vital to any NGO around the world to be sustainable. Let’s be realistic here, money is important, even when it comes down to doing good and especially if it’s on a large scale. Potential sponsors or partners will decide to donate or sponsor an initiative based on many criterias. It goes beyond the “do-good-with-this-money” principle. A lot of factors and expectations go into consideration before money is handed out to an organisation.
Six criterias that make a great NGO
1. The ability to present their organisation clearly.
It’s crucial for an NGO to be able to explain what their organisation is all about in a clear, simple manner. Their mission and vision should be presented in language and context that’s understood by people of different backgrounds, and not just to a niche.
2. Transparency in delivering reports
Nothing should be hidden from sponsors or partners. All parties should clearly know where the money goes and what has been achieved after a lot of effort and money have been invested.
3. Professional and strong internal system
Any good NGO – be it small or big should apply professional standards to its work. An organised and systematic structure is needed to ensure that everything runs smoothly according to plan A,B or C. A strong foundation can be apparent by the way people in the organisation work and how they coordinate others.
4. Adhere to a simple but effective code of conduct
Without an effective code of conduct, anyone in the organisation can do whatever they please. This is the base of ongoing trust between sponsors and organisation on top of maintaining the integrity of the organisation. It also protects the volunteers by setting out clear expectations, responsibilities and what is to required of them.
5. No racial and gender bias in accepting volunteers
There have been cases where some NGOs only accept individuals of a certain race or gender as a volunteer. While there are several job positions that prefer men over women or vice versa,there should not be a fixed rule stopping either gender, race, religion, etc. from volunteering unless it is a matter of safety. NGOs are about acceptance and openness. If that doesn’t apply, you might want to think twice before volunteering there.
6. Impact driven and sustainable
Each and every single NGO around the world has a specific cause that they are championing. Some focus on education, some on poverty and health, some on renewable energy, technology, and the list goes on. No matter the cause, it needs to impact the community – and they should benefit from it. The more sustainable the project, the better. Impact driven and sustainable NGOs will not only attract more volunteers in the long term but also sponsors and partners, in addition to establishing a good professional relationship.
If your NGO strives to thrive like other prominent NGOs, alongside a powerful network and dedicated volunteers, start adopting these six practices. It’s never too late to start. You’ll be surprised at where your NGO might end up at.