Experiences of a digital NGO: how to involve the private sector?
PTL NL supports NGO’s in realizing their ambition to be innovative in their efforts to improve the lives of people in dire circumstances. Major data challenges and institutional lack of digital knowledge inhibit this powerful NGO mission. We offer affordable, smart and flexible data knowledge to Dutch NGOs to help solve their digital challenges. Our approach is to bring in the private sector.
How do not-for-profits find the right private partners? Digital NGO PeaceTech Lab NL explains in the paper ‘Data for good: how to involve the private sector? Experiences with PeaceTech Lab NL’s Digital100 network.’
Read the report by clicking the link or the summary below.
On why we at PeaceTech Lab NL bring in the private sector
- At PeaceTech Lab NL we define three objectives for bringing in the private sector: knowledge, dynamics and money (in that order);
- The private sector is quick to adopt new technologies. NGOs, by contrast, do not often feel as much pressure to innovate. So beware: collaboration can lead to tension when joint teams move at different paces.
On why the private sector wants to collaborate with us
- Stakeholders are pushing companies to wade into sensitive social and political issues. And this trend will continue to accelerate as millennials express new expectations of the companies they work for, buy from, and invest in;
- Targeted and relevant CSR that is closely connected to the company’s DNA creates the best results both for the company itself and for society. In addition, employees’ morale is higher when they are working on projects that are close to their passions;
- Another advantage for digital companies is that by putting their CSR responsibility into practice they become or stay an attractive employer. This is especially relevant in the extremely competitive job market for digital talent;
- New laws and regulations mean companies have to dedicate resources to corporate social responsibility. It is likely that governments (and the public) will continue to pressure companies in the future.
On how to approach the private sector
- Make sure to have board members and senior staff with extensive networks in the private sector who can make calls to decision-makers who will either make time in their agenda or link to other people in their company;
- We study their SCR-priorities. We offer to help private parties solve their challenges, don’t ask them to help solve ours. Many companies have identified those Sustainable Development Goals that they actively want to work on;
- We study the social media behaviour of the company and the person we meet and identify his or her priorities in the area of corporate responsibility;
- We bring examples of our work that connect to their work: when we talk to an engineering company we have examples of working with geodata. When we talk to a data consultancy that works in the area of FMCG we have examples of how their clients are dependent on emerging markets in the global south;
- We know how we want to use their practical business solutions for social impact;
- We describe how we aim to contribute to their (triple) bottom line;
- Size matters. Small and medium sized enterprises with one owner or director can move faster and conclude an agreement with an NGO than bigger companies with more complex ownership structures.
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