How do we choose our NGO partners & projects?
In this fragile time, as businesses increasingly want to give back, and consumers are wanting their purchases to drive positive impact, a very common question we’re asked is, ‘how do we choose our NGO partners’?
Well, we take this seriously. As i=Change has raised almost $8 million for NGOs, we’re committed to ensuring these funds have the greatest impact on people’s lives and the environment. As a starting point – as a measure of best-practice – the NGOs we look for:
- Have a clear mission and goals that are aligned with their values and the needs of the community they serve.
- Are accountable and transparent about their finances, operations, and impact through regular reporting and auditing.
- Have an effective governance structure that includes a board of directors or trustees responsible for overseeing operations and ensuring it remains focused on its mission and goals.
- Engage in ethical fundraising practices that are honest, respectful, and transparent. This includes providing clear information on how donations will be used.
- Have effective programs and services based on evidence and best practices. This includes monitoring and evaluating the impact of programs and services to ensure they’re achieving their intended outcomes.
- Engage and inform stakeholders such as donors, volunteers, and the community they serve, providing updates and opportunities for feedback.
- Collaborate and partner with other organisations and stakeholders to achieve their goals. This includes sharing knowledge, resources, and expertise to maximise impact.
- Are committed to continuous improvement and learning. E.g regularly reviewing and evaluating their operations and programs, and making changes as necessary to ensure they’re achieving their mission and goals.
We also back impact leaders
We support those who, over the long-term, have dedicated their lives to addressing a social or environmental issue. For them, this is a life-long mission. It is not an option, it is a calling.
So we do not simply ‘give to charities’. We develop ‘NGO partnerships’. We are committed to understanding their work, and backing their expertise to unlock the impact they live to create.
Audette Exel runs Adara Development
Some of these impact leaders include Audette Exel AO, Westpac Board member, Founder and Chair of Adara Development. Adara has developed deep expertise working in remote Nepal, empowering communities to end the trafficking of girls, as well as in Uganda, where Adara has developed a centre of excellence to ensure women and their babies survive childbirth.
Dr Cythina Muang runs the Mae Tao Clinic
Dr Cynthia Maung, an ethnic Karen, fled her native Burma during the pro-democracy uprising of 1988 and set up the Mae Tao Clinic. Each year over 150,000 people are treated, mostly women waiting to give birth safely. Dr Cynthia has advanced the cause of peace in Asia Pacific and upheld the highest humanitarian traditions of the medical profession. In 2013, she was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize.
These leaders and many others are passionate women and men, who have developed a deep expertise alongside a lifelong commitment to impact many of the great challenges of our time.
It is worth noting that beyond the metrics for best-practice, it is ultimately the people in these organisations who drive change, create enduring impact, challenge the status-quo and have the tenacity to not accept ‘no’, often in the face of enormous adversity.
They are aware of their opportunity and privilege to create change – to commit their lives to putting this into practice, to help those less fortunate for no other reason than their time and place of birth.
For us, these people are the true ‘heroes’ of our time.