NGOs of the future: innovation, business skills and thinking across traditional borders needed

The fact that the business world is changing is well known. Continuous business innovation is requested – everywhere.  No doubt. There are all kind of efforts going on such as continuous training offers for business people, be it for employees, be it for employers: trainings around administration, marketing and computer skills, the call for innovation, effective presentation and intercultural trainings…. training is a big business in itself. 

But knowledge is needed not just within the business world, but in the social sector and NGO world, too. Why not combine those needs? But let’s have at the NGO world first:

NGOs in the social sector need good business skill and innovative thinking, too

 You are still one of the traditional people believing that the good will and personal engagement, the passion and vision to make positive change happen is enough. Ok, some administrative knowledge is needed, of course. But all the rest? 

You are wrong. There is no doubt. The time of traditional NGO set up and acting based on purely donation based income and “we want to change the world for better”  has passed. It is simply not sufficient any more for making change sustainable. 

There is a huge need for optimization if NGOs want to survive and be successful, today. Globalization, new social stakeholders from the governmental and business sector and a different understanding about donations and outcome are leading to a huge competition in the social world. The questions on who gets support eg by governments, how long a support is given, the request for self maintenance and the monitoring process, even through the public, are challenging. 

For most of the NGOs it is difficult to finance continuously professional education to the staff. But it is highly recommendable if the mid- and long term success of the NGO should be given. NGOs need innovation. NGOs need to know what they can do and how they can achieve results. NGOs need good marketing skills and a transparent business model. 

Think across traditional borders

Social and business people can learn that much from each other. The two different worlds concept  is not working any longer. Changing for better should be  a task for all. Not everyone might be interested to be a good one. However, there are many stakeholders in different sectors who want to contribute to a better world. So, why not connecting and working together? Why not learning together and from each other? There are so many social- business exchange opportunities: internships, project collaborations, common conferences. We just need to think and go across traditional borders. It’s about taking the initiative and about approaching the ‘other’ world instead of listing negative examples where the others fail. 

Who knows how to socialize and find powerful partners to work together on pressing social issues is simply in the pole position and will achieve much more. 

Examples are there. Like exposure trips where business meets NGOs. A win- win to all. Or projects that can be set up together. The Makingmorehealth.org website is just on example where you find ideas on how it can work. Just look for the making more health Pilot project in India. 

If you are interested to find out more, please contact me. 

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Some interesting articles about NGO challenges in India

1. Being #Christian in #India http://bit.ly/1D2QMtb

2. NGOs in the firing line http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/ngos-in-the-firing-line/article7181460.ece

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