Ethics in fund-raising

Ethics in fund-raising

How can NGOs be trusted by donors?

Particularly in the global south the perception of NGOs is often that they are essentially self interested scams mining development money from donors. This artilce aims to address this situation and help legitimate NGOs to clean up the sector by setting standards of behaviour. To do this the author tries to clarify the generally accepted characteristics of NGOs, and then expands on these to suggest some of the shadow characteristics that are exhibited by "pretender NGOs" (namely those which really are self interested scams mining development money).

The characterisitcs identified are as follows:

  • They are driven by values that reflect a desire to improve peoples lives
  • They are voluntary (i.e. formed by choice, and involving voluntary contributions of time and money
  • They have private and independence governance
  • They are not for profit (i.e. not distributing profit to staff or shareholders)
  • They have a clearly stated and definable public purpose
  • They respond to, and are accountable to, a constituency
  • They are formally constituted in law