15th February saw an interesting session on “Presenting your Strategy to Corporates”. Through this GYAN training, NGOs were keen to understand the corporate perspective on social responsibility and how they could derive maximum from the business world.
Dhruvi Shah (AVP – Sustainable Development, Royal Bank of Scotland) agreed to volunteer for the said session. Dhruvi has been instrumental in setting up the CSR strategy at RBS and under the said capacity; she has worked extensively with NGOs pan India. This has helped her understand the needs and requirements of various organisations.
Knowing your Partner
Being from the corporate world, she was able to articulate well the challenges that were faced by corporate. Personal experiences of dealing with NGOs pan India shared by Dhruvi enabled the NGO representatives to understand the challenges and how they could work towards improvising the same.
Building a “proposition” and not “proposal” was what Dhruvi emphasized on. Going further, she added that NGOs are expected to do their homework by learning about the corporate business and it’s CSR positioning. Participants conveyed their challenges and difficulties when approaching a corporate for funds and exchanged their experiences of dealings with the business world.
“As a corporate Fund Raiser, it was a great opportunity to interact with the CSR Head to understand their perspective on CSR” says Manjula Mahadevan, AkshayaPatra Foundation.
Key Success Factors
Useful insights were offered to the participants on developing likeminded partnerships and working collaboratively with the corporate donors which included involving them in ground realities and encouraging field visits which would sensitize them on the causes supported by the NGO.
Through examples, NGOs were suggested ways of approaching partnerships, retaining them and practical ways of building a strong proposition. She discussed ideas on how an emotional connect could be established between the corporate and the beneficiaries of the causes they support.
Emphasis was given to building interpersonal skills and networking.
Top 9 Things NGOs should avoid:
1. Cut – copy – paste
2. Wasteful expenditure on communication material
3. Conflicting and contradicting numbers
4. Zero risk approach
6. 40 slide presentations
7. Too many brochures/reports/pamphlets
8. Taking things personally
9. Embody a corporate persona
Dhruvi complimented GYAN by saying “It’s an excellent sectorial initiative. As a donor, I feel it’s refreshing to interact with NGOs on development issues without anyone thinking of developing a grant relationship.”