Reputation drives corporate-NGO partnerships
A few interesting notes here on corporate responsibility perspectives that I came across this week:
1. When it comes to the reasoning behind corporate-NGO (non-governmental organization) partnerships, reputation and credibility leads the list for corporations while access to funds tops the list for NGOs as driving factors. For corporations, the second most important factor in what makes these partnerships work is achieving long-term stability and impact that while for NGOs, access to people and contacts is ranked second in importance. The two partners seem at odds when it comes to what they consider their ROI from these partnerships which surprised me. Understandably, each is getting something out of the partnership that the other dearly needs and which is nearly priceless. A jolt to your reputation is worth its weight in gold and access to funds is critical to NGOs who only thrive when they have support. However, despite these opposite points of views, the two organizations are quite confident that their strategic partnerships are meeting their objectives — 93% of NGOs say they are very or quite confident in these unions and 89% of corporations say the same. Another interesting fact from this study by C&E Advisory was that corporations are better at regular evaluations than NGOs. Nearly two-thirds of corporates (63%) measure their collaborations every year compared with only 40% of NGOs who say the same.
2. An article in Ad Age this week by Paul Klein (founder of Impakt) says that CSR reports produce no value. “Why is something that is so inconsequential so well-resourced?” he asks. He suggests some ways to improve this deeply embedded trend in most corporations around the world. Who doesn’t have a CSR report these days? He suggest that communities themselves become the authors of CSR reports and are given a chance to rate the companies themselves. Second, let advocacy groups have their say in company CSR reports since they seem to be the only ones reading them (his quote). And third, create an interactive portal where there is real time reporting and real time response. Sounds like CSR reports need their reputations tweaked.
3. I have reputation and CSR on my mind this weekend because I am getting ready to speak at a well-esteemed conference on Reputation and CSR at Humboldt University in Berlin. It is the sixth annual conference on corporate sustainability and responsibility. Looks like a terrific event.