CS Deepak Pratap Singh

We Indians have charity inherited in our heart, we have grown by seeing that our fathers’ and forefathers’ are donating in various temples, mosques, gurudwaras and churches. We are donating or doing philanthropic works without knowing that , who is the true beneficiary of our donation or charity.

The fact if also highlighted in Bain & Company’s India Philanthropy Report, 2013 which focused on the emerging generation of wealthy young philanthropic , many of whom are under 40 and have less than three years of philanthropic experience. The report states that transparency and accountability on the part of philanthropy recipient inhibit the growth of contribution.

When a corporate house or business house engages itself into charitable or philanthropic causes such activities are broadly termed as ” Corporate Social Responsibility“. A Company implements its various ” Corporate Social Responsibility” programs through its in housing facilities or engaging various types of organizations or NOGs.

The Company should check that its funds should be utilized for the purpose for which those are provided. There should be some check and balances , while appointing those agencies for its ” Corporate Social Responsibility” program.

COMMON IMPLEMENTATION METHOD;

IN-HOUSE IMPLEMENTATION;

A Company creates an internal department or unit to work directly with communities to design and implement projects.

COMPANY FOUNDATION;

A Company establishes and independent foundation or trust as a separate legal entity to carry on ” Corporate Social Responsibility” programs. The company generally provided grants and workforce to the foundation or trust.

THIRD PARTY IMPLEMENTATION;

A Company engages a third party , such as a local or international NGO , to work with local communities in designing and implementing CSR projects, or it support an existing initiative being implemented by others.

MULTI STAKEHOLDER PARTNERSHIP;

A Company establishes or joins a voluntary or collaborative alliance, network, or partnership. This implies cooperation between two or more actors in a manner that shares, risk responsibilities , resources and competencies and involves a joint commitment to common cause , task and goal.

HYBRID;

A Company utilizes a combination of two or more implementation models to deliver various components of its ” Corporate Social Responsibility” program,

Many corporate houses in India are working or implementing their ” Corporate Social Responsibility” programs through their own foundations or trusts. Such as Ajim Premji Foundation, Sir Ratan Tata Trust ,etc., these organizations provide certain percentage of their profit during the year to their foundation or trust. These foundation or trust engaged in various types of charitable or philanthropic activities, such as providing education, sanitation, eradication of poverty, women protection etc.

Other Corporate Houses, which have not established any foundation or trust or utilizing their in house facilities or generally involves various types or local or international foundation or trusts. A company must follow a through and stringent selection process to ensure that that the organizational business responsibility goals are being achieved in the most transparent , effective and efficient manner.

Maximum transparency should be ensured during the selection process. A Company before appointing an organization should check background of organization to ensure that it is able to implement its ” Corporate Social Responsibility” programs.

FOLLOWING CRITERIA SHOULD BE APPLIED WHILE SELECTING A PARTNER ;

1. EXPERTISE AND EXPERIENCE OF THE NGO;

The partnering NGO should have proven track record ,expertise and experience in the chosen ” Corporate Social Responsibility” program. This information should be proved by the NGO ,through their project report. The NGO should have specialized experience and knowledge in the same field of activities of the Company.

2. RISK SHARING ABILITY;

There should be risk sharing partnership between Company and the engaged NGO. The Company must give some degree of decision making power to the NGO for proper implementation of the ” Corporate Social Responsibility” program. Their responsibilities and risk sharing activities should be clearly mentioned in the agreement.

3. LEVERAGE, SKILLS, EXPERTISE AND RESOURCES;

Entering into partnership is particularly necessary when the company is aware that the returns on the investment are likely to be greater. This would primarily arise in a situation in which the company does not have the requisite expertise, skills or resources to address the issue in the given area of work. A Company may utilizes expertise, skills or experience of partner NGO in the ” Corporate Social Responsibility” program adopted by the Company. While entering into partnership a Company must ensure that the NGO must have such types of skills.

4. REACH OF NGO;

The NGO should have the required reach to implement the chosen activities. This would require having working relationship with other NGOs, government agencies and grass roots local bodies and a wider network amongst these entities.

5. SCALABILITY;

An effective partnership should also have the capability of scaling up its operations. While companies are usually engaged in localized projects they are also interested in scaling to more systematic intervention that would have a wide ranging and sustainable impact. The company should think to scale its activates ,while choosing its NGO partner.

6. DATA AVAILABILITY;

An impact assessment program of the activities carried on by the NGO must be carried by the NGO to access impact of its program on communities. An accurate impact assessment can be made only when adequate baseline data is gathered and sound dart bases are maintained over periods of time. A NGO should have a strong data base to prove that its programs have impact on communities for which it is implemented. Many NGOs are not technology savvy or inclined to do impact assessment on its programs on communities.

7. PREVIOUS TRACK RECORD OF PARTNER;

A successful corporate-NGO partnership that has delivered tangible results can improve the image of the organization as well as its credibility. Thus before entering into a partnership with NGO, a company should check NGO’s track record of its partnership with other corporate.

Thus while engaging with any NGOs, a Company should do a due diligence and check its experience, skills, previous record of corporate partnership , its data base, impact of various programs previously implemented by the NGO.

(Author can be reached at cs.deepakpsingh@gmail.com)

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