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October 06, 2011
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Show me the Money: Getting CSR Capital for your NGO

More than ever, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are echoing Cuba Gooding Jr.’s line “Show me the money!” when it comes to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Having successfully fundraised CSR capital for an NGO, I’m often asked for my secret, as though I have the best-ever marinara sauce recipe. These conversations are often asymmetrical as I get excited about how CSR is revolutionizing development and exclaim: “But it’s about rethinking our whole approach to social change!” or “Think in terms of making the pie bigger, not just redistributing wealth!” or “Creativity not bureaucracy!” Although NGOs embrace the excitement about CSR, they understandably have questions about companies’ funding priorities, how the procurement process works, if they should present themselves differently and so on.

Navigating corporate funding is indeed a bit like being at sea with no compass. So I’m setting aside my excitement for a moment, putting on my practical hat and listing a few tips for chasing CSR money...

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