Being accountable goes beyond board reports and annual general meetings. It must become inherent to the way your NGO seeks to develop and maintain public trust and sustainability.
Having previously discussed ‘NGO Accountability and Transparency’ here are some mechanisms that can be actively employed to secure both:
Legally Register your NGO as a “Charitable Organization’
While this might seem like an obvious suggestion, not all non-profits that have made it past the required one-year milestone are registered.
Get more information on ‘Registering for Charitable Organization Status’ here: https://bit.ly/2K6Z3Wo in order to certify your organization’s legal status.
Make Communication Effortless
Getting in touch with your non-profit should not require a private investigator. Make sure that your NGOs’ address, email, telephone number, and social media handles are clearly published on your website and included in your letterhead and other relevant forms of communication.
Introduce Management and Staff
Who are the people managing your CBO and why should they be trusted? Introducing those charged with the responsibility of managing the operations of your non-profit should be done publicly and be available both online and in-house. Adding a short biography of each person reinforces their suitability and strengthens transparency yet again.
Utilize all channels of communication such as social media, press releases, blogs, and newsletters, to publicize your stories, plans, progress, and challenges with your audience. Regularly sharing updates significantly enhances your organizations’ visibility and public trust as the public is made aware of what is happening.
Publish Your Annual Reports
Annual reports can sometimes seem to be super-secret documents only available to a select few and that AGM’s. Providing full disclosure via the publication (print or digital) of your annual reports is another method that illustrates your organizations’ commitment to being transparent.
Practice Ethical Fundraising
Ethical fundraising is another debatable topic for non-profits. Your NGO should develop fundraising policies to safeguard its reputation. This includes conducting in-depth research and selecting reputable donors with a clean and unquestionable background. Transparency and accountability can also be demonstrated through accurate and truthful donation implementation and reports.
Compile Financial Reports
How can donors, corporate or otherwise, trust the financial reputation of a non-profit if data on income and expenditure is not available? We’ll admit, this is a mechanism filled with contention especially when it comes to making these details public.
Comply with Accounting Standards and Norms
When it comes to accounting practices and reporting, your NGO should adhere to all applicable accounting standards and norms. External audits can provide the guidance necessary to guarantee compliance while accreditation and certification from external agencies can be used to demonstrate this.
Implement Self-regulation procedures
One final method to improve accountability and transparency is to develop your own unique mechanisms such as policies, reports, record keeping formats, and minutes. This helps with record keeping and management decisions.
Adopting mechanisms that best suit your non-profit and making the information easily accessible and understandable will vastly contribute to your credibility.
Do you have any additional tips to add? Be sure to leave your feedback in the comment section below!