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Good Governance in Operations and Management



11. On balance a registration procedure hosted by a government is useful if it is mainly for recordkeeping or facilitating funding connections. But when the government wants to try to use the registration process as a way of screening or vetting the NGO and its aims and programs, tensions invariably arise.

Free Management Library*
Highly integrated, large online library for nonprofits and for-profits, includes links to online tutorial and training programs

Robert’s Rules of Order (Procedure) Revised (public domain original version)*
Copyright on the original 1915 version has expired and so this online version is now in public domain; however, the enhancements to this work are only available through purchase

The Board Café*
Monthly newsletter dealing with issues of nonprofit board of directors or trustees governance, offers free e-mail subscription

Australian Stock Exchange*
Principles of Good Corporate Governance and Best Practice Recommendations

Ernst & Young’s Governance Toolkits for Directors*
Portal to free tools and publications for directors (primarily corporate) on their obligations, and frameworks for effective corporate governance

United Way of Minneapolis Checklist of NPO Organizational Indicators*
Detailed internal evaluation tools for governance, planning and compliance

Thomson/CCBN's White Paper on Best Practices in Online Corporate Governance Disclosure*

Personal Liabilities of a Company Director*
UK law firm’s overview description of duties and liabilities

United Kingdom Charities Information Bureau Web Site*
Help and Advice pages, including funding and managing

Alliance for Nonprofit Management’s Resource Center*
Searchable database of resources for nonprofits. Includes information on organizations, websites, books, newsletters, and other products and services

12. If your NGO has been registered with the government, try to remember to file a delisting notice when the NGO is wrapping up its existence.

13. NGOs involved in the legal defense of public rights, particularly environmental protection and human rights, need not spend their own funds on legal representation in court cases. Many lawyers or university-supported institutes that are interested in these fields will be prepared to donate their services pro bono (for free).

14. If insurance coverage is not offered by private companies, the government might be able to offer a suitable public liability insurance scheme to their NGOs and citizens.

15. The right to organize to give voice to issues collectively is a core principle for NGOs. By allowing more stakeholders to participate in public debate, NGOs mitigate the dangers from only one power center dominating.

16. Individuals acting alone often face disillusionment, and occasionally intimidation and danger in their efforts to effect real change. Acting collectively with others in a larger group or NGO gives them a degree of protection and a greater chance at successful change.

17. An NGO with a global mission need not be restricted to one home country jurisdiction of incorporation. It is also possible to have a more inclusive networking arrangement bonded together by an umbrella association with local chapters set up in diverse jurisdictions and even as different legal types.

18. On the question of compensation or benefits for NGO staff, the key will always be moderation and balance between public expectations of what is appropriate for a primarily voluntary sector and the practical concerns of being able to obtain qualified staff to execute competently the NGO’s work program.

19. Decision-making should almost always be subjected to a crosscheck by others. Crosschecking is often achieved by a group vetting in committees or through regular reporting and disclosure of matters and the way they are proposed to be solved.

20. When something does not seem quite right, maintain a healthy skepticism. Always look beyond the form and surface and try to find out the substance of the matter and determine whether it has a valid business purpose for the benefit of the NGO.

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The views expressed in this book are the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Asian Development Bank Institute nor the Asian Development Bank. Names of countries or economies mentioned are chosen by the authors, in the exercise of his/her/their academic freedom, and the Institute is in no way responsible for such usage.

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There are [2] comment(s) for this entry. Post a comment.

  1. Eric
    (posted 31 December 2009 / 02:29:09 AM)

    I think the main problem with NGOs is trying to chastise them from over-exposing themselves into areas of self promotion. I also think this is a real and overly prevalent issue which needs to be looked at as it sullies the waters for organisations which look to actually deal with issues of community development.

    I understand the irony of posting here whilst supporting an NGO but what needs to be said, for the people who are meant to be helped by these NGOs, should be said openly and in front of everyone who would take away someone's quality of life for a quick non-profit buck.

    I dont know the solution but I do perceive of the problem and hear about it all too often from people who have mixed with the wrong organisation. It's time to all grow up and deal with important matters in important ways.
  2. Susan B. Somers
    (posted 25 April 2008 / 09:57:15 AM)

    Governance of NGOs can be as difficult as getting governments to change policy in human rights areas, however, good governance is essential if we are to accomplish our goals. It has been somewhat troubling to me that there has not been more support for NGOs over the years in this area. Therefore, when I first "discovered" this valuable resource, found it to be incredibly useful and that it was free to all, I could not have been more pleased.
    Now we have to spread the word that help is near. Thank you for your foresight and concern that we in the world of NGOs don't always have the luxury of experience in this area. This will make a difference.

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