What NGOs should know about approaching corporations

    Corporations are regularly, often daily, approached by NGOs looking to partner on projects or get donations through corporate social responsibility programs.

    So what makes an organization stand out? Jackie Montesinos Suarez, head of corporate social responsibility for SAP shares her advice.

    “I always tell nonprofits that want to build a long-term partnership with us that sometimes we’ve got to focus on the ‘quick’ wins — so let’s do a service activity together, let’s engage our employees, let’s do a team build with a big group of our workforce and see how that goes and build from that,” she said.

    Often engaging employees will get the workforce rallied around the cause and an early win can drive momentum around a project, cause or organization, Montesinos Suarez said.

    The company will often be open to finding creative ways to partner or support organizations. For instance, its “social sabbatical” skills-based volunteerism program, which is now in its second year, sends small groups of employees to Brazil, China, South Africa or India to work with local NGOs to solve business challenges.

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    About the author

    • Adva Saldinger

      Adva Saldinger is an Associate Editor at Devex, where she covers the intersection of business and international development, as well as U.S. foreign aid policy. From partnerships to trade and social entrepreneurship to impact investing, Adva explores the role the private sector and private capital play in development. A journalist with more than 10 years of experience, she has worked at several newspapers in the U.S. and lived in both Ghana and South Africa.