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Archived Articles on Funding for NGOs




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African NGOs Urge More Aid Through Local Agencies (December 21, 2004)

Northern aid agencies often dominate humanitarian action in Africa, mainly because they have the attention and funding of wealthier communities. But even international agencies need good local networks in order to deliver aid, said delegates at a symposium on African NGOs. As security concerns of independent aid workers become an increasing concern in the humanitarian arena, Northern donors should channel more funding directly through local African NGOs. (AlertNet)

This Fatal Compromise (November 19, 2004)

In light of CARE International Iraq Director Margaret Hassan's killing, former aid agency director Ian Brown claims that exponential growth of aid agencies since the mid-1980s has led NGOs like CARE to trade in their independence for necessary government funding. Perhaps CARE and several other organizations "failed to condemn the war outright," says Brown, because they did not want to "bite the hand" that fed them? (Guardian)

Help That Hinders (November 2004)

In a scathing critique on NGOs, this Le Monde diplomatique article claims that financial support from Western governments, multinational corporations and "multilateral" institutions makes NGOs "accountable to their funders, not to the people they work among." Such organizations, "secular missionaries of the modern world," mean well but instead dampen local resistance movements.

Untying Aid and the NGO Co-financing Budget Line (October 2004)

British Overseas NGOs for Development presents arguments for and against a European Commission proposal that would allow developing country NGOs to access the European Union NGO budget as well. While budget access would greatly benefit Southern NGOs, the author fears the already "over-subscribed" budget also faces political and organizational bias.

Cancer Charity Turns Down £1m Nestlé Donation (May 6, 2004)

The British charity "Breakthrough Breast Cancer" rejected a £1m donation by Nestlé fearing that the company wanted to use Breakthrough's positive image to boost its own reputation. Activists accuse Nestlé of jeopardizing the lives of mothers and infants by pushing powdered baby milk sales in developing countries where water supplies are often polluted. (Guardian)

NGOs in the Hot Seat (March 8, 2004)

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa accused NGOs of monopolizing funds provided by donors and lashed out at the UN for favoring NGO distribution of AIDS funds. NGO representatives responded by saying Mwanawasa should "deregister the NGOs which are misusing donor funds, instead of giving all civic groups a bad name." (Inter Press Service)


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With Us or Against Us? NGO Neutrality on the Line (December 2003)

Many US NGOs feel that US aid policy leaves no place for "neutral humanitarianism" in the "war on terror." In Iraq and Afghanistan the US government dramatically increased funding for private companies in sectors where NGOs traditionally work, such as health and education. (Humanitarian Practice Network)

Charity Faced US Pressure on Gaza (November 29, 2003)

The Guardian publishes a second story on the internal disputes and funding pressures within Save the Children. In this case, the US branch of the international charity objected to a statement demanding an immediate lifting of an Israeli blockade of Gaza, released on May 23, 2003. The US government accounts for 60% of the funding of the US organization.

Save the Children UK Not Silenced on Iraq (November 28, 2003)

In this press release, Save the Children UK denies allegations made by the Guardian and affirms its own independence from any financial source. (Save the Children UK)

How British Charity Was Silenced on Iraq (November 28, 2003)

This well-documented story from the Guardian shows how Save the Children UK came under heavy pressure when it criticized the US-led Coalition for blocking humanitarian aid in Iraq. Its partner, Save the Children US, demanded that Save UK withdraw the criticism, fearing that the US charity would lose financial support from Washington and other US-based donors.

Corporate Money Co-opts Nonprofit Groups, Says Report (July 9, 2003)

Can Coca-Cola buy the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry's for a $1 million gift? According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, corporate financial support of prominent US health-related nonprofit organizations undermines their independence and credibility. (Common Dreams)

NGOs and Governments in a New Humanitarian Landscape (June 23, 2003)

This article questions the legitimacy of NGOs working under government contracts and argues that they serve as foreign policy tools. In Afghanistan, for example, NGOs work in close relationship with military forces and the government in Provincial Reconstruction Teams, which the coalition military created in order to support the goals of the central government. The article argues these collaborations compromise the independence and neutrality of NGOs. (openDemocracy)

India Blacklists 800 NGOs (June 18, 2003)

A senior Indian official condemns numerous NGOs for using foreign sources and government development funding to finance separatists in the north-east of the country. (BBC)

Aid Agencies Reject Money Due to Strings (June 6, 2003)

Mercy Corps and Save the Children have refused US government funding for their work in Iraq. The aid organizations object to the Washington's attempt to censor their press contacts. (Oregonian)

The Effect of Change (June 2003)

The author evaluates the growth of international NGOs and outlines the key factors that helped some organizations develop while impeding others. Mostly looking at middle sized NGOs, the article focuses on the issues of funding and success in advocacy. (BOND)

European Union's Enlargement: Opportunities and Challenges of Western and Eastern NGOs (May 2003)

EU common development policy turns the accession countries from aid recipients into donors. By gaining access to government funding, Eastern NGOs risk undermining their independency. (INTRAC)

Working with NGO: Funding Issues (May 6, 2003)

This article analyzes whether NGOs compromise their credibility by accepting funding from the private sector. Some NGOs feel that they can remain completely independent despite private funding while others believe it is like "sleeping with the enemy." (BSDGlobal)

A Global Dilemma for NGOs (May 2, 2003)

This article argues that local resource mobilization is the path to sustainable development yet many NGOs in developing nations rely on international donor funding. Support is more effective from local allies such as the media, private companies, private individuals and the public, as they appreciate the countries' specific needs. (Mail and Guardian)

Belligerent Funding (April 2003)

Humanitarian NGOs often refuse funding from belligerent governments that create the crisis they seek to fix. This article challenges this idea of "dirty money," arguing that in many circumstances the monetary contribution outweighs NGO concerns about where it comes from. (BOND)

UK Offers Iraq Crisis Cash to NGOs (March 12, 2003)

Oxfam, Care International and Médecins Sans Frontií¨res will not accept aid funding from belligerent governments in the war against Iraq. NGOs say this will compromise their neutrality and fear donations may be used by aggressor nations to justify war. (AlertNet)

Donor Input into Aid Operations Growing (January 24, 2003)

A London-based research group asserts that donor states are compromising NGO independence by earmarking funds to suit their interests. NGOs should control fund allocation as much as possible to avoid becoming the executive arms of donor states. (AlertNet)

Local NGOs Develop Creative Financing Strategies (January 15, 2003)

The Citizen Based Initiative Awards reward NGOs for innovative financing techniques that shift from a reliance on a small group of international donors to a diversified base of local support. The winning financing strategies of five South African NGOs are outlined. (One World)


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A Model NGO? (December 5, 2002)

In Bangladesh, donors have shifted funds away from the government to NGOs, sparking a debate about the role of NGOs in the country. Although NGOs have made important contributions to social welfare, critics worry about the long-term consequences of a decline in public services. (Radio Netherlands)

Questions Arise on Accounting at United Way (November 19, 2002)

United Way organizations have used reporting techniques that inflate their contributions and minimize their expenses, leaving the organization more competitive than other NGOs in the race for funding. The most serious infraction is double counting, where multiple United Ways count the same donation as their own. (New York Times)

High Court to Weigh Nonprofits' Political Contributions (November 19, 2002)

In preparation for the campaign finance reform debate, the Supreme Court will consider whether a ban on political contributions by private corporations should also block donations from non-profit advocacy groups. (Washington Post)

Major Donor Conference Ends in Kabul (October 15, 2002)

A three-day conference on streamlining international aid to Afghanistan created a space for Afghan leaders and NGOs to express concerns and strategies for future cooperation. (IRIN)

Donations Dried Up with Tech Stocks (October 13, 2002)

When Silicon Valley prospered, many companies formed foundations to support causes ranging from education to hunger eradication. When the economy took a downturn, much of the promised funding disappeared. (Los Angeles Times)

Trends in Fundraising and Giving by International NGOs (September 2002)

International NGOs increasingly rely on local donors in developing countries, realizing that localized ownership and control of development projects is the best path to self-sufficiency. This can have a negative effect on local NGOs who compete for funds from the same sources. (BOND)

Who Pays the Piper? (September 2002)

Government financing of the UK voluntary sector raises many questions, including "whether the government funding comes with too many strings." (BOND)

Taking the Strain on the Chain: Human Relationships in Development (September 2002)

Development funders and recipients should build personal relationships to avoid frustration and serious conflicts. (BOND)

EC Direct Funding of Southern NGO's: Threat or Opportunity for EU NGO's (September 2002)

Many European NGOs have traditionally channeled funds to the developing world. The growing legitimacy of Southern NGOs alters this relationship and creates both challenges and opportunities for European organizations. (BOND)

Why Donor Funds Don't Reach NGO Coffers (August 8, 2002)

South African NGOs are facing a financial crisis, while grant funding has not decreased. Studies show that this situation has occurred as donors choose to spend their money in "different areas from those in which most NGOs function." (allAfrica)

NGO Funding Problems Likely to Be Eradicated (July 31, 2002)

Ashoka, an international non-profit organization, promotes "creative and innovative ways for the NGO sector to become self-sustaining." This is a first step towards resolving NGO funding problems. (allAfrica)

World's Largest Family Planning NGO Running Out of Funds (July 25, 2002)

International Planned Parenthood Federation, a London based NGO, is running on half of what it used to 10 years ago. Countries, they say, are pulling out of giving funds and it is affecting the reach of their work. (Malaysian National News Agency)

NGOs Go Swadeshi With Fund-Raising (July 10, 2002)

"After remaining heavily dependent on foreign funding, many (Indian) NGOs have started scouting for financial support from within the country." While the need for foreign funding is still important, local contributions bring more transparency and accountability. (Economic Times India)

NGOs Defend Foreign Funding (June 2, 2002)

Three Malaysian NGOs accused of accepting foreign funding and "trying to ‘do the country in'", argue that they only accept money with no strings attached. (New Straits Times, Malaysia)

NGOs and Fundraising: Dilemma or Opportunity? (April 2002)

The keynote speaker at the 10th Asia Pacific Fundraising Workshop discusses fundraising challenges and methods for NGOs in a stifled economy. (Resource Alliance)

Organizational Effectiveness and Philanthropy (February 27, 2002)

With NGOs expected to do more with less and funders faced with increased expectations, both grantors and grantees have increased their focus on organizational capacity and effectiveness. In this interview, Barbara Kibbe discusses the challenges inherent in measuring organizational effectiveness. (Philanthropy News Digest)



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Trends in Fundraising and Giving by International NGOs (December 2001)

New trends in international development, such as specialization and improved communications, will lead to changes in NGOs' organizational structures and fundraising techniques. (Resource Alliance)

Empowering Local Actors: The UN and Multi-Track Conflict Prevention (December 10, 2001)

The International Peace Academy addresses "some of the opportunities and challenges involved in working to prevent the outbreak of armed conflict in tandem with relevant local actors." (International Peace Academy)

NGOs and Partnership (April 2001)

This policy brief argues that Northern NGOs must stop imposing their agendas on Southern Partners. In theory, North-South NGO partnerships benefit NGOs both in rich and poor countries. The Northern NGO, close to the donor public, attracts funding; while the Southern NGO implements initiatives in the field. This study of ten European NGOs reveals that the funding process skews the power structure in favor of Northern NGOs, which can "hijack the accountability mechanisms" by distancing Southern NGOs from grassroots needs. Few NGO staff in the study found examples of mutual, shared decision making. (International NGO Training and Research Centre)



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NGOs Told Not to Rely of Foreign Funding (October 28, 2000)

Foreign Funding is not trouble-free. NGOs need to explore alternative ways of receiving funds like local foundations and philanthropic institutions, individual sources, and even the government and private companies (Jakarta Post).

The Disparity Between National and International NGOs (October 4, 2000)

International NGOs should bring in new resources rather tahn compete with domestic capacity. This article in The Independent illustrates the competition among local and international NGOs in Bangladesh.

Foreign Funding of NGOs Fuels Anger in Jordan (September 11, 2000)

Islamists call foreign financing a violation of sovereignty and questionable neo-colonialism and suspect NGOs which accept foreign money to have ties with Zionism and the CIA. NGOs say it is a pretext to silence unwelcome NGOs (Agence France Presse).

NGOs' Dilemmas (Spring 2000)

In Middle East, the amount of money available to NGOs from foreign funding sources has risen sharply, but so has frustration, since "most funding now comes with specific policy conditions attached". (The Middle East Research and Information Project)

NGOs Call For More Money To Cover Costs (June 27, 2000)

Calling all NGOs to raise even more money! Lump-sum financing scheme requires more money for administrative costs but does promote flexibility and autonomy. (South China Morning Post)

The Case for Empowering Southern NGOs (March 2, 2000)

In this interview, Ann Hudock speaks about her new book "NGOs and Civil Society: Democracy by Proxy?" She explains how the mission of Southern NGOs can become corrupted by outside influence and infusion of capital from Northern NGOs.(Woodrow Wilson Center)

`Mercenaries' For Big Business (February 16, 2000)

An article from the San Francisco Chronicle discusses corporate funding of nonprofit organizations, mainly conservative think-tanks. This opinion-for-hire approach is said to be harmful to the credibility of the NGOs, but corporate influence over most NGOs is far more indirect and subtle.


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Donors Shift More Aid to NGOs (June, 1999)

Africa Recovery article analyzing the trend to channel development aid in Africa through NGOs rather than governments. NGOs have a comparative advantage in furthering development, but aid will only be effective if governments and NGOs work together.

Money and the Public Interest (May 21, 1999)

Article by Russell Mohkiber and Robert Weissman that explores NGO funding and specific cases in which NGO's may be influenced by large corporations.



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NGO's Futures Left in Doubt as Funding Row Goes on (20 July, 1998)

European Union legal ruling leaves NGOs in danger of losing their funding.

The EU, Pakistan, and the Trouble with NGOs (May 1998)

Hans Zomer questions the funding by the EU of development NGOs which lack ways to assess program impact.



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A Perspective from an International NGO (December 1994)

This article highlights the challenges faced by NGOs accepting contracts with official donors. "In the end, NGOs will be far more sensitive to their donors' accountability requirements than those of the people they should be serving." (Development Policy Management Forum Bulletin)




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