NGOs and Companies

How to make a partnership work?



By Clémence David

SKEMA Business School

Paris, France




As the number of NGOs evolve in each field and in each country, the need for project management is these organizations have increased. Especially when they are partnering with companies? The fundamental aim of this research is to understand how to contribute setting up a fruitful partnership and what is it exactly and is there any other options for an NGO when the need of a partnership with companies becomes crucial. The paper ran a literature review on recent research to assess the main challenges with several types of contracts or agreement. Finally, the paper analyzed how the element of partnership contracts or agreement can contribute to project management performance. The obtained results have shown that NGOs have different options regarding contracting out with companies that could improve performance management but also have better results in a long-term partnership.

Keywords:        Contract, NGO, Company, Social Impact, Main Goals, Settlement of Dispute, Financial Issue, Liabilities


Since the end of the ’90s, partnerships between NGO and Companies have developed and become real issues. This situation is due to the emergence and the increase of the problems in the social and environmental contexts and thus places NGOs and companies as actors of change. An example in 1992 the United Nations Conference on the environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Rio earth summit that “partnerships are key to sustainable development”[1]

It is important to define what a partnership is an especially a partnership between an NGO and a company  According to the documental case “Emerging opportunities for NGO-business partnerships, a partnership is “Are those relationships that establish a non-statutory collaboration between organizations from different sectors (business, government, and civil society). Such partnerships are typically put in place to achieve sustainable development goals at strategic and/or operational levels.”[2]

Figure 1: “The different types of a contract between NGO and Companies”[3]

Who are the stakeholders in a partnership between an NGO and a company and what is their role in a partnership?



To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director paul.gardiner@skema.edu.

How to cite this paper: David, C. (2019). NGOs and Companies: How to make a partnership work? PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue IV (May).  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/pmwj81-May2019-David-NGOs-and-Companies-partnership.pdf



About the Author


Clémence David

Paris, France


Clémence David is a 22 years old French student (from the south of France), currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Project and Program Management and Business Development at SKEMA Business School. Being deeply interested in NGOs and humanitarian projects, she has always been involved in associations by volunteering, be it in collection and food aid associations, or more recently by being a member of the board of the humanitarian association of her school: HOPE.  Her different professional and personal experiences have allowed her to develop qualities, attributes that represent her today such as openness, the spirit of synthesis and her joy of life.

Clémence can be contacted at: clemence.david@skema.edu and https://www.linkedin.com/in/cl%C3%A9mencedavid95b656ba/


[1] Sylvaine Poret. (2014). Corporate-NGO partnerships in CSR activities: why and how? Retrieved from https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01070474/document

[2] Accenture Development Partnerships, The Partnering Initiative, & World Vision. Retrieved from   http://www.thepartneringinitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Emerging-opportunities-for-NGO-business-partnerships.pdf

[3] Association CLER. (2013, 2). Les différentes formes de partenariats entre association et entreprises? Retrieved from https://fr.slideshare.net/AssociationCLER/les-diffrentes-formes-de-partenariats-entre-association-et-entreprises-23784173