Why NOT to use overhead ratios as a way to compare NGOs

29/03/2012 at 2:16 pm 3 comments

We in Dóchas are very keen to promote Good NGOs, and to discourage funders to keep supporting Bad NGOs.

And in doing so, we obviously need to have clear standards of what a “Good NGO” is. And that is not easy. But we are working on that!

For starters, have a look at these resources:

But the list is longer than this. Please bear with us while we develop it further.

In the mean time, however, we thought that it would be helpful if we tell you how NOT to judge an NGO.

One of the most widely used criteria to assess NGOs is their overheads ratio: the percentage of the organisation’s income that is used on administration, salaries and other “overhead” costs.

We hope that, when you have read the articles below, you will agree: OVERHEAD COSTS ARE NOT A GOOD WAY TO JUDGE THE QUALITY OF A NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANISATION.

The Overheads Myth

Have a look for yourself:

Also have a look at this article, called “The Non-Profit Starvation Cycle

And finally, this article: Might it be time to stop talking about NGO administration costs?

What do YOU think?

How can ordinary people know which NGO is best?

Please let us have your views by leaving a comment below.

;

Entry filed under: NGOs. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

How do we communicate global poverty? Might it be time to stop talking about NGO Administration Costs?

3 Comments Add your own

  • [...] Why NOT to use overheads ratios as a way to compare NGOs (March 2010) [...]

    Reply
  • 2. Robbie Gilligan  |  06/01/2014 at 1:32 pm

    It depends on the context to some extent. But here are a few suggestions: accountability to service users; appointing people with service user experience to Boards; external review processes; demonstrating compliance with international conventions, best practice models etc

    Reply
  • 3. Bakoena Chele  |  23/01/2014 at 11:01 am

    Good NGOs are those that rate high in the folowing: Governance; Management Practices; Human Resource Management; Financial Resource Management; External Relations; And in Sustainability!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 182 other followers

Archives

Dóchas on Twitter

The World's Best News - images

Ever heard of the “#Potato Centre of Excellence”? From today’s Irish Times: "The Potato Centre of Excellence … acts as the driver for the Irish Potato Coalition, an initiative involving Irish and international NGOs working to share knowledge across six countries – Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and Kenya – that account for four million potato farmers. Their aim is to maximise the benefit that potatoes can provide to rural communities by connecting farmers, researchers, the private sector and local organisations." Read more at http://www.irishtimes.com/business/potatoes-are-nuggets-to-save-ethiopia-as-ireland-shares-years-of-expertise-1.1927105 
Photo: Gebremedhin Woldegiorgis, senior potato researcher at the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, and Denis Griffen, potato breeder at Teagas, inspect potato plants at the Teagasc Research Centre in Oakpark, Carlow. photograph: dylan vaughan Is Mulitani the happiest mother in Malawi? 
Read her story and find out why at https://charitywater.exposure.co/mulitani 
Photo: @estherhavens 44-year-old Thauzeni Theka is a member of a small-scale irrigation group that's been supported by Self Help Africa in Mkhonde village, Malawi.

He's been growing tomatoes and cabbage since 2010, and has used the money he has earned to buy two bicycles (inset), four goats, and new tin sheets to re-roof his house. 
Thauzeni says he is also sending all of his kids to school with the money he is earning on the project. 
#Malawi #agriculture #tomatoes Vanilla from the DRC.

Indonesia and Madagascar are the world's largest producers. But farmers in Eastern Congo are now also exporting it.

Vanilla is the second most expensive spice after saffron, because growing the vanilla seed pods is labour-intensive. Six kilos of the green pods, for which the farmers receive some €44, results in about 1 kilo of brown pods which, once milled, packed and shipped, sells for some €75 per kilo to companies that use the spice.

Photo: workers processing the vanilla pod harvest.

#vanilla #congo #drc #africa #worldsbestnews #trade #spices In #Somalia, school meals are helping more girls continue in school, including these at the Abdirahman Godyare primary #school.

Girls have often been expected to stay home and help with chores, but the daily meals encourage families to continue sending them to class. (Photo: WFP/Laila Ali, 21 October 2013) Bike riders in the campaign against Ebola.

Commercial motorbike riders have started an intensive face-to-face awareness raising campaign that seeks to reach between 150,000 and 200,000 people over a two month period in Freetown, Sierra Leone. 
Read more at http://www.sl.undp.org/content/sierraleone/en/home/presscenter/articles/2014/09/08/undp-engages-bike-riders-and-vulnerable-groups-on-ebola/

#sierraleone #africa #ebola #motorbikes #awareness #UNDP #Dublin #Cork #ireland #worldsbestnews #positiveireland #getready "Mozambikes" fights poverty through BIKES and affordable transport.

50% of Mozambicans live below the poverty line. For them, going to school, work or the market means walking great distances. 
To make good bicycles available to poor people, and to help combat congestion in Mozambique’s major cities, the people behind Mozambikes started producing sturdy, green bicycles. 
Read more at http://www.mozambikes.com/en/benefits 
#mocambique #manufacturing #upliftingnews #worldsbestnews #cycling #benefits #poverty #transport #health #education #globaldev #commute Do you want to catch up with some of the many stories we have published on The World's Best News?

You will find many of our back catalogue stories grouped on Instagram:

Stories from AFRICA: http://bit.ly/1xq8cwy

Stories from LATIN AMERICA: http://bit.ly/1rRnzfh 
Stories about the work of Irish NGOs: http://bit.ly/WqxF7R 
Stories about work in the area of HEALTH, WATER and SANITATION: http://bit.ly/1qw2C6Y 
Stories about work in the area of AGRICULTURE and FOOD: http://bit.ly/WvqFqC 
Also, you can always do a search for #worldsbestnews

Visitors Map

Map

Dóchas Photos

undermining 0.7

tanaiste

More Photos

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 182 other followers

%d bloggers like this: