How to Work with NGOs for Mutual Success

September 22 2020

Close cooperation between agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGO) is becoming the norm increasingly, as it offers a win-win situation for both sides.

Ideally, such cooperation can generate for NGOs an increase in resources, as well as growing public awareness, improved reputation, accomplishing new extraordinary projects and recruiting more donors. 

On the agency side, such cooperation also creates advantages: a pro-bono commitment with an NGO boosts the agency’s reputation, broadens the horizon and promotes employee loyalty, as well as it helps the search for employees, who are looking more than ever for ethically oriented employers. Our own example at Industrie-Contact with Kinderhilfswerk 3. Welt (KHW), a children welfare organization active both in Hamburg and across Germany, makes it clear how both sides benefit from working together.

Knowing both sides helps a lot

In addition to my agency responsibilities, I also serve as chairman of the board of the NGO which implements aid projects in as many as eight countries while focusing on Mali, Nepal, Rwanda and Argentina. KHW’s work concentrates on projects in the fields of health and education. Thanks to this dual role, I can get to know both sides very well and can use my agency know-how and business contacts for advancement of the children welfare organization.

I am committed to the rights of children and young people, especially in the school and health sectors. Among other initiatives, we are building schools and health centers. My job is to manage the NGO, initiate projects, find donors and of course, help with PR. My professional background and my networks have always been very helpful to the children welfare organization.

Multiple approaches to support

The agency supports the NGO in organization development, communications and in its search for donors. And we offer a lot of practical help, too, such as we offer our storage rooms for in-kind donations, open up our premises and provide presentation technology for the NGO’s annual general meetings. Furthermore, our personal PR, marketing and management expertise help the NGO implement its projects, deal with public relations and all kinds of administrative challenges of the organization. 

Other support we provide relates to maintaining KHW’s website and a continuous presence in social media channels, especially Facebook and Instagram. A closely related SEO agency has joined us and supports the NGO pro-bono in the field of SEO to help its website being ranked on top of Google search results.

Presentations in schools and clubs (e.g. Lions Clubs) increase awareness of the Kinderhilfswerk 3. Welt and generate donations for its current projects. Sponsors such as hospitals, clinics, medical practices and manufacturers from the health and medical sectors can now also be approached thanks to professional help from an experienced agency.

Our cooperation with KHW so far stands as a proof of the principle: If properly set up – and above all include the right-minded partners – alliances between agencies and NGOs can create excellent win-win situations.

Uwe Schmidt
CEO and partner, Industrie-Contact • PR Agency in Germany
Uwe Schmidt started at Industrie-Contact AG (IC AG) as trainee in 1989. Just a few years later he became CEO and partner. In the 1990s he took care of the German business and in the early 2000s he established the international network of the agency. In 2002 IC joined the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) where Uwe helped extend the European network. Uwe was the president of PRGN in 2014/2015. He sees the future of PR closely with other marketing disciplines against the background of sales interests of the clients. Besides his activities for Industrie-Contact, Uwe is chairman of the Kinderhilfswerk Dritte Welt e.V. (children charity organization) which implements aid projects in eight countries.

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