NGO and commercial companies – are they looking the same direction?

It would seem that the goals of non-governmental organizations (NGO) Are totally different
from other companies The first ones are focused their activities on social goals, however the
second ones are focused with strict economic ones. However, the practice shows that cooperation of these two seemingly different environments brings out mutual benefits.

Each party brings unique expertise and resources to such partnerships, thanks to which they have the potential to create together new, often innovative solutions. Moreover, as it turns out that they are often guided by the same values and priorities.

CRS as a driving force for cooperation between NGOs and business

A concept that stimulates cooperation between NGOs and other companies is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It can be defined as a philosophy of business operations in which entrepreneurs engage in social and environmental projects. These activities are directed to both the company's employees and to the outside of organization. This type of activity is reflected, for example, in corporate volunteering within the company,
but it can also manifest itself as the cooperation with the local community, involvement in activities that support raising awareness in selected areas such as ecology, charity, education support and many others. One of the stakeholders of such cooperation are non-governmental organizations, which are in a way representatives of citizens, they are a "voice" of the people, having knowledge about the local community and knowing its needs


CE Responsible – cooperation animation of NGOs and companies

Kielce Technology Park within the international project CE Responsible (Interreg Central Europe programme) together with partners from Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, and Slovakia, surveyed 673 entities, 367 of which were NGOs and 306 were commercial entities from the countries listed. The study aimed to identify shared values and possible fields of cooperation between the two groups. In the sample group, ¼ of the companies had experience in CSR activities and implemented them mainly out of concern for social and environmental aspects, but also for Image reasons. There is no denying that CSR is part of a branding policy.

As for the NGOs surveyed, most of them were active in the fields of education, social exclusion, environmental protection, health and entrepreneurship, and labour market [1] opens in new tab. Considering the social and environmental objectives guiding both groups, the greatest convergence was seen in the areas of good work and economic growth, followed by good health and well-being, industry, innovation and infrastructure, and gender equality, quality of education and climate change. These are the area’s most frequently mentioned by both parties, in which the surveyed entities see their CSR mission and are ready to undertake further activities, thus identified as potential areas of cooperation. 


The aim of the CE Responsible project is to bring together social partners (NGOs) with commercial partners, to animate cooperation and initiate new innovative projects. One of the activities is a competition for social innovation ideas that take place in each partner country. As part of the competition organised by KTP, 10 selected ideas will be covered by the incubation programme and promotional support in the search for business partners. In addition, congresses and round tables as well as speed dating are planned among the project
activities. All this is to initiate new links between not-for-profit organisations and for-profit companies.

Joanna Rudawska PhD

[1] Division of the areas so called 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGx)– 2020 Agenda for
Sustainable Development