Last Updated on September 23, 2022 by
NGOs face a unique set of challenges to create a formidable team. To gather a group of people whom they can trust to bring social change.
NGOs, because of budget strain, may not offer high salaries compared to for-profit organizations. Workers may need to invest time beyond normal working hours. Society is a complex organization. Social change is, hence, slow. Often, people in NGOs get demotivated because of slow progress.
Yet, NGOs are innovative in overcoming these challenges. Here we have listed a few tips an NGO should consider when they hire people from different countries.
Working style has undergone a radical transformation because of covid. It has shown remote work is possible without loss of productivity. As a result, the popularity of global mobility is increasing.
Global mobility involves features for cross-border mobilization. It includes assigning long-term or short-term overseas assignments and designing commute-friendly policies. With a robust mobility system, your company will become global in a genuine sense.
You can now hire dedicated people from around the world. Not restricted to hiring people within a limited boundary, your NGO forms a brilliant team. Offering flexibility in the work environment is a result-oriented traction strategy.
Setting up this system, however, is difficult. It is an intensive team effort that requires time and patience. To better strategize, partner with a good consultancy agency.
Training for Dangerous Situations
Ngo’s work is not confined to safe working environments. Most often, frontline workers have to risk their lives. They can find themselves stuck in quite hostile environments.
Huge institutions like Oxfam have advised NGOs to set up programs to provide training for worst-case scenarios. The training can make workers adapt to dangerous situations like being kidnapped, terrorism or war scenarios, nuclear energy disasters, and so on.
Besides this, organize regular programs to help grow your team. Your team, in due course, will be more responsive to the community’s needs.
No Obligation of Permanent Subsidiary
There is no obligation to set up a permanent subsidiary in a different country. You can still reach out to creative people through many staffing solutions. Also, it is a sound strategy to remain agile until you understand the culture and other challenges of a country.
- Expensive to set-up
- Takes time to come into action
- Complexity because of changing labor policies
Adhere to Local Culture
To create a practical impact, NGOs need a thorough understanding of local culture. One way to quickly do that is by partnering with well-established local NGOs.
Another benefit is that can hire workers who have grass-root knowledge of the communities. It is a well-researched fact that the success of an NGO depends upon community participation. Community trust native people over a bunch of foreign elite professionals regardless of their good intentions.
NGOs need to strive hard to train their workers in understanding the intricacies of the community for which they are designing their solutions.
When the NGO is invested in long-term projects, then they need to consider all the compliances associated with employment in a specific country. It must adhere to laws related to benefits, taxes, termination, vacations, health insurance, and so on.
Managing and being updated on changing laws soon becomes hectic for any organization. The simple solution to get over this and focus on core activities is Employer of record. The EOR manages all the HR and legal work on your behalf. It is a long-run cost-effective solution for large and small NGOs.
Avoid Unintentional Misclassification
This is one of the grave mistakes an NGO can commit. It can lead to hefty penalties. In the worst case, you may have to shut down NGO (sometimes permanently) and pitch for more funds to return to functioning again.\
Misclassification usually happens with independent contractors and volunteers. NGOs, because of limited knowledge of labor laws, classify the (sometimes intentionally as well) former category of workers as temporary workers. This deprives them of all the benefits of the country’s labor law.
Again, take the services of legal experts or an Employer of Record to avoid this mistake.
Pay Close Attention to Tax Structure
Taxes are complex. Every country has different regulations to file taxes. The tax structure for NGOs differs significantly from for-profit organizations. Usually, we have an assumption that NGOs do not have to pay any taxes. But this is not a complete view.
For example, in the US, an NGO has to apply for tax-exempt status to get relief from Federal Tax. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reviews and approves the application for tax exemption.
NGOs may still need to pay Federal Tax if their income is not directly from the exempted charitable activities. The threshold for income generated via unrelated business activity is $1000. Even if they are not obliged to pay Federal Tax, they may be subjected to pay local tax, payroll tax, or property tax.
Every country has layers in its tax structures for NGOs. It is a good practice to take the services of an expert legal advisor. It is necessary to be a tax-compliant organization and avoid any kind of avoidable risks.
Clear Vision and Mission
People work in NGOs to give meaning to their life. All of them wish to participate in impactful work. They put aside the safe and high-growth working environments offered in for-profit organizations.
It becomes essential for an NGO to clearly state its values and mission. They need to make sure that their values are not rhetoric. Authenticity is an integral characteristic of an NGO.
Your NGO needs people who are hungry for social change. People who are ready to voluntarily put more effort into achieving goals.
Give preferences to people who have been engaged in volunteering activities in the past. Skills matter, but passion wins here. Consider giving opportunities to people whose lives express their dedication to social change even if they do not wholly fit into the skill sets required. Support professionals who are transitioning from for-profit organizations.
Working in an NGO is hard. Sometimes workers may experience psychological discomfort because of the ground situations. Acknowledge your workers. Invest in programs for their mental health.
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