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Home >> Useful Checklists >> The various types of donor - ngo relationships
The range of donor-recipient positions that exists includes the following:
  1. Laissez-faire: Funded NGOs should be trusted to do as they say, and not harassed by donors. This view is possibly less common than in the past, and can be seen as a rationalisation of the minimalist position given below. Some church donors, seem to take this position.
  2. Minimalist (defensive): Donor information demands can distract and undermine the effectiveness of NGOs in their work and therefore should be minimised. This view seems relatively widespread, especially amongst donor NGOs.
  3. Minimalist (self-interested): Donors are overwhelmed with the practical tasks associated with funding (identification, appraisal, approval, disbursement and documentation) and do not have enough time to read and make use of information about project activities and impact so they do not bother asking for much more than they already receive. This implicit rationale seems to be very common.
  4. Apologetic/realist: Donors have obligations to their own donors and thus must ask for information from the NGOs they fund, though they feel/know that this can be a burden on the funded NGO. Again this seems to be fairly common rationale.
  5. Facilitator: Information is needed from funded NGOs so that other NGOs can learn from their experiences. A related rationale is the need to support development education in the donors own country. This rationale, especially the former, is not widely used.
  6. Interventionist: The process of requesting information can have a positive impact on NGOs' institutional development (defined as above in terms of increased responsiveness). This is uncommon but a rationale that needs much more attention.
  7. Hard-line: Funded NGOs have signed a contract and therefore have an obligation to produce the goods, which in this case is information.