Membership

FUNDRAISING is not at all about money, honey. It's about involving and inspiring people to create CITIZEN ACTION for SOCIAL JUSTICE to BE THE CHANGE. NGOs should always remember this basic principle of fundraising or development.

We now have 4 categories of NGO members comprising of

In this section you shall find details about our NGO membership criteria, advantages and benefits. The Omega ratings criterion has to be adhered to by all NGOs to be accepted as members. All founder and charter members, before being upgraded to these categories, are pre-screened by our auditors, our founders and this may include a discretionary audit by some of the iCONGOANS with the NGO staff, governance and past employees. All members shall be accepted at the discretion of the iCONGO Executive Committee. iCONGO reserves the right to cancel memberships if we do not find NGOs living up to The Omega Ratings criteria. This is very important for us to maintain high levels of transparency and accountability to reclaim and preserve public trust in the people sector apropos our Omega Ratings Guidelines. iCONGO, that had begun with 155 NGOs in 4 different categories, has in the past 5 years downsized to 2 categories and around 90 NGOs as we canceled memberships of NGOs that were not living up to our standards. These include some International and big budget national NGOS that were not following best practices and had high operating and fundraising costs and poor transparency and accountability processes.

For the past few years we had 2 categories of memberships namely Founder and Charter. From the financial year of 2010 we shall also be introducing a General membership category as there are thousands of grassroots NGOs who have applied and want to avail of the services provided through our ecosystem. The Founder memberships are closed and charter member category is open only on up-gradation. We shall also now have Network memberships for large networks of NGOs, at our discretion.

It's been a good learning experience in the past 5 years and we have made the membership structure leaner and more accessible. Earlier at inception we had a cap of 155 members. However over the past 4 years we have downsized our memberships from 155 members to around 80 members as we want only credible , transparent and accountable NGOs who work a 100% towards efficient fund management and huge impact on outcomes with various policies like whistle blowing, employees & volunteer code of conduct, a succession plan based on meritocracy and not lineage or family fiefdoms, a circle of inclusion style of working where the leadership changes at regular intervals and other such criteria which includes low cost of administration and not the 80-90% costs organizations incur today in the name of poverty alleviation.

To become members and avail the iCONGO advantage and benefits, all Charities/NGOs have to adhere to the basic credibility draft norms of the THE OMEGA RATING-TAC Charter and would need to go through a screening process that has been devised to ensure credibility, transparency and accountability. Besides, we also look at other factors like the team structure and inclusive work culture within an organisation, as is mentioned in the charter. We prefer minimal hierarchy, top down approach and inclusive team work, and a whistle blower policy within the organisation is desired for full transparency and accountability. We believe that an NGO/ CBO should not be run like a fiefdom where only one person is leading it forever like an OWNER, as that defeats the purpose and we are against NGO ownerships.

All members shall be accepted at the discretion of the iCONGO Executive Committee.

iCONGO has a long term vision and mission of creating an eco system for sustainable and involved social investment by creating a huge critical mass of individual citizen supporters, who don't just give but make a social investment for the cause with trust and pride. This is the only way to enhance social investment in our country, which is today very dismal with less than half million people giving for social causes. This low figure represents the lack of faith in the sector due to existing malpractices by the bad players, which also affects the good work done by small but extremely credible grassroots NGOs. The iCONGO focus is to mainstream these small but credible NGOs in the public domain by creating collective credibility and integrity. The iCONGO system has been designed and devised for NGOs to adopt the accreditation system for the iCONGO advantage and benefits and if the NGOs are not willing to adhere to the accreditation system they would not be eligible for the iCONGO membership.