Why do donors only want to work with established NGOs?

Sometimes it is difficult to understand and accept for new NGOs that donors prefer to work with organizations that have been established for a long time. New ideas and initiatives might be just as good as old ones and deserve a chance, but in their view, it is much safer to work with NGOs that have already shown that their ability to deliver on their promises. This is why they prefer NGOs they have a working history with or that can present evidence for their past work.

Donors also look for long term partners that will be able to establish sustainable relationships with them. This seems to be much more likely when the organization has already existed for a couple of years. At the same time, donors also have to make responsible decisions about their money. Giving a grant to a brand-new organization can seem risky and irresponsible.

To be able to get a grant nevertheless, it is important to understand the reasons behind the decisions of the donors. If you are able to convince them, that you are able to do the work you promise and that you want to be a long term partner, donors might still consider your organization, even if you do not have a track record.

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