Redefining the communication relationship between donors and non-profit organisations in the context of corporate social investment
Keywords:Corporate social investment, NPO management, Development communication, Stakeholder relationships
This article proposes redefined relationship indicators for the stakeholder relationship between corporate donors and the non-profit organisations (NPOs) they fund as part of their corporate social investment (CSI) activities. The study is based on exploratory factor analysis and reliability analysis of data from two corresponding surveys, one conducted amongst CSI representatives of South African organisations and one amongst social development NPO managers. The analysis and interpretation of the survey results were supplemented by literature and the findings from partially structured interviews with six key informants. The redefined relationship indicators are based on two key findings from the survey results and subsequent interpretation. The first finding is that the relational indicators by theorists such as Hon and Grunig (1999) are not entirely suited to describe and measure the relationship between the private sector organisations and NPOs. The second key finding is that the relationship is viewed differently by the two parties and indicators used to describe and measure the relationship should reflect these differing views. The redefined relationship indicators reflect the specific context of the relationship between corporate donors and recipient NPOs and not only inform practitioners and future researchers on approaching corporate-NPO relations, but also illustrate the importance of context in stakeholder communication.