NGOFit, a division of DRG Outsourcing, has recently been established to help nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) to become sustainable service organisations. Nikita Pillay, DRG HR and Compliance Best-Practice Specialist explained, “DRG has a broad base of clients, many of which are funded organisations or NGOs, so this was a natural progression.”
David White, CEO of DRG Outsourcing says, “We have learnt a lot from servicing clients in different areas, which has built our confidence.” What we find with NGOs is that they are really focussed on the work that they are doing whether it is in education, training, medical, health, or peace. NGOs tend to have specialists in each of those areas and we are specialists in our service offerings. So, it’s a really good combination of skills coming together. We allow the NGOs to focus on their projects that are being funded and we take care of all the administration and compliance issues.”
DRG is able to help with compliance around payroll administration, doing returns to the Department of Labour, and making sure that Workmen’s Compensation and SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) submissions are done correctly. “NGOs have a deep passion for the type of work that they do that makes for a perfect fit with NgoFit. We also focus on ensuring that there is compliance in terms of reporting to the project funders,” added Pillay.
While funders such as John Hopkins University, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Growth fund, and The Jobs Fund are happy to fund projects, they do want to know that the money is being spent correctly. The majority of funding that goes into NGOs is to pay salaries of staff. “Consequently, organisations gain comfort in knowing that a professional organisation like DRG is helping to make sure that every single aspect of an NGO’s people management is compliant,” explains White.
Leaders of NGOs are passionate people and strive to make a difference in the world in some way. “This is a similar culture to that of DRG so there tends to be a natural fit between ourselves and themselves,” added White. “We understand each other and quite often we get asked to sit on the boards of these organisations to help them from a human resources and business administration perspective.”
“Helping these NGOs build their foundation is of absolute importance,” explains Pillay. It starts off with payroll and ensuring that staff are paid accurately, that statuary payments as well as third party payments are done on time and are accounted for. When it comes to human resources, it’s all about getting their documents in order including policies and procedures and aligning these with the funder’s agreement.” This includes ensuring that employees go through a proper induction process, which allows them to familiarise themselves with the environment that they are working in. In this regard contracts and job descriptions are essential to ensure that employees understand what is required of them within the organisation.
NGOFit will also ensure that policies and procedures are in place to manage labour relations including performance management, grievances, and any potential disciplinary hearings. The time taken for NGOFit to take on an NGO as a new client is very short. “If an Ngo was to come to us in the morning, we would have them set up by the afternoon. It is as easy as that,” explained Pillay.
“We are very excited about NGOFit. It is something that we have wanted to launch for a long time now. We know that it is going to make a difference to NGOs. The NGOs that we have worked with have been so happy with us. Some have been with us for close to 2O years and we want to provide these services to other NGOs so that we can continue to help them with their passions and meeting their goals and responsibilities to their funders,” concluded White.
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