Enhancing NGO funding by adopting corporate governance practices. The Case of Botswana NGOs

  • Tendy M Matenge University of Botswana
  • Jairos Josiah University of Botswana
  • Godfrey Themba University of Botswana


The purpose of this paper is to understand the donor market as perceived by NGOs in Botswana in terms of who the major donors are; how, when and why they fund NGOs and the funding challenges NGOs face. The paper then addresses a key question of whether NGOs should adopt corporate governance practices to enhance their funding opportunities. A case study approach involving eight major NGOs based in Gaborone is adopted and data is collected using in-depth qualitative interviews with managers. Data is analysed using network analysis approach. The results show that NGOs in Botswana depend mainly on international donors and Government for funding. The results further indicate that although the private sector in Botswana hold great potential as a donor market, it is not fully utilised by local NGOs due to, among others, the prevailing misconceptions about NGOs and lack of disclosure and transparency among NGOs. The findings further indicate that although NGOs in Botswana recognize the significance of corporate governance practices, they lack the will to adopt them. The paper therefore concludes that NGOs in Botswana should adopt corporate governance practices by creating industry-wide norms and standards that ensure disclosure and transparency and thereby enhancing donor confidence in them. We however caution against wholesale adoption of corporate governance practices given that NGOs are unique from profit seeking entities.


Keywords: NGOs, Botswana, Corporate governance, Agency theory