How local government can work with NGOs

Materials developed as a result of an expert workshop carried out with the participation of representatives of city halls from all over Poland.

I. Ways of cooperation between local government and NGOs


Outsourcing public tasks to NGOs, but also maintaining databases of entities performing such tasks and/or training and other initiatives to improve their competence in this area.


implementation of the local government's own tasks by professional organizations,
the possibility of functioning in a database of organizations that receive current information on tasks from the local government,
deinstitutionalization of the performance of a given task.


sometimes requires the organization's own contribution,
settlements are not the simplest,
the implementation of the task is time-consuming.

Consultative cooperation

Cooperation involving the operation of committees/teams composed of, among others, representatives of the third sector, on any subject. These bodies have a consultative/opinionary character.


allows the local government to learn the perspective of the citizens,
increases the potential for establishing an ongoing relationship with NGO representatives,
allows both parties to get to know the local environment, its priorities and needs,
engages the social fabric,
often it is an obligatory cooperation.


this is a lengthy process,

often there is a lack of "fresh" organizations, the bodies are filled by representatives of organizations with extensive experience and history,
assumes partisanship of interests,
those involved in the work may have conflicting interests.


Offering grants/mini grants to NGOs for their original activities, which are the realization of the entities' statutory goals; carried out through a competition.


allows for the financing of innovative ventures,
is relatively efficient to run,
allows public tasks to be performed in a more qualitative manner,
diversifies the organization's sources of funding,
increases public involvement in a particular area of activity.


local government funds are limited,
requires appropriate reporting,
it is not worth depending solely on one financial source.

Substantive cooperation

Support NGOs by providing them with access to free legal, accounting, training, media assistance, etc.


closer acquaintance of representatives of both sides,
cooperation at the expert level,
enabling the development of competencies of the cooperating parties.


assumes high costs mainly borne by the local government,
requires the full commitment of the parties.


Creating long-term plans for cooperation with NGOs, consulted with representatives of the local third sector.


constitutes a form of implementation of the statutory duties of the offices,
allows the creation of long-term plans,
commits both parties to the contract for a longer period of time and achieves a more time-consuming,
enables lasting results.


is vulnerable to unforeseen risks, change in authority or regulations,
requires continuous commitment.


Consulting with the third sector on draft legislation, collecting and taking into account their opinions on the matter.


takes into account participation in the development of local policies,
allows for a plurality of positions and learning about the perspective of residents and the civil sector,
taking into account the voice of sector experts.


takes a very long time,
it is often difficult to implement all the demands,
advisors' opinions may be in conflict;
this is not a very popular form of cooperation and often does not cover all relevant legislation.


Joint planning and/or organization of activities to promote the locality, its individual tourist, sports or cultural attractions.


mutual promotion of the parties,
innovation of solutions,
reaching a wide audience,
use of diversified channels.


there is often a lack of funds for it.


Joint organization of events, conferences, projects, educational campaigns and other activities of any scale and theme.


allows the organization to take quick action,
pursues its statutory objectives,
promotes the city and the organization.


often lack of funds for it,
does not always fit into the city's priorities and budget,
does not always take into account the city's perspective on the course and purpose of action.

II. Principles of good cooperation between NGOs and LGU

Best practices

Principles of good cooperation between NGOs and LGU

Beginning cooperation with the local government requires the NGO to be well prepared for the meeting, aware of the office's policies and priorities, understanding and open to compromise.
When communicating with the local government, it is worthwhile to ensure frequency of contact, ongoing communication of any concerns and openness to the initiatives offered by the office.
You should demonstrate your commitment to building relationships with the local government by performing ongoing research on the activities of the office, knowledge of its needs and priorities, and openness to various types of cooperation, including participation in additional meetings, trainings, and local events.
The people representing the NGO should be competent and professional, sincere, available for time, firm, and at the same time cultured.
Ideas for activities offered by the organization should take into account the priorities of the city, and be properly prepared in terms of the expected results, their metrics and a vision for the sustainability of the project.
In all initiatives carried out in cooperation with the local government, full integrity must be maintained, that is: transparency, up-to-date reporting on progress, correct financial accounts, carrying out activities in accordance with the planned objectives, reporting on the partnership in the external communication of projects, and timeliness in the commitments made.


I. Ways of cooperation between local government and NGOs
Task cooperation
Consultative cooperation
Financial cooperation
Substantive cooperation
Strategic cooperation
Consultative cooperation
Promotional cooperation
Event collaboration
II. Principles of good cooperation between NGOs and LGU

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