Detailed guidance

Chapter 2 Tool 8 Know your partner: key issues to think about

Chapter 2 Tool 8 Know your partner: key issues to think about.

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Key Partner Details

Are you satisfied with the partner's status and governance? Consider checking:

  • Its governing document
  • The proscribed organisation list
  • The designated entity list
  • The consolidated list of financial sanctions targets

Carry out internet searches and review local media to identify if, for example, the organisation has any links with political activity.

Representatives and structures

Who are the key senior personnel? Have you checked that they do not appear on the Designated Individuals list?

Are the organisation's size, management and operational structure fit for purpose?

Can you be reasonably sure the organisation is able to deliver the services required?

How easy is it to contact the organisation's senior representatives and other key staff?

Practical working relationship

What do you know about the partner? Have you worked with them before?

Does your experience of working with the partner in the past raise any concerns?

Are its aims and values compatible with those of your charity?

Are there likely to be any language, communication or cultural problems? How can these be overcome?

Is the partner already working with other organisations? Will this present any problems?

Are there arrangements in place to enable you to monitor the charitable services provided? Are you confident about any third parties involved in monitoring and feedback?

Accounting and internal financial controls

Are the partner's financial controls generally adequate and reliable?

Are its financial policies and procedures documented?

What recording and audit systems are in place, and are these suitable for the type of work being undertaken and the scale of funding involved?

Will the charity be able to inspect the partner's financial records?

Are there any concerns about banking local arrangements and the movement of funds? If so, have these been addressed satisfactorily?

Does the partner have adequately trained and qualified staff to manage funds, maintain accounts and report back to the charity?

How closely do the partner's senior staff monitor its more junior staff?

External risk factors

What special risk factors apply to the area in which the partner organisation will operate? Will the organisation be able to deal with these? For example:

  • What is the political, economic and social environment?
  • Is there any potential or actual instability, unrest or conflict?
  • Are there health and safety concerns for charity representatives?
  • Would external factors affect your ability to monitor the charity effectively?


Are there any factors that could pose a risk to the charity's reputation? For example, is the partner organisation or any of its key personnel, believed to be connected or associated with any terrorist group or activities, or organised crime?

Have any public concerns been raised about the organisation? If yes:

  • What were the concerns?
  • How long ago were they?
  • Were they investigated?
  • What happened as a result?

Have other charities or NGOs reported concerns about the partner?

Is there a track record of project delay and poor quality, or is feedback good?

Other stakeholders

Is the partner registered with one or more local regulators? Are any reports publicly available, whether good or bad?

Have you requested references or feedback from other charities and NGOs with which the partner has worked, or who are familiar with activities in the area?


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