Emerging Field of Non-Profit & NGO GRI Reporting

GRI recorded 41 Non-profit Reporters for the 2010 period. These include two US-based reporters and one from Canada. In 2010, GRI published the final NGO Sector Supplement, about which I blogged here. Looking at the GRI Report List (queried March 17, 2011), I counted 41 reporters classified in the Non-profit/Services for 2010. 

The Non-profit/Services sector classification currently captures a very (too?) diverse group of organizations. Examples include the FMO, the development bank of the Netherlands (which used the Financial Sector Supplement for its reporting) and Cotlands. The latter is a South African NGO, which provides shelter and drives community based services for abused, abandoned, HIV-positive, orphaned and terminally ill children. Cotlands has been an exemplary GRI reporter since 2004!

Probably  mistakenly, the Non-profit/Services category also lists Henry Davis York Lawyers (from Australia – non-profit?). This organization could perhaps be included in ‘Other’, a category  that includes professional/for-profit service firms. 

Just in the process of finalizing a GRI report for a US-based NGO, I was interested to note that there are only two non-profit reporters listed for the US. These include RTI International and the Social Investment Forum. The former comprises leading independent, nonprofit research institutes (staff: 2,800, wrongly classified as an SME in the list) and the latter is the US membership association for professionals, firms, institutions and organizations engaged in socially responsible and sustainable investing (staff: 6).

To date, eight pioneering NGOs have applied GRI’s NGO Sector Supplement in their reporting. This group comprises:

Clearly, GRI reporting amongst NGOs is still in its early days and provides opportunities for leadership and differentiation. Have you taken a look at any of these reports? I would be curious to learn about your impressions and reactions.

PS - Shortly after publishing this blog, the Fulbright Academy, a US-based NGO, published its 2009-2010 Review that incorporates GRI's NGO Sector Supplement and benefitted also from an External Advisory Panel (see also my blog: Fulbright Academy joins NGO GRI Reporting Pioneers).

About the author: Mehrdad Nazari (MBA, MSc, LEAD Fellow) is a Corporate Responsibility, Sustainability Reporting & ESIA Advisor, and Director of Prizma. He was previously an environmental consultant with Dames & Moore, Principal Environmental Specialist at the EBRD and CSR Research Director at CoreRatings. Mehrdad is also a GRI-approved trainer on GRI's sustainability reporting framework and a licensed AA1000 Assurance Provider.