Different Ways to Reach Transparency and Trust through Communication Management in Spanish Nonprofit Organizations

Different Ways to Reach Transparency and Trust through Communication Management in Spanish Nonprofit Organizations

José María Herranz de la Casa (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5974-2.ch003


This chapter focuses on analyzing how communication management can improve transparency and trust in nonprofit organizations. Several examples of Spanish and international nonprofit organizations that are developing effective communication plans and actions to improve their engagement and reputation with citizens are explained through case study methodology. Fund raising, the use of Internet and social media, advocacy, new narratives, and how to spread their activities are the areas where civil society organizations are developing their innovative communication actions. The analysis is made under a model of three objectives or levels: marketing, information, and participation, and under the perspective that transparency is a value that a nonprofit organization should use as the same way as communication management. If transparency and communication management are added, the result could achieve notoriety, trust, and reputation for nonprofit sector.
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Nonprofit organizations are institutions that propose alternative models of society, promote different social debates, make innovative proposals, make up for social needs, protect the quality of life, provide different voices, work as lobby and advocacy groups. Nonprofit organizations are definitely a social thermometer that measure the good or bad policy put into practice by governments, international organizations or corporations. In addition, civil society organizations develop social values such as solidarity, equality, justice, tolerance, peace, freedom, responsibility, multiculturalism or participation.

Nonprofit organizations have first-hand information about the social, ecological, political and economic problems and that's the reason why they are a valid interlocutors. Thanks to its ability to manage strategically the communication with the different stakeholders -citizens, media, universities, political parties, other nonprofit organizations- and also the combination of formal and informal actions, they can get control and influence over Government in order to be influential on public policy.

In this new century, the future survival of civil society organizations will get happen if they achieve legitimacy and gain the trust of citizens by creating transparency, reporting, accounting and communicating all their plans, and also performing control and monitoring the corporate and governmental actions.

There isn´t a word that defines the nonprofit sector globally because it is so highly diverse and there is a lot of types of organizations. Maybe the word civil society organization (CSO) is the most appropriate name to describe a positive-sounding terminology opposite to a negative term like non-profit, non-profit organizations or Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO). Civil Society Organization (CSO) highlights the value and purpose of their work, citizenship. Many authors have structured this sector, but our context focuses on the contributions of Jerez and Revilla (1997, pp. 30-31) to establish five large groups that could be part of this sector: traditional forms of mutual aid (charities and wide community local networks); social movements; civil associations or civil society organizations; NGO; and foundations and research centers with corporate and philanthropic origin. In this chapter, the examples specially will focus on civil society associations and NGOs, and will use CSO to name all of them.

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