The multiplicity of logics, trust, and interdependence in donor-imposed reporting practices in the nonprofit sector

Galina Goncharenko*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Institutional donors occupy a privileged position among nongovernmental organization (NGO) stakeholders, which enables them to satisfy their accountability demands via donor-imposed reporting in addition to official NGO information disclosures. This study explores the rationale behind the accountability demands of institutional donors and the utilization of donor-imposed reporting for building, keeping, and strengthening NGO–donor relationships by examining a case of a Norwegian advocacy NGO and its five institutional donors. Real-life constructs embedded in interview design are employed to contextualize the accounting data and expand the respondents’ perceptions by providing visibility to alternative scenarios of information provision. By approaching the topic through multi-organizational perspectives, the study reveals the confluence and interdependence in symbiotic relationships of NGOs and their long-term institutional donors, which are built through regular interorganizational interactions around imposed accountability demands and reporting requirements. The findings demonstrate that donors’ accountability demands are motivated by their vested interests in controlling, mitigating risk, legitimating grants’ provision, influencing NGO agendas, and obtaining trustworthy partners in the nonprofit sector. The analysis reveals that the types of demands donors impose are determined by institutional logics embedded in their own organisational practices, ideologies, and patterns of governance. The multiplicity of implied donor logics requires NGOs to adjust their identities as the notions of familiarity, compliance, and consonance with these logics would signal NGOs’ trustworthiness and reliability and assist in securitization of long-term funding. Finally, the study discusses the implications of the multiplicity of donors’ logics and imposed requirements for the accountability and reporting practices in the nonprofit sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-141
Number of pages18
JournalFinancial Accountability and Management
Issue number2
Early online date3 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • donor-imposed reporting
  • financial accountability
  • institutional donors
  • NGOs
  • real-life construct


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