NGO Credibility and Legitimacy
Credibility is the quality of being believable or trustworthy. It refers to whether or not a person or a statement is believed or trusted. Sometimes leaders or experts are not considered by the public to be credible because they have a personal interest in the outcome of a situation or a conflict which would likely influence their views and/or statements about that situation or conflict.
For example, a salesperson's "believability" is established through empathy, willingness to listen to specific needs, and continual enthusiasm toward his or her work and the customer’s business. It is the quality of being plausible, believable, dependable, or worthy of confidence. An improvement of credibility is considered to be the same as confidence building or providing quality to the user. Thus, a "credible" communicator is perceived as both expert and trustworthy.
Credibility is one of the most critical factors that affects an NGO. Being credible is simply the perception of being trustworthy and believable. Why do people buy brand name goods and services? One of the key reasons is that the brand represents a level of quality that they know and trust.
So how can an NGO build credibility? A key factor is being consistent, with reference to the work being done, the message being disseminated, or the concepts being advocated. Sharing knowledge is a useful way to build credibility. This helps in building the intellectual base of the NGO, and its ability to articulate the views of the people it is speaking for. And oboviously, telling the truth is always the best way. Good testimonials can also be a powerful way to generate trust.
A number of strategies can be seen being used by NGOs to build their credibility: