Mensen met een Missie was founded in 1931 as CMC (Centraal Missie Commissariaat) to support the work of Dutch missionaries, predominantly in the former Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). Over the past decades, we have become a professional Catholic missionary development organisation, working with Catholic and non-Catholic organisations worldwide. Personal involvement, a grassroots orientation and human dignity have remained our key values. Our work is centered on marginalised people. We give a voice to those who are voiceless.
Like the Dutch priests, sisters and brothers that preceded us, we and our partner organisations commit heart and soul to improving the living conditions in local communities. Mensen met een Missie is involved in about 350 initiatives of (faith-based) partner organisations in 16 target countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Strong in strategic partnerships
Aside from our many partnerships with grassroots organisations, we actively participate in networks and umbrella initiatives like the Knowledge Center Religion & Development, the European human rights funders network Ariadne, the International Human Rights Funders Group, and the Dutch Sector Association for International Cooperation (Partos). We join forces and coordinate our programmes with other stakeholders in each of our 16 target countries. This includes working together with representatives of other Dutch NGOs in various country committees and platforms.
On a joint implementation basis and with funding from the Dutch government, Mensen met een Missie participates in two coalitions of Dutch NGOs. The Communities of Change Alliance consists of Mensen met een Missie, Cordaid, IKV Pax Christi and Impunity Watch. Within the Press Freedom 2.0 Alliance, we cooperate with Free Press Unlimited, World Press Photo, the European Partnership for Democracy and the European Journalism Centre.
A diversified fundraising approach
Mensen met een Missie derives a third of its income from Catholic religious institutions in the Netherlands, such as orders and congregations. These Catholic institutions also provide knowledge and experience and are involved in monitoring and evaluation through the AMA committee (Adviescommissie Missionaire Activiteiten). We receive another one-third from our active base of 25,000 private donors, 500 parishes and small foundations. The remaining one-third of our income is contributed by governmental agencies, such as the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As a fundraising organisation, Mensen met een Missie raises, manages and spends funds with great care. Our Fundraising Code is based on the model code of the VFI, the association of fundraising charities.
Result based performance management
Mensen met een Missie uses a results based management approach to gain in-depth insights into its qualitative and quantitative performance. Five-year-plans are translated into annual plans, in which target results are set.
The planning, monitoring & evaluation system is embedded in the organisation and covers the full range of our performance: thematic programmes (both outputs and outcomes), public relations activities, fundraising and organisational management. Monitoring occurs multiple times annually in regular intervals. The corresponding evaluations allow for timely adjustments if necessary.
For each target country, a country policy planning paper is developed for a time period of 3-5 years. These papers are reviewed annually in order to learn from experiences and integrate the lessons into the next planning phase. Outside experts are invited to participate in the review.
Quality management and integrity codes
Our quality management system, which is well-stipulated in various manuals, is equally strongly embedded in the organisation. Since 2003, Mensen met een Missie is a CBF-certified organisation. We comply with the requirements of the Code for Good Governance in Fundraising Charities (Wijffels Code). In addition, our internal Code of Conduct not only offers guidelines for what Mensen met een Missie expects from its employees, missionary development workers and volunteers, but also what may be expected from Mensen met een Missie as an employer.
Similarly, Mensen met een Missie takes integrity very seriously in its partnerships. Mensen met een Missie employs a risk and sanction policy covering a range of integrity issues in its contractual relations with partner organisations. In order to maintain a high quality of performance, we consider the feedback from partners, donors and other stakeholders of great significance. We welcome every complaint as a free advice, and we consistently provide follow-up to feedback.
Financial supervision of project grants of less than €40,000 is performed by Mensen met een Missie’s programme staff. Partner organisations receiving grants exceeding €40,000 are audited annually by internationally recognised auditors.