Navigating Global Growth: EOR Strategies for NGOs Expanding Abroad

Atlas Team Profile Photo

Atlas Team

Atlas helps innovative companies like yours to expand, onboard, manage and pay international teams in 160+ countries.

Published: 20 Feb 2024

As an NGO leader, expanding your operations internationally is often a vital part of your mission. But once you start confronting the logistical hurdles of navigating foreign legal frameworks, hiring, and managing overseas staff, handling international payroll, and other unforeseen complexities, you might quickly realise that that vital part of your mission is easier said than done.  

In this article, we’ll explore the key strategies that you and your NGO can implement by partnering with an Employer of Record (EOR) to simplify your expansion efforts - from streamlining foreign entity setup and hiring to keeping costs contained. 

Strategies for setting up global operations 

As your NGO looks to expand globally, one of the first major hurdles is navigating the legal and compliance framework of your desired new country of operation. You’ll quickly find that sorting through the web of foreign requirements for NGOs is both deeply confusing and intimidating. 

However, you can simplify this expansion process immensely by leveraging an EOR service that maintains localised entities across multiple global regions. This allows you to tap directly into established HR, payroll, and compliance expertise specific to your overseas target markets. 
Here’s how you can navigate the process step-by-step with an EOR partner. 

1. Don’t set up a local entity – partner with an EOR instead 

Instead of exerting your time and effort attempting to establish your own foreign entity, partnering with an EOR enables you to work around complex registration and compliance processes.  

By utilising the EOR’s existing foreign corporate infrastructure, your NGO can instantly plug into fully compliant local businesses around the world. This allows you to start hiring workers abroad, often in a matter of days. 

Rather than getting stalled attempting to build international HR functions on your own, working with an EOR also equips your NGO with turnkey access to optimised global payroll, benefits, and human resources infrastructure. 

2. Tap into local talent pools with an EOR partner 

As your NGO expands globally, you’ll gain access to abundant overseas talent pools across various regions. While this might be a huge milestone for your NGO, attempting to navigate localized recruitment laws and establish your own hiring channels in every country is incredibly resource intensive. 

Fortunately, partnering with an EOR allows you to tap into these rich global talent pools without getting slowed down by compliance hurdles. By leveraging your EOR partner’s existing foreign infrastructure and entities in your target countries, you can focus your efforts instead on identifying the right candidates for your mission.  

Here’s a closer look at how you can partner with an EOR to source and onboard your global remote workforce. 

3. Reduce your costs with an EOR partner 

Juggling international tax codes when staffing abroad can deplete your NGOs funding and financial resources if you’re not careful. However, EORs lift this burden by owning all tax duties around foreign workers in one streamlined package, preventing wasted effort that you may have spent wrangling complicated foreign labour laws and regulations. 

After you’ve worked with your EOR partner to solve this, next you’ll want to work with them to ensure your NGO is compliant with local labour laws and regulations. 

4. Outsource wider compliance risk  

Falling foul of local laws and regulations can quickly spiral into major legal problems if you’re not careful. Fortunately, you can mitigate this risk substantially by partnering with an EOR. Doing so allows your organisation to safely mitigate much of the localised compliance burden across all of your target regions.  

Because EORs own and operate established legal entities internationally already, they’re equipped to guarantee adherence to regulations in every country in which they operate. Additionally, because EORs act as the legal employer on your behalf, they assume all of the labour and employment risk in the new countries you expand into, lifting this responsibility from your shoulders.


5. Hit the ground running with consolidated global HR Reporting 

While global expansion represents a huge milestone for any organisation, it can also lead to operational complexity for your NGO, especially when it comes to consolidated reporting around essentials like payroll, taxation, compliance, and human capital management. 

This headache stems from the reality that most NGO administrators rely on a fragmented collection of spreadsheets, manuals, and systems to monitor their newly global workforce. However, by bringing on an EOR partner with a centralised HXM platform, you can consolidate all your overseas reporting onto a single intuitive platform.  

This makes it simple for your team to: 

  • Surface targeted insights that expose overseas cost structures, hiring pipelines, and policy shifts that can impact your strategic decisions. 

  • Monitor international hiring/onboarding status in one glance. Your HR lead can also view training completion rates, employee turnover metrics, and headcount from a global perspective. 

  • Review hours logged across all overseas teams or per country as needed. 

Take your NGO global with Atlas 

Expanding internationally as an NGO should allow you to focus on pursuing work that drives real change in the world. Unfortunately, many growing organisations get caught up in legal, compliance, and other HR complexities that prevent them from focusing on their core mission.  

But navigating this hurdle is easier than you might think. 

All you need is to have the right global growth partner by your side. With combined local expertise across 160+ countries, Atlas drives simplified international expansion, employee onboarding, consolidated reporting, and risk mitigation for NGOs that are pursuing global expansion.  

Get in touch with our team of experts to see how Atlas can help you manage your growing global workforce.