The term ‘NGO’ appeared in the United Nations charter for the very first time in 1945. As the name implies, NGOs are Non-Governmental Organizations. When you hear this word, you may think of it as an organization that works to improve lives one way or the other. And that is fairly right. These entities work to uplift society and function independently as there is no government influence on them. They majorly generate their funds via contributions or donations made by the public. But sometimes these organizations get their funding from the government as well. They play a critical role in developing society, promoting social changes and improving communities.
NGOs had existed for so many years in one form or another. Earlier, they were very localized and worked only for specific communities. The Anti-Slavery Society formed in 1839 was probably the very first NGO that worked at the international level. It was the best example that showed how people and communities around the world can come together for a common cause.
Generally, these organizations are formed by a group of like-minded people who want to further a common cause. Some NGOs work for women empowerment while some others focus on educating children from the poor community. They advocate such causes and work for people who are not aware of their rights or do not have enough resources.
The main sources of their funding are:
• Non profit organization donations
• Membership Fees
• Sale of goods
• Grants from other non-profits
• Public contributions
Types of Non Profit Organizations
There are a few different types of non profit organizations. Different organizations support different causes. These causes can be cultural, educational, environmental, religious or social. Every NGO has a specific mission and a series of objectives to advocate a shared point of view. All of its members have different roles in promoting the cause they are supporting.
We can categorize Non profit organizations in two ways:
Based on Orientation:
There are four different types of non profit organizations on the basis of their orientation:
Charitable NGOs are the ones that focus on social well-being. They help to create a better world by furthering their main cause be it educational, religious or something else that serves the public interest. These organizations primarily run campaigns to fulfil the necessities of underprivileged people. The lower-income communities are the main beneficiaries. The general public makes non profit donations and charitable NGOs use that fund to provide the needy with essential things like food, medicines, clothes etc. They do not use their funds to profit any individual person or entity.
These NGOs also work actively during natural disasters or other emergency situations. They provide the necessities to the affected people.
Service-oriented NGOs collaborate with other parties in order to operate. These organizations run campaigns to make underprivileged communities aware of things like family planning, education, health-related issues, human rights etc. They design different programs. People from the targeted communities have to participate in such programs and receive the service.
The NGOs that fall under this category use a participatory approach. They work on self-help projects and the local people are supposed to get involved in its implementation. Non profit donations made by the public in the form of money, tools, material, land etc. help these NGOs to work towards their goals.
These NGOs have the ultimate goal of making the targeted communities understand the social, political and other factors affecting their lives. They work in the direction of making poor people, women and children aware of what they are entitled to. Whatever their main cause is, these organizations act as facilitators in the development expecting maximum involvement from the people they are working for.
Based on the Level of Operation:
There are four different types of non-profit organizations on the basis of their level of operation:
These NGOs target specific communities and focus on small groups. They work to elevate a particular community’s social standards.
Such organizations work at a city level. Some examples of citywide NGOs are educational groups, cultural groups, coalitions of business etc.
These NGOs work at the national level. They have branches in different states and all those branches work together, at times for a single cause and sometimes they work for different ones.
The organizations falling under this category operate at the international level. Sometimes their activities also include providing funding to the local level NGOs.
Be an aide to such institutions who are working towards the betterment of society across a wide gamut of social issues – it’s good to be a good human being.
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