NGO - Non-Government Organization
What is an NGO?
Non-Government Organisation, also known as NGO, is an organization that independently functions without any government intervention. Generally, NGOs are formed and managed by communities that gather together for a common goal. The goals may include environmental or humanitarian causes.
The term "NGO" is usually used for a non-profit organization not controlled by the government. Many organizations work and achieve their common goals with the help of volunteers. However, some organizations even provide a paid job.
History of Non-Government Organizations in India
People used to donate and help people in need or those suffering much before the formation of NGOs. It was believed that the service to people would be service to God. Hence those who can help others helped people with money, food, clothing, etc., because they believed that they could achieve salvation or atonement through their good deeds. It was considered good to donate on auspicious occasions. People are involved in the service to others. However, everyone has different reasons to do so.
NGOs were not formed until the early 19th century. Later, communities of like-minded people came together for specific causes and NGOs started to function. They performed the same as compared to the traditional methods but did everything is more structured manner. Now, NGOs work for varying causes and support needy people.
Types of NGOs
According to the World Bank, the NGOs are classified into the following two categories:
Operational NGOs -
Operational NGOs primarily focus on the development projects and their implementations. These NGOs can function on national or international levels.
Advocacy NGOs -
Advocacy NGOs focus on a particular cause to influence public policy. These NGOs are crucial in promoting or defending a cause. The common causes of these NGOs include raising awareness and knowledge about a certain issue.
Activities of NGO
Although NGOs are classified into operational and advocacy NGOs, many organizations perform both operations. The typical activities that NGOs focus on are -
Advocating means raising awareness regarding certain issues. As many people cannot reach the public for human rights violations, NGOs help those people and put forth the issue in the public view to raise awareness. It does so by educating and presenting the stories in front of the public. It also involves writing letters, conducting campaigns, etc. For any change in the policies, it is essential to bring the issue to the notice of the public. Making people aware helps to preserve human rights and ensures proper implementation of the policies.
Encouraging sustainable development
NGOs encourage sustainable development. They indulge in activities related to promoting sustainable development to address poverty, climate change, etc. NGOs promote alternative sources of energy for development and encourage changes in policy for social causes such as gender equality.
Provide support to the underprivileged or suffering
NGOs support the underprivileged by collecting funds. These people also include the ones suffering from famine, natural calamities, or any conflict. The aim of NGOs is to provide necessities such as food, shelter, and clean drinking water for suffering people.
Work for the rights of people
Working for the rights of the people is the primary activity of many NGOs. NGO ensures that the people are aware of their rights and work for the implementation of the policies. NGOs do so by analyzing data and monitoring the human rights abuses on local, national, and international levels.
Ensure justice for everyone
Many NGOs focus on specific communities that are not treated well in society. To ensure social justice, the NGOs work to provide gender equality, racial equality, healthcare access to everyone, etc. It works for the rights of people in general.
How are NGOs funded?
The NGOs are non-profit organizations. Hence the fundings play a vital role in the performance and success of any organization. NGOs depend on many sources for their fundings. These include:
- Fundraising Programs - NGOs conduct various programs through their volunteers and collect funds for achieving their goals. These programs include seminars and educational workshops.
- Memberships - Some NGOs ask for a membership fee from the members who wish to join the NGO. It also adds to the fund of the NGO.
- Donations - Many private companies and individuals donate to NGOs for a particular cause. The donations accelerate the progress of NGOs and help them reach targets for a specific cause. Some NGOs have few donors who donate a large amount of money, while other NGOs rely on a large number of small donations.
- Goods and Services - Some NGOs involve volunteers and paid people to develop goods and services. A huge amount can be generated from the sales of goods and services. For example: Underprivileged women can make handmade goods or stich clothes to generate income for themselves and the NGO. This scheme is particularly helpful in empowering women.
- Government Funding - Although NGO means Non-Government Organization, the government provides funds to the NGOs for specific humanitarian causes. It is done to ensure social justice and equality among people. Such causes would generally be like gender equality or cause against any social evil. Although the government fundings support NGOs, it may also be for any political goal.
- Prizes and Awards - NGOs earn many prizes for their work for various causes. These are provided to encourage them for the development of the people and help NGOs fight for their causes. The awards are generally in the form of money along with the appreciation letter for the organization. The prize money is added to the fund of the NGO.
Advantages of NGO
Starting an organization requires pooling in several resources for its success. A successful organization takes time, money, and the efforts of the members. Hence, it is important for any NGO to achieve its organizational goals. NGOs have several advantages over other organizations, these are:
- Lower costs of implementation -
Various private companies and people support NGOs. They have ample resources to manage and implement the programs for social wellness. Hence, they are generally independent of the government. The small initiatives for bringing change and supporting people are managed at a lower cost.
- Effective Communication -
The NGOs communicate effectively at all levels in their organization. It leads to a better understanding of the problems and effective solutions for local people. Generally, NGOs offer fewer restrictions to their employees, making them open to communicating with each other.
NGOs work flexibly, and they adapt easily to the new creative approaches for a certain issue. It helps them become aware of the solutions that provide the best results. Creative approaches to problems attract more people. Hence increasing the donations for the cause.
NGOs work on many projects that encourage people. These projects may include providing employment to underprivileged women. Some programs motivate the youth to participate in the drives, such as the cleanliness drive or tree plantation. As a result, people make World a better place through NGOs.
Education, which is the basic right of each individual, must be accessible to everyone. NGOs take up programs to educate underprivileged students. Through their awareness programs, they also spread the importance of education in society. People become aware and start educating their children.
Importance of NGOs
NGOs have various functions which they perform to achieve their objectives. These objectives range from supporting causes to standing against them. Eventually, NGOs have helped people suffering and provided them better lives. Hence, making World a better place to live in. Its importance is further discussed in the following point -
- NGOs are commonly known as non-profit organizations. These are so named because of the way they function. NGOs work selflessly for the cause without making any profit. Generally, volunteers devote their time to a specific cause.
- All NGOs work for different causes and contribute to the wellness of society. Many NGOs together cover the major issues and provide aid to the people suffering. They help those people to grow and live their lives happily.
- Apart from financial aid, they also provide them opportunities to learn and earn on their own. Eventually, making them independent. Through their programs, they encourage people to educate and upskill themselves.
- NGOs can even start small and reach higher levels without any government interventions.
- NGOs contribute to the overall development of the country. They do not only work for the urban areas but also indulge in many programs for rural people, especially students. The general goal of any NGO is to work towards a better nation by helping people.
- The campaigns and programs of NGOs encourage youth to take new projects for the people. Such programs help in building more support for the cause. It acts as the motivation for the youth to work for their own country. It spreads awareness at higher levels and brings an issue to the notice of the general public.
- Many NGOs help people through their seminars and campaigns. People join these programs and become aware of the opportunities and ways to be independent and happy.
- Over the years, NGOs have also worked in the healthcare sector. Their major projects include eradicating malnutrition and spreading awareness of health issues among the public.
NGOs have been crucial in the overall development of the country. It helps people evolve and grow in life. Moreover, it provides social support and basic amenities to needy people. NGOs serve humanity with their different goals, which they implement through their programs.
Ways to Help Non-Government Organizations
NGOs are organizations that contribute so much to society without any profit for themselves. We can help them grow by simply increasing their resources in any form listed below -
Volunteering - Individuals can volunteer in NGOs for any cause that they feel will change society. Volunteering supports the NGOs as they can accomplish their goals more quickly and easily.
For example, one may participate in beach cleaning or tree plantation drive to save the environment.
- Donating - If you cannot take out time for the programs of NGOs, you can donate. Donations help accelerate the programs and support the organization.
- Participating in Fundraising Programs - Fundraising programs are conducted to collect funds for a particular cause. You can participate in such programs and contribute to society.
Opportunities in NGOs
The operating of NGOs is very much similar to any other business. They offer many opportunities for individuals to contribute to their organization. Before applying for any opportunity, individuals need to understand the type and cause of work that interests them. The opportunities include working with children, older people, animals, the environment, or disabled people. Like any other job opportunity, the selection for working at NGO is done on the basis of the skills, field knowledge, experience, and qualifications of the candidate.
The job roles and responsibilities in NGOs vary according to the cause and objective of the NGO. Some causes are such that frequent traveling is involved while some require desk job. Hence it is essential to find what a candidate wants and apply accordingly. The opportunities can be classified as -
- Volunteering: Volunteering for any cause is an opportunity for young individuals to come and contribute to the organization. Through volunteering, individuals can become part of the organization and understand it better. Volunteering may involve tasks like traveling to different locations and conducting awareness programs. It may also involve roles like teaching, etc.
- Managerial Roles: Managerial roles are also available for people. Some of the NGOs provide salaries to the individuals working in managerial roles. However, some people work free for any cause.
- Problem Solving: People are involved in problem-solving and brainstorming new ideas to work for the cause. It requires robust communication skills to interact with people and convince them about your idea.
These points give a brief idea of what opportunities at NGOs look like. It can be defined more specifically by choosing a particular type of NGO with a specific cause. People can develop their skills and contribute to NGOs by filtering from the opportunities. In this way, NGOs will grow, and people can have better lives. Remember, your small contribution can change the World and make it a better place to live.