What defines an NGO?
An NGO stands for a non-government organization that functions at/for no-profit at all. It is organized and managed by a group of volunteers either on an international, national or local/ district level. These groups are task oriented and are driven by people of common interest and goals. These NGOs function to perform a variety of tasks on humanitarian grounds that focus and convey the concerns of people to the government. NGOs can be quite difficult to classify or to even define, as the term ‘NGO’ is not used consistently. Some NGOs encourage political participation that advocate and monitor policies through right to information. Some NGOs are organized around particular issues that pertain to environment/ health or human rights. These organizations also monitor and implement certain international agreements and also provide incessant support in expertise and analysis.
There is history to the earliest mentioned term “NGO” back in the year 1945, when it was used during the creation of United Nations (UN) – which is an inter-governmental organization. The use of the term NGO allowed specialized international non-state agencies or non-governmental organizations to be awarded a status known as ‘observer’ at its meetings and assemblies. In the past many years, the term ‘NGO’ has been used widely across the globe. According to the United Nations, any private organization that is independent of the government is called an ‘NGO’ that is never-for- profit, non-criminal and is not a political party. A simple characteristic of these diverse NGOs is that they share the status of being non-profit but this does not hinder their short-term financial objectives. Accordingly these organizations devote themselves to certain issues that occur in long term horizons such as changes in climate, prevention of diseases such as malaria, a ban on landmines or a ban on usage of plastic for conservation of our planet earth among many others. Many public surveys show that NGOs thoroughly enjoy public trust; however this does not help them always, rather raises concerns of stakeholders and the society.
An NGO can be classified into various types based on the level of orientation, such as; Charitable, Participatory, Empowering, Service oriented etc. Based on the level of operation, they are, Community based organizations, City wide organizations, National NGOs and International NGOs.
On the other hand, Volunteer Management is the process of selection and supervision of volunteers at its core. It is a key function in leveraging the resources of the NGO. Volunteer management is a community gateway that provides citizens with opportunities to be highly involved in global and local issues and thus to serve as a source of public relations and marketing. Volunteer management serves to strengthen the credibility of an organization in public eyes. Most volunteer management professionals are found in non-governmental or non-profit organizations.