What is NGO? Learn Types of NGO and How to Start NGO?

In general, when the term “NGO” pops in while any discussion the foremost thought that pops up in an individual’s mind is that they aim to work for society and its welfare. The assumption is not wrong but neither completely accurate. There are lots of different aspects that concern an NGO and we shall explore them in this blog together, but first let us have a quick glimpse at the history of NGOs.

History of NGO (Non-Governmental Organization)

United Nations charter includes the term Non-governmental organizations.  The charter was written after World War II. As per the article from UN NGOs or Non-governmental organizations function separately from the government. They can operate on social and political issues.

The term NGO may have been new in the 1940s but its roots fall back deep to the eighteenth century. In fact, on a global level, the history of non-government organizations traces back to the mid-nineteenth century.

What is NGO?

NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) are legally constituted non-profit organizations that are organized at a local, National or International Level. These organizations have a group of voluntary people who are not government representatives or corporate business representatives. However, an NGO receives funding from both government and corporate entities.

What does an NGO do?

Basically, the idea around which an NGO is formed defines the purpose of a particular NGO. This means that depending on their vision and mission NGOs outline various goals. From healthcare to children’s rights a Non-Governmental organization covers global issues and addresses them.

Types of NGO

Generally, there are two main types of NGOs – Advocacy and Operational. Advocacy refers to when an organization is committed to raising awareness and Operational when addressing humanitarian support or other development projects.

The classification further breaks down as BINGO, i.e., “Big international,” ENGO – An environmental NGO, INGO– An international NGO, RINGO- A religious International NGO, CSO, i.e., A civil society organization, and GONGO, which refers to a government-organized organization like the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The organizations may fall into more than one category. As mentioned earlier, the objectives, vision, and mission define the focus of an NGO, which means they can fall under different classifications as to the services they provide.

Now that we have some insights into what is NGO and their types, let’s see how you can start one.

what is an ngo

How to start an NGO?

Starting an NGO is not easy, and you need to consider the broader perspective before starting with your NGO. This is mainly because apart from good intentions, many aspects are involved, and the crucial one again is, of course, the “Money .”You will have to secure funding for your organizations; ironically, the most you will get is from the government itself.

Here are some key factors to address while you plan on starting an NGO of your own:

Identify the purpose

You have to figure out your passion, i.e., a cause that addresses a particular issue on a wider scale. Make sure you have volunteered at an NGO before starting your own because that experience will guide you through different phases while operating your own NGO.

Clarify your vision and mission

Once you harness the experience of working/volunteering for an NGO, you will have many visions and objectives in your mind that you think you can address. This will create chaos within the mind so lay out your ambition, vision, and ultimate mission of starting an NGO. However, remember that your goals must be realistic and justify the mission. The more clarity in your vision, the better; people will only volunteer if they find your vision feasible and impactful.

On-boarding right people 

Getting the right people on board is essential. You need to hire people who share the same values and comprehend your vision and mission. Here you are looking for a team of administrators, project managers, fundraisers, scholars, and other experts. These people must share the same passion and also possess the skills necessary.

Register your NGO

The NGO may not operate as a government organization or entity, but it must meet legal requirements. These legal aspects vary from country to country, and the registration processes also differ.

You have to figure out the government bodies that register NGOs. Once you do that, you can have your checklist and a do’s and don’ts list for registration of an NGO. The application you submit must cover details like purpose, name, and board members. This process may look simple, but you must be thorough before submitting your application/documents.

Layout the Roadmap

Once you have your previous basis covered, i.e., vision, objectives, and registration, it’s time you plan out your roadmap. In simple words, conduct a thorough analysis and research on the domains you wish to operate on. And highlight key points surrounding such domains.

For instance, consider: “poverty” here; you need to have a proper statistical analysis done and highlight the historical trend and figure out steps to address the issue. While you do the research, you may also want to include details like what went wrong for other NGOs while addressing this global issue and strengthening your action plan.

Fund Raisers and Budget: How are the NGOs funded? 

As mentioned earlier, having ambition isn’t enough “money” is a vital prospect while starting an NGO. There are many ways to fund your NGO; you can have fundraisers, accept private donations (at times anonymous), government funds, or loans. 

While organizing fundraisers, ensure the message you send out is accurate and meets your mission and goals without compromising ethical values. Once you receive funds, you can break it down within your NGO by conducting board meetings. Figure out your budget and plan accordingly.


Once your NGO has significant funds, you can start executing your project plan. However, ensure that the process remains transparent and that you evaluate the project frequently. This evaluation will help you assess the things that are working as planned and those that are not.

FAQs Related to NGO

What is the full form of an NGO?

Full-form of NGO goes like this Non-governmental organization.

How do you pronounce Ngo?

Pronunciation for NGO goes like EN, JEE, OH.

Which is the largest NGO in the world?

BRAC is considered to be one of the most prominent NGOs in the world.

Which is the largest NGO in India?

Give India is one of the most prominent NGOs in India.

What kind of jobs are there in NGOs?

There are some types of jobs available in an NGO: Fundraiser expert, Research Specialist, Advertising Expert, Public Relations Manager, Administrator, Bookkeeper, and so on.

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