An NGO is a non-governmental organisation that aims to promote the happiness, wellbeing and comfort of the people of a society. Such societies are not dependent on the government. Most often they work on:
- Curbing misuse of power
- Remove corruption
- Protect the environment
- Safeguard vulnerable groups
- Aid health of women and children
The Vital Need of NGOs
Because an NGO is separate from the support of the government, it can help democracy work better. Mostly, they do so in two ways:
- Educate the public:
An NGO teaches the citizens of a nation on how a government works, what it is doing for them and how the work affects the people. They provide crucial information about people in power to the average person. Once the public is informed about politicians and companies, they can use the date to make better decisions.
- A conduit of communication:
Though a democracy allows every person to write to their political representative about their views and opinions, it is not an effective way of communicating. NGOs, on the other hand, speak as the voice of hundreds of people. Therefore, when they weigh in on the decisions made by people in power, they are heard. These organisations are essentially a channel between the layman and the government. A few areas when NGOs can express the views of the public are:
- Nuclear energy
- International treaties
- Constitutional rights
- Protection of rights
- Fair worker pay
- Freedom of speech
Essentially, NGOs work to ensure that officials keep their legal obligations and protect democracy.
How Do NGOs Raise Money?
The first source of income, when an NGO is at the budding stage, is the donations they get from the citizens. But these are not enough to keep an agency running. Since they do not have the financial backup for promotions and advertisements, like other businesses, they look towards the government for funding. A government can offer money to NGOs for a plethora of reasons. A few of them are:
- For supplying legal advices to individuals who have been mistreated like in the case of an employer and employee.
- For representing special groups of people like those who are specially-abled. The government funds such an organisation because they want to guarantee that every class of citizen has a voice in policymaking. Furthermore, when officials back up such agencies, they get ready data on the opinions and expertise of this segment of individuals which can be used to make better laws.
- For keeping a careful eye and oversight on the government itself. These NGOs perform the vital task of making certain that the present government fulfils the promises they made and uphold all laws. It may seem like a counterintuitive reason to fund an NGO, but it is one of the most crucial. People in power have the tendency to misuse it. When there is a body of people checking on each decision you make, the temptation to abuse power is reduced.
When a government funds an NGO, it does so through a third party. This is imperative because giving direct money to an agency can equate to complete control over their decisions. Whereas, an independent body uses impartial criteria to decide who receives the donations.
How and Where to Register an NGO?
There are departments and officers allocated within a government that deal with registrations of NGOs. At present, there is also a ngo registration online process for which one can opt. Before registration can be done, one has to decide the type of agency it will be:
- non-profit organization
- voluntary organization
- people’s organization
Once the decision is made, the submission of required documents takes place. These would include:
- Information on the NGO/NPO Board
- The mission statement
- Memorandum of Association or Bye-laws
- Programmes and projects information
- Staff members details
- Funding sources and pattern of income and expenditure
- report of annual activities such as financial and audit reports
- letters of support (references)
The Basic Steps of Running an NGO
After NGO registration fees has been paid and the government recognises the agency, it is time to operate it. Majority of such organisations work on a set framework of five steps:
- Get funds from national or international resources to implement the project in the pipe-works.
- Hire the correct people to carry out the plan and pay them the required salary.
- Attend meetings held by governments and bodies like the Un as a representative of the public.
- Sell a product or service or publish works. It is to be noted that this is not done for-profit but to gain some capital to keep the NGO operational.
- Leverage all tax-breaks and support the government offers to keep the agency functioning.