Want to do good for others while doing good for yourself? Volunteering with an NGO can help you build capacity and support long-term goals in the underserved communities of developing countries. It also can enhance your resume as you gain hard and soft skills.
NGOs, or non-governmental organizations, are nonprofits or citizen-operated agencies and groups that operate independently of governments, generally on an international level. They provide aid to people, animals, and the environment, and try to improve standards in the areas of humanitarian, educational, health care, public policy, social, human rights, and environmental issues according to their objectives. They rely upon donations and funding by citizen groups to achieve their goals.
NGOs seek volunteers who are highly motivated and self-driven, and who would like to gain work experience abroad. Their initiatives can be limited because of a lack of permanent staff and dwindling finances. Because of this, they rely upon volunteers to help them in office work, fundraising, public relations, and even manual labor. They often welcome creative and talented people who can help to keep their causes relevant and in the public’s eye. Without support or a shared common interest, an NGO’s work will founder and fail.
The term “NGO” came to the public’s attention in 1945 when the United Nations was created, itself an intergovernmental organization.
There are about 10 million NGOs worldwide. Some of the more popular and influential NGOs include Doctors Without Borders, Greenpeace, Heifer International, Food and Water Watch, CERES, The Nature Conservancy, Oxfam, Sierra Club, and the World Wildlife Fund.
They are funded by donations normally, but many avoid formal funding and are operated by volunteers. A characteristic of an NGO is that they are not hindered by short-term financial objectives, and instead devote themselves to issues that are far-reaching and enduring. Because of this, they are regarded with public trust.
Want to know more about how you can become involved with the mission of an NGO, working for positive and sustainable outcomes?