Types of NGOs
Many of the terms listed below represent a soul-searching on the part of NGOs to define themselves in terms of their organisational and operational frameworks, such as relief and welfare agencies; technical innovation organisations; public service contractors; popular development’ agencies; grassroots development organisations et al.
From the point of view of registration and organisational set-up, there can be three types of voluntary organisations such as:
- Society: It can be formed under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 under Section 21.
- Trust: It can be formed on the basis of a Trust Agreement and registration in the Department of Income Tax.
- Limited Company: It can be formed under the Indian Company Act under Section 25.
NGOs: A few salient features
While developmental NGOs vary greatly in size and orientation, most share the common goal of helping people and benefitting society. International and national NGOs support large scale activities ranging from social welfare to environmental and political advocacy. NGOs at the local level provide services that include community organisation, health, education, welfare support, small-scale financial intermediation and environmental protection.
NGOs also help improve people’s lives through skills training and other livelihood programs. NGOs prepare and implement development projects and work to strengthen local institutional capabilities and promote community self-reliance. NGO funding comes through donations, Government assistance and a variety of other sources.
NGOs make significant contributions to socio-economic development. Often they enjoy advantages over Government and private sector institutions and can deliver services to hard to reach communities in a more efficient cost-effective manner. Much of the success of NGOs comes from dynamic leadership and committed staff. NGOs usually are more flexible and innovative and are affected less by bureaucratic constraints.
NGOs have some limitations too. Many NGOs are small in both size and scope of operations and their impact sometimes is limited. NGOs can suffer from financial and technical constraints. Often focussed on a specific concern or a specific location, NGOs may lack a broader economic and social perspective. Many smaller NGOs are loosely structured and may have limited accountability. Management and planning may be weak or too flexible.