Have you ever seen a problem and wanted to do something about it? Of course you have. The schools, police, government welfare offices, churches and families aren’t handling it. Others share your concerns and want to do something. That’s why you would start a nongovernmental organization, or NGO. This handbook will guide you through the steps of starting and operating an NGO.
NGOs — nongovernmental organizations — are independent of both the government and the business sector. Their mandate is to promote the public interest and serve the public good rather than to make a profit or advance the interests of a narrow group of individuals. Their independence enables them to monitor government performance and advocate for improvements.
Whatever their area or scope, all NGOs exist to make people’s lives better or solve a social problem. Most NGOs are founded by people who are passionate about their communities or causes. Yet starting and running an NGO takes more than passion. It takes knowledge, skills, resources and relationships. It also takes time, planning, patience and flexibility.
This handbook provides a framework for building an effective, sustainable NGO. You will find information about how to develop the core components of an NGO — the values, vision, mission and programs — and tips for how to carry them out. Cover the different kinds of relationships you need — with the community you serve, your partners, your funders, the government and other stakeholders.
Throughout the book, you will find best practices for running an NGO and advice on how to avoid and address common challenges your NGO might face.
Ultimately, this handbook will help you build an NGO that is legitimate, transparent and accountable, qualities necessary for your NGO to be effective.