Starting an NGO:
Key Ingredients of an NGO

Cover page:
Starting an NGO

The key ingredients that make or break an NGO/NPO, of course, are its programmes and projects. It covers the issues and themes that the NGO/NPO addresses, the target areas or communities that it works in, funding available and the activity's partners.

These are influenced by, among other things:

  • the felt needs of target community (what are the real problems faced by the target community? How can the NGO/NPO identify them, or create a forum where it can be expressed by the community?)
  • staff expertise available (what expertise and skills do the NGO/NPO staff posess? Are they full-time or part-time staff? How can external human resources be mobilized?)
  • funding strategy (what sources of funding can the NGO/NPO tap into? Which of these are local and international? How can funds for short-term and long-term activities be mobilized?)
While it is critical that a new NGO/NPO ensure that it is properly registered with the public authorities of the country, it is of even more importance to 'register' with its target community - in terms of ensuring acceptability, building trust, programme and project effectiveness, and bringing about real change.

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Hari Srinivas -