Logic is Variable

an argument starts here

How to Start and Manage Non-Governmental Organizations

NGOs represent an alternative to the constructed organizational entities. They are flexible and can react faster to the changes. This is the theory as seen in anthropological and ethnological aspects. In our local context and in the face of rampant corruptions rooted deep in governmental organization, we hear so many debates about NGOs and their work. What is more, some segments in our society are totally against NGOs and their good work. Problem is that those who oppose the mere presence of NGOs might not even understand what are NGOs, how they work and fill the void left by the state or how much NGOs can influence for the collective good of the society.

It is in this milieu that Javed Sajjad Ahmad – a veteran social scholar – has brought How to Start and Manage Non-Governmental Organizations. The author has answered many thorny questions about NGOs that can help all stakeholders. “The book is a guide, a ready reference, or a step-by-step manual to launch and nurture an NGO. Existing NGOs, large or small, will find information in the book that they can use to raise funds, hone their organizational skills or learn how to manage growing pains. It is probably the first of its kind book being published in Pakistan, that meets a felt need of the voluntary sector, at a critical juncture, says Professor (Dr.) M. Nizamuddin, renowned antropologist and the Vice Chancellor University of Gujrat.

Working as consultatnt with Thatta Kedona  - an international NGO engaged in poverty alleviation and preservation o f rural culture in rural Punjab - for last ten years, I have the understanding of problems being faced by NGOs and how some people view them. I can say with my personal experience that How to Start and Manage Non-Governmental Organizations can be a text book for anyone from donors to volunteers associated with social work at any level.

Publication of this book by University of Gujrat Press – publishing arm of University of Gujrat – at the time when major donors are taking policy decision to channel their development assistance to Pakistan via the voluntary sector will o a long way. Not only the book will open new opportunities for research and promote scholarly work on this subject but will also affect in a big way.

My recommendation: It is a must read for anyone who is alive to the collective good in the society.

Extract from Start and Manage Non-Governmental Organizations

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are basically voluntary social service organizations. Some call them private voluntary organizations because these are established by private people and communities. Others may refer to these organizations as nonprofit or not-for-profit organizations because they are not designed to make profit for its members. On the other hand, NGOs may make profit on some of their products and services, but the profit is a way to raise funds. The main feature of NGOs is that they are managed and controlled by volunteers, regardless of their size or scope. NGOs my sometimes be referred to as charitable organizations or simply, charities. NGOs are a major component of the civil society (as opposed to military and government). Other members of the civil society would be associations set up by special interest groups such as doctors, engineers, and such. Academic institutions also fall in the same category. In all these instances, organizations are established voluntarily by the communities sharing common interests. Community of lawyers may form a bar council.

Community of teachers may form an association. Membership in these groups is voluntary and often involves a fee to finance activities of the group. Workers unions are also part of the civil society. Civil society at large and NGOs in particular represent their communities and are established to meet one or more of their needs, mostly through self-help. For example, sometimes a community establishes an NGO at the village or mohalla level, and its scope of work is limited to that community. These NGOs are many and are referred to as Community-Based Organizations or CBOs. The terminology that describes these voluntary organizations has been changing with the change in the contextual meanings from time to time. For example, a commonly accepted name for NGOs was nonprofits, because it was assumed that the purpose of these organizations was not to make profit. Later, some people pointed out that even though voluntary organizations were not designed to earn a profit for its membership, they still could carry out activities to make a profit that could be invested back in supporting the organization. For example, by selling products such as clothes and handicrafts made by poor women, they would make a profit that would go to the working women and to the organization. Hence, the term nonprofit was changed to not-for-profit. A dictionary defines nonprofit agency “as a nonprofit organization providing a public benefit. Such agencies usually operate with paid staff though some are small, volunteer run nonprofit groups.” (Smith 2006)

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:50 PM,


At 7:39:00 PM, Blogger Durrani said...

Theek hay

At 10:13:00 AM, Blogger Jamil said...

very informative and valuable information.It must be publicised well for Pakistanis abroad too.

At 3:52:00 PM, Anonymous NGO Registration in Pakistan said...

Great article & good to hear about the book which was certainly needed. As NGO focus legal team, we get tens of such inquiries and we can now always reroute them to the book. By the way, where is the book available in Lahore?


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