Non-governmental organizations – commonly referred to as NGOs, are usually independent of governments,many are active in humanitarian etc. areas, however, NGOs can also be as lobby groups for corporations, such as the . NGOs is also sometimes expanded to nongovernmental or nongovernment organizations.They are thus a subgroup of all organizations founded by citizens, which include clubs and other that provide services, benefits, and premises only to members. Sometimes the term is used as a synonym of “” to refer to any association founded by citizens, but this is not how the term is normally used in the media or , as recorded by major dictionaries. The explanation of the term by NGO.org (the non-governmental organizations associated with the United Nations) is ambivalent. It first says an NGO is any non-profit, voluntary citizens’ group which is organized on a local, national or international level, but then goes on to restrict the meaning in the sense used by most English speakers and the media: Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of service and humanitarian functions, bring citizen concerns to Governments, advocate and monitor policies and encourage political participation through provision of information.
NGOs are usually funded by , but some avoid formal funding altogether and are run primarily by . NGOs are highly diverse groups of organizations engaged in a wide range of activities, and take different forms in different parts of the world. Some may have charitable status, while others may be registered for tax exemption based on recognition of social purposes. Others may be fronts for political, religious, or other interests. Since the end of , NGOs have had an increasing role in , particularly in the fields of humanitarian assistance and poverty alleviation.
Based on 2012 registry statistics for the top-level domain, the number of NGOs worldwide is estimated to be 10 million, although the domain is not exclusively limited to NGOs. had about 277,000 NGOs in 2008. is estimated to have had around 2 million NGOs in 2009, just over one NGO per 600 Indians, and many times the number of primary schools and primary health centres in India.
The term ‘NGO’ is not always used consistently. In some countries the term NGO is applied to an organization that in another country would be called an (non-profit organization), and vice versa. Political parties and trade unions are considered NGOs only in some countries. There are many different classifications of NGO in use. The most common focus is on “orientation” and “level of operation”. An NGO’s orientation refers to the type of activities it takes on. These activities might include human rights, environmental, improving health, or development work. An NGO’s level of operation indicates the scale at which an organization works, such as local, regional, national, or international.
The term “non-governmental organization” was first coined in 1945, when the (UN) was created. The UN, itself an , made it possible for certain approved specialized international non-state agencies — i.e., non-governmental organizations — to be awarded observer status at its assemblies and some of its meetings. Later the term became used more widely. Today, according to the UN, any kind of private organization that is independent from government control can be termed an “NGO”, provided it is not-for-profit, non-prevention, but not simply an opposition political party.