In the backdrop of mounting importance and growing voice of NGOs in development in general, this article has been projected so that it can be a comprehensive guide for varied bodies in similar line to discuss, debate and disseminate information on their work, strategies and results. Thus the key objectives of the project are to assist new aspirants willing to form a new NGO and also the already existing NGOs in enhancing and improving their programmes and activities; to effect a better understanding of NGOs in general; and to enable NGOs to network at local, regional and international levels.
Quite simply, an NGO is (a) formally or informally organised around shared purposes; (b) nongovernmental, and so not part of the state apparatus; (c) self-governing, rather than externally controlled; and (d) voluntary both in the sense of being non-compulsory and in the sense of voluntary involvement in their governance or operations.

What is NGO, Varied Definitions:
Different authors and institutions have defined the term NGO differently. The definitions are entirely or largely independent of government and that have primarily humanitarian or cooperative rather than commercial objectives. They are private agencies in industrial countries that support international development; indigenous groups organised regionally or nationally; and member-groups in villages.
From the point of view of functions, NGOs include charitable and religious associations that mobilise private funds for development, distribute food and family planning services and promote community organisation. They also include independent cooperatives, community  associations, water-user societies, women’s groups and pastoral associations. Cituen groups that raise awareness and influence policy are also NGOs, This is a part of the Standard Definition put forwarded by World Bank.
What is NGO, Other Definitions:
An NGO is a non-profit making, voluntary, service-oriented or development-oriented organisation, either for the benefit of members (a grassroots organisation) or of other members of the population (an agency).
  1. It is an organisation of private individuals who believe in certain basic social principles and “who structure their activities to bring about development to communities that they are servicing.
  2. An NGO is a social development organisation assisting in empowerment of people.
  3. It is an organisation or group of people working independent of any external control with specific objectives and aims to fulfil tasks that are oriented to bring about desirable change in a given community or area or situation.
  4. An NGO refers to an independent, democratic, non-sectarian people’s organisation working for the empowerment of economic and/or socially marginalised groups.
  5. Such organisations are not affiliated to political parties, generally engaged in working for aid, development and welfare of the community.
  6. An organisation committed to the root causes of the problems trying to better the quality of life especially for the poor, the oppressed, the marginalised in urban and rural areas is called an NGO.
  7. Organisations established by and for the community withouf or with little intervention from the government; they are not only a charity organisation, but work on socio-economic-cultural activities are nothing but NGOs.
  8. It is an organisation that is flexible and democratic in its organisation and attempts to serve the people without profit for itself.
  9. An NGO is an independent, flexible democratic, secular, non-profit people’s organisation working for and/or assisting in the empowerment of economically and socially, marginalised groups.