There is a lot of talk about NGOs nowadays in different areas, often with misunderstandings about their work. That is why it is good to have clarity, so that we really understand how these realities make a difference in society and beyond. The sector has gained key importance in Italy in recent years. Our country, in fact, is giving a lot of importance to cooperation in foreign policy. To demonstrate this, the change in the name of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, today the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Having said that, let’s start saying what NGOs are. Acronym for non-governmental organization, the NGO is a non-profit organization with a humanitarian character almost always. A fundamental characteristic of these realities concerns independence both from States and from international organizations.
NGOs: how are they managed?
It is also interesting to focus on the management of NGOs. These organizations are generally managed by volunteers. The main source of funding is private. The economic support of NGOs is almost always based on donations. Going into more detail, we remember that the fields of activity of NGOs are numerous. The humanitarian peculiarities are the background but the individual situation changes more. NGOs, for example, can be involved in cooperation in developing countries.
Types of NGOs
It is essential to remember that there are different types of NGOs. Here are which ones:
- Volunteer NGOs;
- NGOs engaged in cooperation and development projects by sending specialised personnel to specific places in the world;
- NGOs specialising in training on cooperation and development issues.
Another aspect that should be highlighted is the difference between NGOs and lobby groups, i.e. lobbies. A particular feature of NGOs is their private nature and, we repeat, the lack of profit-seeking.
The Italian legal system classifies NGOs as Onlus included in a specific list. The oldest NGO in our country is the Community of Sant’Egidio, founded in 1968. IDI – International Diplomatic Institute is also an NGO. It has been working for over twenty years with the aim of internationalizing companies, but also with the aim of building relationships with administrations, trade associations and international institutions.