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World NGO Day – February 27, 2023

World NGO Day is observed every year on February 27. N.G.O. is an acronym for non-governmental organization. World NGO Day is a day set aside to recognize, celebrate and honor the fundamental contributions and profound impact that these independent organizations have had on the world. N.G.O.s are nonprofit organizations and although they’re a modern phenomenon, their history spans back hundreds of years. Their influence continues to grow and make positive changes where needed in today’s world.

History of World NGO Day

World NGO Day was originally founded in 2009 by Marcis Liors Skadmanis, a social entrepreneur. However, it was observed for the first time on February 27, 2014. It’s a day set aside to honor all non-governmental and nonprofit organizations, recognizing their impact on the world.

The holiday was officially declared back in 2010 by the 12 member countries of the Baltic Sea NGO Forum, recognized as a partner of the Council of the Baltic Sea States. However, it only received international recognition in 2014 by the European Union, the United Nations, and other international organizations.

An N.G.O. has been defined by the United Nations Department of Global Communications as an organization that is a “not-for-profit, voluntary citizen’s group that is set up at a local, national or international level to address issues in support of the public good.”

Though N.G.O.s date back to the 18th century, the name ‘non-governmental organization’ was created by the 1945 Charter of the United Nations, Article 71. Non-governmental organizations are also referred to as civil society organizations (C.S.O.), non-profit organizations (N.P.O.s), membership organizations, and charitable organizations.

The distinguishing factor of N.G.O.s is their independence from the government. N.G.O.s are privately funded through grants, private donations, membership dues, product sales, and sometimes, government donations. Surveys indicate that there is a high level of public trust for N.G.O.s, which makes them a useful proxy for the concerns of society.

According to the World Bank, there are two types of N.G.O.s. These are operational N.G.O.s and advocacy N.G.O.s. The former focuses on designing and implementing development-related projects while advocacy N.G.O.s promote specific causes that impact public policy.

In the United States, there are now approximately 1.5 million N.G.O.s in existence.

World NGO Day timeline

1700s
The History

International N.G.O.s come into existence.

2009
The Founding

World NGO Day is established by Marcis Liors Skadmanis.

2010
The Official Declaration

World NGO Day is officially declared and adopted by the Baltic Sea NGO Forum.

2014
The First Observance

World NGO Day is observed for the first time by the European Union, the United Nations, and other international organizations.

World NGO Day FAQs

Do N.G.O. volunteers get paid?

Generally, no. However, Depending on the nature of the N.G.O., it may pay its employees.

Do N.G.O.s require volunteers to have a degree?

There is no cut-and-dried procedure for being a volunteer as it depends on the particular N.G.O. However a degree would prove useful.

How does one start an N.G.O.?

N.G.O.s need to be registered under the laws of the particular state they plan to operate in. The registration requirements may vary depending on the state.

How to Observe World NGO Day

  1. Support a cause

    N.G.O.s need the support of volunteers. Celebrate World NGO Day by volunteering to promote a worthy movement.

  2. Make a donation

    As non-profit organizations, N.G.O.s rely on donations to keep running. If it’s within your means, consider contributing to an N.G.O. on World NGO Day.

  3. Use the hashtag

    Use the hashtag #worldngoday on your social media platforms. Post about anyone you know who volunteers at an N.G.O. It’s the hard work of these selfless individuals that keeps N.G.O.s around the world active and impactful.

5 Steps To Take To Establish An N.G.O.

  1. Choose a cause

    The first step to starting an N.G.O. is to a cause that you’re willing to dedicate your time to advocate for.

  2. Clarify your vision and mission

    Once you’ve identified your passion, the next step is to set vision and mission statements to serve as a reminder and roadmap for your organization.

  3. Choose your board of directors/members

    Select people with the same vision and who have the different skills needed to make the organization successful.

  4. Register

    After establishing your objectives and finding your dream team, it’s time to make things official by registering your N.G.O.

  5. Spread the word

    Now that you’re on the move, make sure to spread the word about your cause to attract like-minded people who will help your N.G.O. achieve its goals.

Why World NGO Day is Important

  1. It’s an opportunity to honor N.G.O.s

    This holiday provides the chance to recognize the altruistic individuals that contribute to the success of N.G.O.s worldwide. From founders to employees and volunteers to regular supporters, we have the opportunity to show our support.

  2. It creates awareness

    There are so many worthy causes that are often overlooked. World NGO Day provides an opportunity to shine a light on those causes, especially those that are humanitarian.

  3. It’s inspirational

    This special day not only creates awareness but also encourages others to become involved. Whether it be through fundraising or volunteering.

World NGO Day dates

YearDateDay
2023February 27Monday
2024February 27Tuesday
2025February 27Thursday
2026February 27Friday
2027February 27Saturday

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