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NGO vs Charity: What's the difference?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by ian60, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. ian60

    ian60 New commenter

    I used to work for an NGO (in South Africa) and was recently asked the difference between that and a charity.

    I could not come up with any reasonable answer.

    Can anyone explain to me?
     
  2. ian60

    ian60 New commenter

    I used to work for an NGO (in South Africa) and was recently asked the difference between that and a charity.

    I could not come up with any reasonable answer.

    Can anyone explain to me?
     
  3. NGOs are not registered charities. Only those bodies registered with the Charity Commission can call themselves charities
     
  4. In practical terms it makes not a huge amount of difference apart from certain tax advantages to being a charity, offset by a greater degree of oversight into their affairs and the need to lodge their annual accounts with the Commission
     
  5. ian60

    ian60 New commenter

    Is this why bodies can be charities in the UK (such as Oxfam and VSO) and yet NGO's in other countries?
     
  6. yes - when operating internationally they cannot always claim official charitable status for their operations in other countries, especially when it is a permanent presence in that country.
     
  7. ian60

    ian60 New commenter

    I also have this feeling that NGO's 'bring in' so called experts from outside the environment to show people what to do.

    Is this unfair?
     
  8. Charities do that as well
     
  9. ian60

    ian60 New commenter

    Thanks very much packerguy, your posts have been very helpful.

    It does seem like a grey area to someone as simple as me.

    When I worked in South Africa, the funding for the NGO was from foreign aid agencies that did not want to fund the apartheid govt. But then the govt became democratic... No more funding.

    Hence a lot of NGO's going bankrupt (and jobs lost as well)
     
  10. sad but hopefully the work done by the NGOs is now being done by governmental agencies
     
  11. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    You should ask my brother,he's just published a book all about NGOs.It's in French,of course.
     
  12. ian60

    ian60 New commenter

    It's true, I should ask your brother, catmother

    That is if I could fit more than 3 words of French together in the correct order. (to say nothing of pronunciation)

    packerguy: I wonder how much of the 'expertise' within the NGO world was sucked up by the govt?

    But that's another question.

    Thanks again for clearing things up for me.
     

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