NGOs, NGDOs and CBOs

An NGO is ... A "non-governmental organization is an independent, flexible, democratic,secular, non-profit people's organization tht usually works for and/or assists in the empowerment of economically and socially marginalized groups.

NGOs or Non-Governmental Organizations may be described in different ways depending on their characteristics, which has led to a number of acrinyms assocated with NGOs.

Many of the terms listed below represent a effort on the part of NGOs to define themselves in terms of their organizational and operational framework. They are described based on a number of criteria such as:

  • the entity that was responsible for its setting up
  • the working system that it operates under
  • the target audience for its activities
  • its financial status

Acronym Expansion Explanation
BINGO Business and Industry NGO A non governmental organization set up by business or industry groups to represent their collective interests in other fora or in interaction with other stakeholders.
BONGO Business Organized NGO A non governmental organization set up by business or industry groups, usually to take collective action, or represent their interests with other stakeholders, orprovide services for the groups members.
CBO Community Based Organization An NGO that is based in, and usually limited to, the specific community where it was set up. It serves to satisfy the needs of the community.
Community Organized Non-governmental Organization An NGO set up by a community but, unlike a CBO, may have mandates that go beyond the community. For example, it may represent the community in larger fora, such as city-wide activities or urban hearings.
DONGO Donor Organized Non-governmental Organization An NGO set up by a donor agency to carry out specific activities. Such NGOs are commonly limited i their activity to a particular country. For example, an European donor organization may set up a DONGO in Philippines to look after its interests there. Such DONGOs are different from country offices that may be located in the same country.
ENGO Environmental NGO This is an NGO that works on environmwntal issues. This kis an example of many such NGO acronyms that are based on the work that they do.
GONGO Government Organized Non-Governmental Organization An NGO set up by a local or sub-national/national government agency to nprovide public services. Also sometimes called a 'semi-public' institution, such NGOs receive funds from government entities and provide, for example, support for educational institutions, health centers, or entrepreneural training
NGO Non-Governmental Organizations The original acrinym - represented by what it is not: It does not belong to the government, it does not make a profit, or it is not associated with controlled by special interests.
NGDO Non-Governmental Development Organization This term is sometimes used to describe an NGO that works exclusively on developmental issues. Such a decription however, covers practically all NGOs!
NPO Non-profit Organizations NGOs are sometimes described as "non-profits" in the sense that,unlike a business, it is not set up to make a profit. While it may generate funds to cover its costs, including salaries of staff members or office management, any extra funds usually have to be carried over to the next year for accounting. This is mostly mandated by laws of a country that impact on NPOs.
PDO Private Development Organization In sime countries, an NGO may be called a "private organization" any entity that is not a public or governmental. In this case, a private organization that is set up for developmental purposes.
PSO Public Service Organization A PSO is essentially a PDO that is set up to provide public services fir local communities and needs.
PVO Private Voluntary Organization A PSO is another acronym that describes a PDO that carries out its work through volunteers.
QANGO Quasi Non-governmental Organization A QUANGO, as the name suggests is a GONGO that is controlled and funded by the parent governmental entity that set it up.
VA/VO Voluntary Agency/Organization Same as a PVO

Return to the NGO Page

Comments and suggestions:
Hari Srinivas -