How Do I Join an NGO?

Laura M. Sands

Join an NGO by first identifying the non-governmental organization you would like to be involved in. Each not-for-profit organization represents a specific cause and some organizations represent multiple causes. It is also important to have an idea of the extent by which you'd like to become involved, as there are likely multiple opportunities open to you. After deciding which one you would like to become more closely involved in, contact the independent organization to inquire about the specific process involved in joining.

Each not-for-profit organization represents a specific cause and some organizations represent multiple causes.
Each not-for-profit organization represents a specific cause and some organizations represent multiple causes.

It is likely that you may be able to join an NGO by making a donation or by simply completing a member application. Some social organizations and civil society organizations allow you to participate in joining by submitting your information or a donation over the telephone or online. You may also be available to apply your skills as a volunteer when you join an NGO, in which case a face-to-face meeting with one or more representatives of an organization may be necessary.

NGOs focus on specific causes, such as the rights of people who are incarcerated.
NGOs focus on specific causes, such as the rights of people who are incarcerated.

Prior to making the decision to join an NGO, take your time in researching the organization's background, reputation and goals. Familiarize yourself with its mission statement and consider how your participation with the organization aligns with that mission. If you are planning to join an NGO as a volunteer, take time to carefully assess your skills and determine whether or not you can make the time commitment necessary to perform those duties.

Someone who joins an NGO typically is passionate about the organization's cause.
Someone who joins an NGO typically is passionate about the organization's cause.

When making an effort to join an NGO, you may consider submitting a resume, particularly if your skills are ones that can be useful in an area not mentioned on a membership application. In addition to introducing your skills via a resume or application, introducing yourself to key staff members and volunteers of an organization is important if you plan to work in a hands-on capacity. Even if you are joining by making a monetary contribution, be sure to ask about other ways in which you can raise awareness of the organization's cause as well as help the organization gain additional support.

Volunteering is a great way to join an NGO.
Volunteering is a great way to join an NGO.

As you engage in the application process to join an NGO whether by volunteering or making a charitable donation, ask how long your initial membership will last. In some instances, membership must be renewed by making another contribution or by volunteering a set number of hours. As you apply to join an NGO, also be sure to inquire about special events that you may be able to become involved with in the future.

People who join an NGO typically have a passion for certain causes.
People who join an NGO typically have a passion for certain causes.
Finding the right NGO often includes examining which kind of people it helps.
Finding the right NGO often includes examining which kind of people it helps.
Someone who has a history of donating time and goods to volunteer organizations might choose to pursue work with an NGO.
Someone who has a history of donating time and goods to volunteer organizations might choose to pursue work with an NGO.

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