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Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are charitable organizations that are customarily established for different purposes, usually with the common or uniting factor of making a positive difference in some manner. Most NGOs are small, and their level of impact is limited in scope. The purpose of NGO networking is related to its usefulness as a vehicle for NGOs to interact with other organizations in the same field in order to achieve various results. NGO networking can take many forms. It could occur through the attendance of international NGO-related conferences, NGO workshops or other related seminars, or on a more local level.
When NGOs choose their area or areas of concentration, they might choose to interact with other NGOs operating in the same environment in order to increase their influence. For instance, an NGO that is concerned with the reduction of infant mortality in a specific area might network with other NGOs in a similar field. Assuming the NGO is concerned with the welfare of infants in a small village in China, it could utilize networking to find another NGO that could contribute to its cause. An example of this might be an NGO that offers free medical services to impoverished communities. In this manner, the first NGO has utilized NGO networking to further its cause of reducing infant mortality.
NGO networking could mean attending meetings and other types of events aimed at educating the various NGOs about the opportunities that they might not have known about without such interactions. For example, the seminars might educate the NGO representatives about opportunities for obtaining sponsorship, donations or governmental assistance. Governmental assistance might be through financial endowments or other types of concessions aimed at encouraging or supplementing their efforts. In this sense, one of the benefits derived from attending these meetings is gaining beneficial information and exchanging the same with other NGOs.
Since no single NGO covers every single need, interacting with others through NGO networking will allow the various organizations to understand how others operate. This includes the manner in which other NGOs run their organizations and the corporate culture they have in place. It is particularly important considering the fact that NGOs are also businesses that must be treated as such if they are to succeed. NGOs must develop a business strategy, part of which will include a study of the business environment, including an analysis of other similar organizations within the same field. Such analysis may be achieved through attending or participating in NGO networking.