I’m sure you’ve heard of the word “NGO” but what exactly does it mean and how is it different from a non-profit? An NGO, or nongovernmental organization, is an organization that is not controlled by any single state. It’s important to note that they are not controlled by a government or political party either.
Instead, NGOs operate independently in order to help address social issues worldwide such as poverty and education. On the other hand, a non-profit (or 501c3) is an organization that donates money to charities for public benefit with tax incentives. The main difference between these two organizations involves their structure, goals and funding sources.
Pakistan NGOs Directory & Guide
This website is a comprehensive directory of all the major NGOs and NPOs working in Pakistan. You will find list of NGOs categorized according to area or work as well as geographical locations.
Introduction to NGO Social sector in Pakistan
Pakistan is a country with a rapidly growing population, most of which lives below the poverty line. Neglect of the lower cadres of population by consecutive governments in pakistan gave rise to the need of alternate Organizations addressing the core issues of illiteracy, health problems and many others faced by the ‘have nots’.
These bodies and Organizations filling the human development needs gap are commnoly known as NGOs – Non- governmental Organizations OR more recently as NPOs- Non-Profit organisations.
Although the number of registered NGOs in Pakistan runs in thousands, those that are actually making worthwile contributions are few hundreds. In this website, we have made an effort to compile a list of the most prominent NGOs in Pakistan.
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Brief History of NGO Sector
Philanthropy has been a major part of Pakistani culture since the beginning. Historically, traditional businessmen have been contributing to community development projects. The general public also has a giving nature and has been assisting the poor under both humanitarian as well as religious inspirations. The formal NGO sector however developed in the past couple of decades. Since the 80s the Non-profit NGO sector has witnessed considerable activity and growth in Pakistan.
Although the government of Pakistan does not provide guidelines or directly monitor NGO activities, it is mandatory to register the NGO with the government. Registration is generally under ‘Societies Registration Act of 1860’ OR Voluntary social welfare agencies ordinance 1961.
The guidelines for NGO operations and activities are generally provided by the Donors / Funding agencies. Quality control audits are also performed by the donors.
NGO Funding in Pakistan
Even though the work done by the NGOs is for the development and social uplift of local communities, there is almost no support provided by the federal or local governments. Almost all of the funding is from international donor agencies. Those include USAID, UN bodies, and many others a list of which is also available on this site.
The funds are transferred using donors only through banking or other legal channels. A third-party audit is also conducted on the use of those funds by NGOs in Pakistan. Although there are relaxations in tax procedures for NGOs, contrary to popular belief, NGOs are not fully exempt from income tax in Pakistan.
NGO Selection for Grants
Grants are generally provided on a project basis. Donors publish advertisements calling for Proposals. In response to that NGOs submit Project proposals, their profiles, financial feasibility studies, and many other requirements. NGOs/ NPOs are shortlisted and selected based on their past performances, available infrastructure, and professional competencies of staff and board members.