top of page

How are the Non-Governmental Organizations funded?

NGOs rely on a variety of sources for their operation costs, salaries and other costs.

The funds can be defined in several ways. Let's dive into it!

Welcome to another finance, business, marketing and general culture topic.

The funds can be membership dues, membership fees, sales of goods, sales of services, private sector contributions, grants and donations. Is that sounds to complicated? No problem we will learn everything together.

Funding #1 - Grants (Operational, structural etc.)

Normally, this is the first thing that we should aim for. Grant funding agencies who provide funding for non-profit organizations are the constant topics of research for nonprofits. Applying for grants can be time-consuming and even stressful especially when your application is being denied.

However, to continually fund many of their projects, grants are usually the biggest contributors. Apart from being the biggest contributors, applying for a grant, even in the event of rejection, really helps non-profits grow as an organization.

The time dedicated to planning the grant structure or organizing proposals can only help implement them more surely, whether the NGOs receive grants or not.

Funding #2 - Cash Donations

One of the easiest ways to acquire funds would be through the donations some individuals or organizations give in cash.

Sometimes, during an event, or even in the NGOs office, interested parties would hand over their donations. Although this is an effective and relatively easy way to find capital, most nonprofits don't and shouldn't really rely on this method.

Although they're not relied upon, cash donations are still highly anticipated by non-profits as it often provides a huge relief to struggling organizations.

"Never underestimate your power to change yourself and Never overestimate your power to change others."

Non-Governmental Organizations can accept donations from private individuals, for-profit companies, charitable foundations, and governments, whether local, state, federal, or even foreign. As nonprofit entities, they also can charge membership dues and sell goods and services.

Funding #3 - Membership Dues - Membership Fees

Because acquiring grants on a regular basis can be challenging sometimes, biggest NGOs have formed memberships with large corporations who in turn will need to pay a certain fee known as their membership dues.

These members are not only beneficial because of the dues they pay, as they're also often partner institutions for many projects.

Members also help the NGO become more known to the public through their partnership with big corporations, and in effect will give NGOs the capacity to receive more donations as well.

If the NGO has different level of collaborations such as international, national and local, this membership structure can vary based on their current structure.

The membership fee must make NGO members having their benefits from the NGO in certain level. Otherwise this won't be a sustainable funding method.

Funding #4 - Crowdfunding

In recent years, NGOs have been using social media as a form of raising funds. Websites like GoFundMe have gained popularity where users can read about NGOs, their advocacies, and projects. Through that, they can donate funds through the internet. Of all the examples given for fundraising campaigns, the use of social media is the method used by majority given that it comes with little to no cost to the organization, and yet can deliver effective results.

Funding #5 - Product and Service charges

Although this doesn’t make sense for all nonprofits, many Nonprofits including museums and social clubs cover a portion of their costs by charging the people benefiting from their service a small fee, either for the service itself or for any food or items they purchase while there.

This funding source can provide a steady stream of income since you can often use trends from previous years to predict how many people will be coming through your doors in any given month. You can even boost your income from this revenue stream by adding an online store to your organization’s website or social media channels.

Start securing funding for your nonprofit today!

One of the best ways to secure funding for your nonprofit is to implement marketing-savvy nonprofit funding strategies. It’s easier to thoughtfully plan how to fund your organization before you run into money problems than to try to come up with funding on the fly if a source falls through or an unexpected expense crops up.

Get started today by enabling online donations on your organization’s website. Then, you can brainstorm marketing and fundraising ideas and begin putting together a funding calendar to get you through the entire year.

Which funding method is your favourite ?

  • Grants

  • Cash Donations

  • Membership Dues

  • Crowdfunding

Thank you for your time and attention for the topic, see you at the next ones!

Have you checked my blog post called "The Art of Negotiation" ?

Ayberk Yavuz, February 2023

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page