This is the "Getting Started" page of the "Non-governmental Organizations" guide.
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Non-governmental Organizations   Tags: resourceguide  

Last Updated: Jun 6, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
Getting Started Print Page

What is an NGO?

A Non-governmental organization (NGO) is a voluntary group of individuals or organizations, usually not affiliated with any government, that is formed to provide services or to advocate a public policy. Although some NGOs are for-profit corporations, the vast majority are nonprofit organizations.



Yearbook of international organizations - JX1904 .A42

Latest edition at Policy Sciences & Economics Library Reference

Older editions at Evans Library


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Search Engines


This Non-governmental Organizations search engine was developed by David Oldenkamp at Indiana University and James Jacobs at Stanford.



NGO Directories

UN NGO Database - Department of Economic and Social Affairs - 3,400 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Consultative status with ECOSOC gives civil society access to nearly all intergovernmental processes at the UN dealing with economic and social development, gender issues, sustainable development, small arms, and human rights.

World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations - The World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO) is an international organization uniting NGOs worldwide in the cause of advancing peace and global well being.

UNESCO Database of Non-Governmental Organizations - Provides searchable profiles and contact information of the NGOs affiliated with UNESCO.

Registry of Civil Society Organizations within the Organization of American States

Directory of Development Organizations - Over 47,000 organizations of all kinds listed by region and country. One of the most extensive compilation of NGO country directories.

Global Policy Forum: NGOs - Guide for NGOs in the fields of international affairs, business, social and economic justice, and other topics.

Idealist.Org - A searchable directory of over 52,000 organizations by name, mission, country of focus, and more.

InterAction - Alliance of US-based international development and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations, with links to more than 150 member organizations.

AidData - Browse by country and other criteria in order to find development projects NGOs and IGOs are funding in various nations.

NGO Publications Online

  • Eldis
    Contains over 26,000 summarized documents from approximately 7,500 economic and social development organizations worldwide.
  • CGS Policy Archive
    Provides full-text documents produced by "think tanks" (non-profit research organizations) in the United States.
  • Archive-It
    Archive of born-digital content that includes some NGOs.

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