Make friends with people and organizations doing similar work so that you can learn from their successes and mistakes.
Networking also helps you to know when to team up and when to divide your efforts for maximum effectiveness. Be realistic about how much time you want to give to your NGO.
Taking on projects beyond your comfortable limits won’t yield much benefit in the long run.
Set clear and achievable goals for yourself and the NGO.
“Ending world hunger” is a great goal and looks good on your NGO’s t-shirt, but it’s not a problem you can seriously hope to solve. Positive change usually comes from picking something small, doing it well and following through.
— Lao Tsu Becoming obsolete should be the fundamental goal of all NGOs.
You must constantly strive to work yourself out of a job. In terms of your personal involvement, you should build the NGO to the point where it can function independently of your leadership.
There’s no need to turn down the volume of your enthusiasm, but before starting your own NGO, consider joining one that does similar work for a while.
If starting your own NGO really is right for you, the experience of working for an established NGO will only strengthen your resolve and direct your passion.
The quality of the work an NGO does and the amount of its funding are often inversely related.
That is to say, the NGOs with less money do better work per hour and dollar spent. Filing for 501c (official non profit) status is a pain and involves costly lawyer fees. Get an established NGO to accept you under its umbrella.
A good example of this attitude in action is the Starfish NGO of Cambodia.