Gone are the days of people with a philanthropic bent, the kinds who would do Khadhi Kurtas carry a jute bag and Knock on doors of prospective donors asking for donation. Today, the NGO (non-governmental organization) sector, with increasing professionalism, enhanced career growth opportunities and its transformation into a structured industry with clear fundamentals (read: up-liftment of the society) has turned into a hot spot for career aspirants.
Experts say that the development / NGO sector, today, is in a transition phase. It is no longer unorganized. NGO are ensuring transparency, accountability and good governance. Due to investments by international organizations in India and proactive participation of international donors, NGOs are becoming more professional and structured. Today, the development sector is at par with any other customer service industry. It is helping bridge the gap between supply (resources) and need (social issues). Even the donors have become more responsible, wise and proactive. The donor today is an investor and not a mere giver.
Manager communications, CRY who has been a correspondent with a leading national news channel before moving in as a communication manager with CRY says that using the same professional skills that were earlier being used only to strengthen a certain company’s bottom line are being used to make the world a better place for children and this, for her, is rewarding enough to make it a viable career. Today Zutshi is working alongside a team of professionals who previously held jobs in highly respected corporate firms and quit in pursuit of helping children in need. Because of the fund flow and also pressure to brings results as well as pressure form donors, there is now a more scientific and established methodology to solve issues and problems in the social work industry. A lot of emphasis is placed on planning and monitoring, says experts involved in the development industry. A NGO that work towards the empowerment of the poor who is one of the expert, the practices and methods of the business enterprises are applied fully in social work, except for not making profit. Mere norms are no more important; written rules defining financial management, HR investment policy, project planning and monitoring and so on are important.
Why a career in this industry is a lucrative move:
1) There is good salary today
2) There is a large opportunity to express oneself through work, workshops, seminars and trainings and
3) There is lot of variation in the type of work you want to pursue – so if you want to work directly on the ground or if you want to play a supportive role in planning and monitoring or work in a donor agency, you can.
But unlike the other sectors that offer good pay packages, ensure career growth and provide several opportunities to hone one’s skills, does this sector do any of that? Majority of the organizations are non patriarchal, so the growth prospects of an individual are only limited by the talent you showcase at work. The remuneration also depends on the organization with which you are working as a lot of them now pay according to the set industry standards. Most NGOs do offer better pay packages, especially those NGOs working in the human sector. They offer their staff medical, retirement and insurance benefits. Therefore, if you have the willingness to contribute towards the betterment of the society, this sector will provide you a lot of opportunities and much more.
Myth 1: it is all about volunteering. Fact: The sector is getting organized and people working here are true professionals
Myth 2: NGOs are money minting agencies. Fact: NGOs have set examples that they are transparent and adhere to good governance policies.
Myth 3: They are meant for retired people. Fact: Today. The policies in NGOs are much structured and in place. Many youngsters are joining the sector.
Myth 4: Many people think the association will help them get only a tax exemption certificate. Fact: It is high time people realize their Individual Social Responsibility (ISR), stand up and contribute in the development process.