A non-governmental organization (NGO) is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations (UN), and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are not conventional for-profit business. In the cases in which NGOs are funded totally or partially by governments, the NGO maintains its non-governmental status by excluding government representatives from membership in the organization. The term is usually applied only to organizations that pursue some wider social aim that has political aspects, but that are not overtly political organizations such as political parties. Unlike the term "intergovernmental organization", the term "non-governmental organization" has no generally agreed legal definition. In many jurisdictions, these types of organization are called "civil society organizations" or referred to by other names.
More from Wikipedia