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Despite the crise, the Spanish NGOs are doing well

The private aid and obtaining funds for NGOs are stable and even increased in 2009 despite the crisis. We also note that people are more and more involved in volunteerings. Indeed, the reputation of NGO is sound to: a recent study by the League of NGO for development cooperation has revealed that 86% of Spaniards were convinced of the efficiency and capacity of these associations to improve their beneficiaries' lives.

The facts and figures for this article came from the Guide about NGO published by the Eroski Association of Consumer, where more than 1000 non-profit organizations informations are collected every year. Among others, we wanted to emphasize the role of Vols - Voluntariat Solidari, one of our beneficiaries. Without being one of the largest organizations highlighted in the guide, Vols is part of the main and most typical NGO of the social sector in Spain.

Vols was established in 1991 and is incorporated as a nonprofit organization for young and child cooperation and solidarity in developing countries. Its first objective is to promote social volunteerism by encouraging collaboration between young Catalans in projects taking place in the South. Its second objective is to improve, through education, the living conditions of disadvantaged people. The NGO receives 82% of private donations and works with over 300 volunteers.

In general, NGOs rely on volunteers willing to commit to a cause. More than one million of them supporting NGOs in bringing their skills and free time. There is now a Universal Declaration on Volunteering to remember its core values. "The volunteer is usually manifested in an action and an organized movement in an association", "he helps to imporve the quality of life ans create a more united world" or "he addresses the major challenges of society and seeks to build a more just and peaceful world" are some excerpts from the statement.
Many rules exist and they also implement NGOs, above all after the Second World War, where they were created in great numbers.

The United Nations offically recognized NGO status in 1945 and request an annual report to facilitate external vigilance and ensure transparency policy. The objective of an NGO is to promote social action trhough development projects in cooperation with volunteers. Mostly, their favourite areas education, solidarity, environment and North-South relations. In Spain, there are over then 3000 ONGs and works with approximately 300 organizations worldwide.

Besides the volunteers and social initiatives, the guide emphasizes the organization of NGOs and their financing. This is something that has always concerned donors - more than 4.5 million Spaniards - to know how their money was used.

The financial management depends on organizations. Only 35% of NGOs are totally dependent on government subsidies while 65% of them derive their main income from private donations. They include donations (the majority), but also the management of charity events and product sales. For NGOs such as Amnesty International (97% of private income) or Médecins sans frontières (92%) private financing plays a major role.

But this does not mean that the State does not help NGOs. There is help and sometimes they are essential to the existence of certain structures, including foundations. For instance, received grants form the Generalitat de Catalonia and the Balearic Islands Government.

Thus, the chapter on financial management of NGOs varies according to the structures and each has its own fund management. Moreover, a notable point is to remember about the use of funds: most NGOs devote a significant portion of their resources to develop projects and missions. Over 50% of them spend 80% of their income to the organization's activities. The remainder is used for internal management and administrative entity such as salaries, supplies, rent costs… often incompressible.

As NGOs and other entities, nonprofit acquires a significant role over time. The transparency of accounts and mission results are important critera for donors. All these condition have encouraged a social consciousness rising sharply in recent years and a development financing programs to national, regional, and local levels. Spanish cooperation and solidarity became stronger form experiences. The crisis has not been so detrimental to the NGOs and the social Spanish sector.

More about: ONG , ong , volonteer , beneficiary
Margot Berg
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