NGO Manager

Entering a career that you will actually enjoy is one of the key elements of a happy, productive life. It can be hard to determine exactly what job is right for you, however, especially with so many different ones available today. Becoming an NGO Manager/Director could be exactly what you’re looking for. This field allows you to assume a leadership role in the non-government sector and could provide excellent pay, good opportunities for your future, and great personal reward.

If you’re thinking of entering the NGO field as a manager or director, you’ll likely want to find out more about what it has to offer. Keep reading to learn more about this great career.

What Is an NGO Manager/Director?

An NGO manager or director is someone in a management or leadership position in a non-government organization. They will take on the same type of roles that those in a government agency would have, taking care of various responsibilities that directly affect the future of the company. In most instances this position refers to those working in volunteer organizations, non-profit institutions, and other areas that help the public well-being. Despite the name, those who are qualified for positions in the NGO sector may also find positions in state and federal government agencies as well. Potential areas that may be the focus of an NGO include:

  • Rural or Urban Development
  • Rural Health
  • Family Planning
  • Drug and Substance Abuse organizations
  • Child Abuse Prevention
  • AIDS Awareness
  • And more

There are numerous organizations committed to confronting these and other health and well-being issues, and as such there are numerous job opportunities available for those entering the field.

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Taking on a management or leadership level position can be challenging, and as a result it’s important that those considering a career as an NGO manager or director take the time to assess their own skills. A few areas stand out in terms of personal characteristics or skillsets, and the following areas are important.

  • Good Team Management Skills – NGO managers oversee large groups of people, and as a result they need to have the ability to manage teams with relative ease.
  • Strong Negotiation Skills – Whether it’s discussions with another agency, a government group, or a business that needs to be allied with you, being able to negotiate with others is an important aspect of the job.
  • Good Crisis Management Abilities – Being able to deal with sudden situations and various emergencies is important, as is working well under stress. Strong crisis management skills are a must for this position.

Nature of the Work

Those entering the field of NGO management will usually spend a good bit of time gathering information, analyzing data and information, and determining what areas of a business needs to be focused on. Those in the field will usually be responsible for developing an overall vision for the company and then leading that company towards its goals.

An NGO manager or director will gather their data and then determine which areas of focus a company needs to spend time improving on. They will likely spend a lot of time in meetings with those on the staff as well as others in the field in order to better improve the future of the company. The manager will usually consult with coordinators, assistants, and other professional officers in order to better determine how to guide the company over the future.

Other tasks that are involved is the management and allocation of resources, implementing various procedures that encourage strong performance within the field, paying attention to community needs and issues, setting up fundraising activities, and much more.

Education and Training

Those looking to enter the profession of NGO management will need to begin with an MBA or similar degree. Course content will include a variety of different things including behavioral science, financial management, marketing, organizational behavior, and much more.

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In general, a degree in management will be the primary entry point into the field although certain specializations may exist that help facilitate better entry. Additionally, a strong background in social work is recommended and many who enter the field actually possess a master’s degree or a PhD in the social work field with a concentration in management.


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