The volunteers usually make up the staff in NGO, however it is not always the case and therefore not all the people working for NGO are volunteers. Also, volunteer do not always work in NGO for purely altruistic reasons. In fact, working in an NGO offer the immediate advantages for themselves and the people served including their experience, contacts and skills. Working in a NGO requires you to visit the developing countries and this type of personnel is employed for satisfying a donor who may want to see the funded project to be managed by people from industrialized country. The expertise of these employees is usually compensated by various factors such as the cost of foreigners.
It happens that these employees do not possess grass root connections in the country where they are sent and their local expertise is undervalued. The NGO sector is also major employer in terms of numbers.
The NGOs usually operates by the fund received by them and some of the larger NGOs usually have annual budget in the millions or billions of dollars. The funding of such large budgets requires considerable fundraising efforts on the part of NGOs. Some of the major sources of NGO funding include the sale of goods and services, membership dues, and grants from international institutions and private donations. There are various EU-grants which offer funds accessible to NGOs.
The term “non-governmental organization” usually points towards the independence from governments. However, a large number of NGOs usually rely heavily on governments for their funding. For example, the British government and the EU donated about 25% of US$162 million income of the Oxfam (famine-relief organization) in 1998. Also, the American government had donated US$55 million to the Christian relief and development organization in 1998. In fact one of the Nobel Prize Winner Médecins Sans Frontières receives up to 46% of his income from various government sources.