Who finances the NGO sector (or: whose interests does it serve)?

The question about who finances the NGOs is very important, because it also brings us to the answers to other questions, such as: whose interests do they serve, which are their real goals and what is their role in society. The question about the financing of the NGOs also undermines the general opinion about the independence and the non-governmental character of the NGO sector.

The two main financial supporters of the NGO sector on a global scale are the corporations and the governments. A smaller amount of the funds also comes from religious organizations, mainly Christian, Muslim and Jewish, which, much like the state and the capitalists, also do that in order to strengthen their domination.

On a global scale, almost every corporation that you’ve heard of have formed their own foundation to finance the NGO sector: from Microsoft, Monsanto, Nike, Bosch, Western Union, Ford, Toyota, Intel, all the way to Starbucks. If the corporation does not have a grantmaking foundation, then its filthy rich owners certainly do, such as billionaires Bill Gates, George Soros, Rockefeller brothers, or even the queen of England. Being a “philanthropist” has become a part of the image of every ultra-rich capitalist, who we assume probably hopes that the exploited workers all over the world will want to hang him less if they knew that he threw a few dollars for the poor in Africa.

When corporations finance projects for helping the poor, the children, the sick and other vulnerable groups, or rather for protecting the environment, they do that in order to build an image of caring and responsible companies and use that image to encourage people to buy more from them and increase their profits. People, obviously, don’t mind the fact that, Apple, for example, exploits million and a half workers in the sweatshops throughout Asia, making them work up to 14 hour shifts and paying them a yearly salary that barely equals the price of a single iPhone; but that’s OK, because, obviously, they’re a caring company because they’ve once donated a few thousand vaccines for malaria.

What people also don’t seem to grasp is that with this short-term help, the corporations only keep the status quo in the undeveloped regions of the world, making them dependent on western help (which might and might not come this year, and certainly won’t get to all in need), while the imperialist forces continue to rob their resources, leaving them unable for any kind of development. By encouraging mercy in the form of charity and philanthropy, the NGO sector undermines the struggle for radical changes which might put an end to the causes of poverty, hunger, sickness, illiteracy and all the other misfortunes whose victims would not have to wait for the mercy and the occasional help by the western charity organizations.

Corporations don’t finance only NGO projects surrounding the “care for the community”, but they invest even more in spreading the “political” NGO sector, through which they can impose their own agendas for sustaining the status quo of the society as it is. Governments also mostly direct their funds towards this kind of NGOs, and in the case of Macedonia, a great amount of those funds serve the mass propaganda for entering the EU and NATO. These funds, along with the rest, all serve the top goal of Macedonia: to develop into a capitalist state of the western type.