And the traditional definitions of jobs, career paths, and success are changing.
Young Indians today want to build their careers around missions, not just profits. More and more people want to make a positive influence on society and the planet through their jobs and their work.
They wish to change things for the better, do something that has a purpose bigger than making money, and create a real impact rather than simply doing their 9-to-5 jobs – clocking in and clocking out.
What is an NGO? And why work for an NGO?
And that’s where NGOs come into the picture.
NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) work to promote social or political change and play a critical role in developing society, improving communities, and promoting citizen participation.
Their primary purpose is to defend or promote a specific cause, which they do with activities that raise awareness, knowledge, and acceptance of the cause.
Nowadays, they’re also a great place to work for with a social purpose, great work environments, and employee-friendly policies.
If you’re looking for an organization where you could do some meaningful work, make a positive contribution to the growth and development of the society, then you should definitely consider working for an NGO.
Working for an NGO will change the way you define and pursue objectives in your life. It’ll also redefine your perspectives on life, the world, and what truly matters.
What does it take to work for an NGO in India?
So you’ve decided to work for an NGO.
But before we talk about the best NGOs in India to work for, let’s see what it takes to work for an NGO.
Firstly, you should understand that working for an NGO isn’t easy. If it were, everybody would be doing it.
However, it gives you a feeling of satisfaction that few other jobs can give you. You see that you can help to make the world a little bit of a better place – even it is only for a few people at a time.
Your life would be full of challenges and problems which sometimes might make you feel desperate, hopeless, and helpless. At such times, you should remember the reason why you care about the cause, and try to stay committed to it.
You should be proactive, resourceful, driven, and a self-starter. Often, NGOs are understaffed, but the workload and expectations remain high.
You should be able to hit the ground running, wearing multiple hats and focused on finding solutions (not problems).
The Best NGOs in India to Work For
So you’ve got what it takes to work for an NGO?
Here are some of the best NGOs to work for in India.
These are NGOs for education, children, women, the disabled, the elderly, unemployment, community development.
Cause: Child and youth empowerment
Cities: Headquartered at Gurgaon; programmes in villages all over India
How does Bharti Foundation work?
Bharti Foundation, the social initiative set up by Bharti Enterprises, has several programmes to help underprivileged children and young people of India realize their potential.
Their flagship initiative, called Satya Bharti School Program, provides free quality education to children in rural areas, with a special focus on the girl child. Their Satya Bharati Quality Support Program aims to improve the overall schooling experience of children.
Source: Bharti Foundation
Some of their projects include midday meals, setting up libraries and learning centres, sanitation facilities, etc.
Their programmes involve not only the students, but also their parents, teachers and communities to develop educated, responsible, and self-reliant citizens of tomorrow.
How to get involved with Bharti Foundation?
You could get involved by making donations or volunteering with their programmes. Just write to them at ACT.BhartiFoundation@BhartiFoundation.org.
They offer a positive work environment with employee-friendly HR policies and plenty of room for career growth. They’re also known to be one of the preferred employers in the social development sector.
If you wish to pursue a career with them, you can apply for a job by sending your CV to email@example.com.
Causes: Education, environment, animals, community welfare
Cities: Headquartered at Chennai; programmes in 14 cities
How does Bhumi work?
Bhumi is one of India’s largest independent youth volunteer non-profit organisations. It works on several causes aimed at building a more influential, equal and socially conscious society.
They have two programmes called Ignite and Catalyse.
Ignite is Bhumi’s supplementary education programme for underprivileged children imparting vital life skills.
Catalyse consists of civic initiatives that engage volunteers in causes like animal welfare, health, environment etc.
How to get involved with Bhumi?
You can volunteer, take up an internship, be a campus ambassador, or work with them. You can volunteer as a teacher for a minimum of two hours every week or on and off for events.
They also have one-off volunteering opportunities. You simply have to fill up a form (http://www.bhumi.ngo/volunteer/) and they’ll get back to you within a couple of weeks.
They offer internships at Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune throughout the year and at other chapters during specific periods. To register, you have to fill up a form (http://www.bhumi.ngo/internships/) and they’ll get back to you on opportunities.
If you wish to pursue a career with them, they have several positions ranging from Teacher to Programme Manager. Check out their vacancies here.
Cities: 180 clinics in 23 Indian states
Source: Global Clubfoot; John Abraham is one of the goodwill ambassadors of clubfoot at CURE International India
How does Cure work?
Every year in India, 50,000 children are born with clubfoot, a congenital deformity where the feet of the infant grows inwardly and makes it difficult to walk. Since 2009, CURE International India Trust (CIIT) has started working towards creating awareness about clubfoot helping eradicate this disability.
CIIT functions on behalf of CURE International, a global Healthcare NGO committed to establishing teaching hospitals, wherever there is a need, and establish speciality programs globally.
How to get involved with Cure?
With the dedication to eradicating clubfoot, Cure International India has several volunteer and internship opportunities. Simply fill in the form here.
They also require young, dynamic, enthusiastic and motivated individuals to work with them and have several job openings from Secretary to the Head of Finance. has several job openings.
If you feel that you fit their job requirements, you can send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cause: Children diagnosed with cancer
How does Cuddles work?
8 out of 10 children fighting cancer lose this battle because of malnutrition.
50,000 children are diagnosed with cancer every year in India, but only 22% of them make it to hospitals for treatment. 80% of them are malnourished at diagnosis.
That’s why Cuddles Foundation exists. Cuddles Foundation is India’s only NGO helping underprivileged children fight cancer with better food and nutrition. Started five years ago in Mumbai, it provides nutrition support to over 18,000 children with cancer in 21 hospitals across 13 cities in India.
How to get involved with Cuddles?
If you’re passionate about this cause, Cuddles has job vacancies available.
They pride themselves in their work culture and promise competitive salaries, medical insurance, flexible hours, maternity benefits and wellness programs to take good care of their employees.
If you’re interested, you should mail your resume to email@example.com.
Cause: Disaster relief, humanitarian aid and community development
Cities: Headquartered in New Delhi; has offices in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai; operates across 22 states in India
How does Goonj work?
Founded in 1999 by Anshu Gupta, Goonj has set up a country-wide network to supply clothes and other underutilized urban materials to rural areas, communities, and disaster-struck areas.
GOONJ started with 67 personal clothes, and today deals with more than 1000 tonnes of material circulated across 21 states of India.
Their supplies range from clothes and school infrastructure materials to sanitary pads.
How to get involved with Goonj?
There are several ways to get involved with Goonj.
You could volunteer with them on their programmes such as Going Green, School to School (working with children), Women’s Dignity and Menstruation, and sharing skills like IT, Corel draw, Photoshop, writing, videography, translation etc.
Simply send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You also intern with them at their offices in Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai. Their internships are on a rolling basis.
Cause: Helping the elderly
Cities: New Delhi
How does HelpAge work?
Founded in 1960, HelpAge strives to improve the quality of life of the disadvantaged elderly citizens in India.
It works on several fronts such as quality healthcare, universal Pension, action against elder abuse. It also advocates for elder-friendly policies and their implementation.
Source: HelpAge India
How to get involved with HelpAge?
HelpAge India has several opportunities for you to volunteer, intern, and even work with them. To volunteer, simply fill up this form and they’ll get back to you.
Their vacancies range from Director of Finance to Medical Consultants. Just check out their careers section here.
Cause: Awareness of abortions, contraceptives, and preventing deaths due to pregnancies
Cities: Headquartered in New Delhi; operates across 12 Indian states
How does IDF work?
IDF works towards preventing and managing unwanted pregnancies. They also create awareness about contraceptives in rural areas and work towards ending deaths and disability due to pregnancies.
How to get involved with IDF?
IDF has several job opportunities. If this is a cause that resonates with you, and you have a medical background, then check out their vacancies here.
8. LEPRA India
Cities: Headquartered at Secunderabad; operates across India
How does LEPRA work?
The world’s highest prevalence of leprosy is in India.
Last year 63% of the world’s 214,000 newly diagnosed leprosy cases were in India and it is estimated that two million more are living with the long-term effects of the disease.
Our society is still heavily prejudiced against people with leprosy.
There are over 20 laws which discriminate against people with leprosy, such as leprosy being grounds for divorce and people visibly disabled by leprosy are prevented from travelling on trains.
Source: LEPRA Society
LEPRA works with the government, national and international organisations to ensure people have access to good quality healthcare and fight against disease, poverty, and prejudice and works across several Indian cities.
How to get involved with LEPRA?
If you wish to get involved, check out their careers section where they have listed several job openings.
Cause: Children in orphanages and shelters
Cities: Headquartered in Bengaluru; operates across 20 Indian states
How does Make A Difference work?
Make A Difference works towards empowering children in orphanages and shelters.
Through education, the organization ensures that these disadvantaged children are economically independent to achieve their dreams.
Their volunteers commit a year and spend between 2 and 10 hours every week mentoring, teaching and interacting with children in order to ensure that they get the support and care they need during childhood.
“Make a Difference is an amazing program designed and run by young adults who recruit other young people, outstanding college students like themselves, to mentor and teach children who haven’t had the same chances in life as many of the mentors have had.”
How to get involved with Make a Difference?
Cause: Rehabilitating acid attack survivors
Cities: New Delhi, Mumbai
How does Make Love Not Scars work?
Every year, India witnesses an estimated 1,000 reported acid attacks. Considering the attacks that go unreported, this number would be a lot higher.
In 2014, Ria Sharma founded Make Love Not Scars to rehabilitate survivors of acid attacks and campaign for an end to the over-the-counter sale of acid.
So far, they’ve rehabilitated over 70 survivors in their rehabilitation centre based in New Delhi.
Source: Make Love Not Scars
How to get involved with Make Love Not Scars?
Make Love Not Scars accepts volunteers as well as interns. Their internships come with a 2-month contract and their volunteer opportunities last for at least a month.
You can also help them out virtually with content and social media. If you wish to work with them, write an email at email@example.com and include your resume.
Cities: Headquartered in Bengaluru; regional offices in Pune, New Delhi, and Kolkata; operates across 20 Indian states
How does Parinaam Foundation work?
“Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn’t commit.”
– Eli Khamarov
Driven by a passion to serve the needy, Parinaam foundation aims to alleviate poverty by providing education, healthcare, and community development to the neediest communities across India.
Source: Parinaam Foundation
Its flagship programme called the Urban Ultra Poor Program aims to tackle poverty for each family over a period of 12 months by offering livelihood development, healthcare support, childcare and education, social support and financial literacy and services.
How to get involved with Parinaam Foundation?
Cause: pre-primary and primary education in rural India
Cities: Mumbai, Delhi
How does Pratham work?
More than 96% of children are enrolled in schools.
Yet, barely 5 out of 10 children in rural India can read and only 2 out of every 10 children in rural India can do basic math.
Pratham Foundation aims to improve the quality of pre-primary and primary education in India. Established in 1995 for providing education to children in the slums of Mumbai, this leading learning organization is one of the top 10 NGOs in India.
Source: Pratham Foundation
How to get involved with Pratham?
Pratham offers several jobs as well as internship opportunities. Just check out their careers page to find something that matches your skill sets.
13. QUEST Alliance
Cause: Youth empowerment through quality education and skills training
Cities: Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi
How does QUEST work?
39% of the Indian labour force is illiterate.
80% youth in India enter the workforce without any formal training.
Quest identifies these training needs, coaching opportunities and career planning opportunities in an effort to tackle unemployment. They provide experiences meant to foster life skills, language literacy, career skills, digital literacy and entrepreneurship.
To this end, they have introduced several programmes such as Anandshala and Master Coach. The organization collaborates with different educators and government institutions to bring about a change.
Source: QUEST Alliance
How to get involved with QUEST?
Cause: Literacy and gender equality in education
Cities: New Delhi; operates across 9 Indian states
How does Room to Read work?
Room to Read aims to transform the lives of millions of children in low-income countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education.
The NGO works in collaboration with local communities, partner organisations, and governments to develop literacy skills, the habit of reading among primary school children, with a special focus on girls and gender equality.
Source: Room to Read
How to get involved with Room to Read?
Operating all across the globe, there are plenty of job opportunities available. Check out their careers page to find out more about vacancies that might interest you.
15. Salaam Bombay
Cause: Empowering children from low-income families
How does Salaam Bombay work?
“In tiny, overcrowded, tin and tarpaulin shanties, dreams die young.”
It is estimated that 9 out of 10 kids drop out of school, 34,500 children are engaged in child labour, and one in every three kids is addicted to tobacco.
Founded in 2002, Salaam Bombay focuses on these ‘at-risk’ children from Mumbai’s slums and ensures that they have a promising future.
Salaam Bombay engages ‘at risk’ children through in-school leadership programmes and after-school sports, arts, media and vocational training academies. These programmes build their self-esteem and give them the confidence to stay in school.
Source: Salaam Bombay
How to get involved with Salaam Bombay?
If you wish to make a change in the life of ‘at risk’ children growing up in Mumbai’s slums, then you can apply for internship or volunteering positions at Salaam Bombay here.
If you wish to pursue a career with them, then check out their vacancies on their careers page.
Cause: Empowering vulnerable communities in India
Cities: Patna, Ranchi, Varanasi
How does Sammaan work?
Founded in 2007, Sammaan Foundation works for the marginalized sections of the society.
Sammaan Foundation works to empower vulnerable communities and improve their lives by providing better healthcare options, opportunities for building a sustainable livelihood, and offering food security and life skills training.
How to get involved with Sammaan?
Sammaan has several internship opportunities in Bihar, Jharkhand, and UP. If you wish to get involved, check out their opportunities here.
17. Sargam Sanstha
Cause: Empowering socially deprived people
How does Sargam Sanstha work?
Sargam Sanstha is working since 1986 for India’s most vulnerable children and people.
It is one of the top 10 NGOs in India. It provides facilities that children, old people, and their families require to move ahead in their lives.
Source: Sargam Sanstha
How to get involved with Sargam Sanstha?
Sargam Sanstha offers several internships and volunteering opportunities. Find out more here.
18. SEWA Rural
Cause: Healthcare in rural and tribal areas of south Gujarat
Cities: Jhagadia in Gujarat
How does SEWA work?
For the past 37 years, SEWA Rural has been working with people from deprived sections, irrespective of gender and age.
SEWA Rural has different programmes to improve the lives of the very poor and underprivileged through a variety of health, education and economic development programmes based on the needs of the community in these aspects while preserving their local culture and beliefs.
Source: SEWA Rural
How to get involved with SEWA?
Currently, SEWA is accepting volunteers. Find out more by visiting their page on getting involved.
19. Smile Foundation
Cause: Empowering children and women living in slums
Cities: Headquartered in New Delhi; operates across 25 Indian states
How does Smile Foundation work?
Smile Foundation was set up in the year 2002 with the aim of bringing positive change in the lives of underprivileged children, their families and communities.
Their welfare projects are in four major areas – child education, healthcare for families, skills training and livelihood for youth, and community engagement through women empowerment.
Their flagship programme called Mission Education focuses on education and nutrition of underprivileged children across 25 states.
Source: Smile Foundation
How to get involved with Smile Foundation?
Cause: Holistic development of orphaned children
Cities: Headquartered in New Delhi; operates across 32 villages in India
How does SOS work?
SOS has set up various villages in India to cater to the need of abandoned and orphaned children.
A village set up with houses is the model of the NGO. Each house has ten children who are looked after by an SOS mother. The SOS villages provide a home-like environment and the long-term support given to every child under our care up to the age of 24.
So far, the NGO has worked with children, communities, disaster struck and disaster-prone areas, giving hope to weary communities and families. It aims to develop children who will grow and become responsible citizens.
Source: SOS Villages India
How to get involved with SOS?
If you would like to work in the organization, shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Also check out their careers page here.
How to find an NGO that’s right for you?
While evaluating which NGO is right for you, you should look for the following:
- Is it a cause that you deeply care for?
- Is the NGO available in the city where you live or would you have to relocate?
- How much time would you require to commit towards your work with the NGO?
- How are the working conditions at the NGO? Do they value their people?
What do NGOs look for while hiring?
NGOs, like companies, are organizations that need skilled talent.
Apart from the core functional skills related to the particular job position, NGOs also look for people who are passionate and can connect well with the cause that the organisation stands for.
Being a jack-of-all-trades comes in handy while working in this sector, as do abilities such as teamwork, critical thinking, problem-solving, and being resourceful.
Also, they look for someone who prioritises the purpose over monetary growth.
Working in an NGO gives you a perspective on things and life in general, that ordinary people can’t normally see.
You are exposed to realities that are quite different from yours. You interact with people in need and your actions directly impact their lives. You’ll have some heartbreaking moments, some hopeless and desperate moments, and hear stories that’ll bring tears to your eyes.
Working at an NGO comes with a great responsibility and requires your commitment, dedication, and willingness to go on even when things look bleak.
To sum up, working at an NGO will let you earn money, help people and work towards the development of the entire country.
And while you’re working in these organizations, you’ll also make a difference in people’s lives. What are you waiting for? Send your CV now!
Also, even though we aren’t exactly an NGO we are a social venture which is driven to help Indian youth like you to be more employable and successful by providing the right kind of learning.
So if you want to work for a social cause and are passionate about education, then you can also reach out to us email@example.com and join us in our mission.
Wondering if you can Earn Money by Doing Social Work? Read to know more!
Why should you do Social Work? We’ve answered that for you!