Role of Non-Profit Organizations and Voluntary Action
Social change refers to collective movements that result in an alteration in the way the society acts and thinks. It is an alteration to the set order of the society as well as to the mechanisms of the society. Social change can also refer to social progress through evolutionary means. Various groups have effected social change in the history of the world. The Civil Rights Movement, Socialist Revolution, and the Women Suffrage Movement are some of the events that have led to positive social reforms across the globe (Haferkamp & Smelser, 1992).
Non-profit organizations have a mandate to effect social change for all people especially the poor and the disenfranchised. Through voluntary action, the organizations are uniquely positioned to fight for the rights of the under-privileged in the society. They receive funds from well-wishers and other donors to help those in need. Their work also exposes them to the suffering that socially ostracized people experience on an every-day basis. Non-profit organizations are on the ground daily attempting to change the lives of the less privileged in the society. Due to their political and economic influence, these organizations need to be at the forefront when it comes to advocating for social reforms that can greatly benefit the people they look after.
The organizations need to advocate for social reforms in both local and international contexts. They are the voice of the disenfranchised in the society. Over-reliance on official government funding has blinded some of these organizations on their primary mandate. The funds act as a hindrance for the agencies to work for the greater good of the society. The non-profit organizations need to be truly independent so that they can be effective in advancing social change in the country and internationally (Edwards & Hulme, 1996).
Edwards, M. & Hulme, D. (1996). Too close for comfort? The impact of official aid on non-governmental organizations. World Development, 24 (6): 961-973.
Haferkamp, H., & Smelser, N.J. (1992). Social change and modernity. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.