The metamorphosis of the role of nongovernmental organizations – from charity in XVIII century to market of social services in modern society

Laimutė Žalimienė, Eglė Rimšaitė


Presently civil, political, economical and social life of the society is changing very rapidly, and NGOs are often regarded as indicators, which most flexible react to the changing needs of particular groups, members and society in general. Therefore the specificity of this NGO sector is a certain mirror of the whole society’s life’s complexity.
Authors of this article aim to reveal the function change of NGOs working in the area of social protection. Development of NGOs creates preconditions for discussion on the contradictory situation, which occur trying to tie in the classical understanding of NGOs with their real functions in modern society.
Although the main principles of NGOs such as their independence, self-autonomy and not-for-profit goals are commonly acknowledged, pursuance of those in practice and competition within the sphere of service provision becomes more and more complicated and requires additional stipulations.
These processes are closely connected with the changed relationship between the state and NGOs’ sector: state collaborates with NGOs not because of their special weltanschauung, but NGOs are regarded as equivalent participants of social services’ market (equal social partners) and have to compete on equal terms with other service providers in the area.


non-governmental organizations; third sector of the society; social services; economization; creation of market of social services; charity

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789