How NGO and CBO differ from each other?

calendar16 Jul, 2020
timeReading Time: 5 Minutes

NGO stands for a non-governmental organization, aka non-profit organization. Meanwhile, CBO is an acronym for community-based organizations. They work on the identical ground and share a common motive- the welfare of society and the people. The world has been plagued with a string of problems w.r.t social, economic, spiritual, and emotional. These organizations support the needy people to make them competent to deal with all the uncertainties more effectively.

Work Process of NGO and CBO

The working protocol of these organizations differs from governmental authorities. Their selection is not made by the people for the sake of development. They voluntarily participate and work hard for the well-being of the people and society. They have no substantial source of income or funds. Their only focus is to provide the best aid to the community and ensure peace.

Organization structure of NGO and CBO

NGO is a full-fledged organization volunteer by a passionate workforce that works day in and day out for people’s prosperity. CBOs are deemed as a smaller version of NGOs. It works on the common ground but at a modest level. The working protocol of the CBOs is almost identical to NGOs, but they can’t match NGOs’ footprint in terms of reach.


The community-based organization is a group of enthusiasts that support a common motive in a specific area. They are free-minded, and any legal authority does not control their actions. NGOs, on the other hand, work on a broader landscape; thus, they have more assertion as a team.


NGOs are accountable to respond to authority, rendering their take on particular actions. A specific hierarchy continuously monitors its working scenarios. NGOs blend actions with specific guidelines and principles. Though CBOs bear uncanny resemblance with NGOs, some difference exists in terms of work, organization structure, and area. Their contribution to humanity is unparalleled.

Legal prospects

The legal framework is something that makes these entities entirely different from each other. The NGOs are back by an adequate structure of members who works dedicatedly for the cause of social welfare on the large spectrum. 

There are no legal bound criteria that affect the working of the community-based organization. It is easy to set up and doesn’t seek legal formalities to proceed further. It is more like a group backed by people who voluntarily take part in a good cause and ensure the prosperity of a small community. 

Work criteria

Well, NGOs address the loopholes in the society[1] on a broader spectrum, whereas CBO focuses on specific communities only. NGO focuses on supporting chains of states and address issues prevailing there. Let’s understand the NGO’s working concept with the following examples. Whenever any natural disaster occurs in the state, NGOs come forward and takes the initiative to support the needy one. Similarly, the work of CBOs is limited to a smaller landscape.

For example- Awareness of swine flu- the underprivileged people and society are not fortunate enough to get ample info in the disease; thus, it makes them more exposed to the disease. Proper guidance and some precaution can be helpful in such a situation, and that’s where CBO comes into the picture. Its role is to provide in-depth info about the disease to the people and prepare them for the worst scenarios. But their area of work is limited to a specific community.

Read our article: Civil society and NGOs: Things you need to know

Source of funding

There are plenty of differences between NGO and CBO, but there one thing in common. What is that? This common similarity exists concerning the source of funding. Both entities do not have a concrete source of financing. Their funds mainly come from corporates, celebrities, and the society backed by elite people. These are the only medium that voluntarily makes donations to strengthen these entities.

NGO and CBO make a sincere effort to help the needy ones, and once they become popular, the funds start rolling in their account. For example, during the natural disaster, Goonj, regarded as the top NGOs in the country, is in the abundance of funds and donations made by the public. Henceforth, this is how these entities do money accumulation.

As cited above, CBO work on a local level, and their funding source reside in these regions only. Hence, they have no concrete funding platform like NGOs, which help them to execute the strategy.

What are the Advantages of NGO?

  • No political and government intervention.
  • Free to improvise the work plan as per the situation.
  • Ability to contact higher government officials.
  • Flexible funding sources

Disadvantage of NGO

  • May deal with lack of funds
  • Absence of dedicated leadership.
  • Deal with inadequate manpower at times.
  • Lack of transparency due to negligible government intervention. 

Advantages of Community-based organizations (CBO)

  • The local members generally are the staff of CBOs. So the chances of conflicts in the team are next to negligible.
  • CBOs are better accustomed to local concerns and development issues. Since they worked at a grass-root level, it becomes easier for them to outline subtle solutions for a given problem.
  • Being confined to a limited area, CBOs’ access to the community problem is relatively better than most NGOs.

Disadvantages of Community-based organizations (CBO)

  • Unlike NGOs, the Community based organizations (CBO) work protocol is limited to a local level. To be precise, CBO is focused on elevating equality across society in different streams such as education, healthcare, and the environment.
  • The financial statements of CBOs are exposed to public scrutiny. It means the company must allow the general public to access its financial statements. It might seem to a profitable proposition on the surface, but it can be an issue if the organization is going through a financial crisis.
  • Due diligence of the CBO’s financial statements is a mandatory requirement. It is a costly affair to conduct a third-party audit of the company’s account to ensure transparency.

Key points to remember

  • CBO is a subset of NGO type which mainly focused on community-based activities.
  • NGO can address broad array problems ranging from natural catastrophe to pandemic.
  • CBO operates on a local level, and its funding source resides in these regions only.
  • Both of the organizations lack a concrete source of funding.
  • The elite NGO mainly gets their funds from corporates and celebrities, whereas CBOs have a limited area of access in that regard.


So it’s evident that the NGO and CBO share a lot of dissimilarities, whether it is a scope of work or funding platforms. It can be concluded that NGOs have a bigger footprint, and it addresses a broader spectrum, unlike CBOs. But despite these significant discrepancies, they serve a common goal i.e., providing help to underprivileged people while keeping moral values intact. Have questions regarding NGO registration? Use the comment box and get a snappier response.

Read our article:What are the Roles, Scope & Differences in SHG and NGO?

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