6. The Alternatives

If NGOs start thinking about lessening their expectations from foreign donor support, their first question would likely be, “Then, what is the alternative?”

Of course, there are alternatives. NGOs can exist without foreign donor support. But this kind of existence not only means sacrifice, but also some creativity and effort involved in the way of doing the work. NGOs can always welcome foreign aid, but should avoid depending upon it all the time. Alternatively, they can seek non-conventional ways of mobilizing resources like becoming more service-oriented and looking upon the communities as potential clients who can pay for the services received. In this manner, the situation can be sustainable from both the sides. Also, NGOs can access local resources through individuals, institutions, businesses and even governments for supporting their programs. This may not be an easy job, but it is still more sustainable than remaining over-dependent upon foreign donors. The other area of local support that NGOs can think of is also mobilizing youth volunteers, who can considerably contribute to development services.

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