February 27th

World NGO Day -

Updated on by

Celebrated each year on February 27, World NGO Day is an international observance that gives recognition to the significant contributions of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) across the globe. Formally acknowledged by the UN and various other global institutions, this special day highlights the tireless work, valuable influence, and commendable achievements of NGOs.

The observance salutes the selfless commitment of volunteers in driving community progress and enhancing society through a multitude of activities, which include championing causes, promoting human rights, addressing basic needs like food and education, and conserving the planet’s resources.

History of World NGO Day

World NGO Day was officially recognized and declared in 2010 by 12 member countries of the IX Baltic Sea NGO Forum of the Council of the Baltic Sea States. These founding countries were Belarus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Norway and Sweden.

The day was established to acknowledge and highlight the important work done by NGOs worldwide in the realms of social welfare, education, health, human rights, and various other domains. The idea of World NGO Day was initially proposed by a UK-based social entrepreneur Marcis Liors Skadmanis, and is celebrated every year on 27th February.

The recognition of World NGO Day was continued by the international community with the support of various international bodies and leaders. In 2014, the World NGO Day was marked for the first time internationally by the UN, EU leaders and international organizations.

The day is aimed at inspiring people to consider a career working for NGOs, encouraging a greater symbiosis between NGOs and both the public and private sector, and recognising the people who have dedicated their lives to improving society or the environment through these organisations. The day also provides an opportunity to discuss the future potential of the NGO sector and how it can adapt to evolving societal needs.

World NGO Day Timeline

Creation of First International NGO

First international NGO, Anti-Slavery Society was established to abolish slavery worldwide.

Rise of NGOs Post Cold-War

With the end of the Cold War, many Eastern European NGOs took key roles in the shift to democracy.

Birth of the Idea for NGO Day

Marcis Liors Skadmanis, a Latvian, ideates the concept of NGO day to bring recognition to hardworking non-profit organizations around the world.

Endorsement by the Baltic Sea NGO Forum

The World NGO Day is officially endorsed and proposed to celebrate after concluding discussions during the Baltic Sea NGO Forum.

Adoption by the UN

The United Nations Department of Public Information recognizes the day positively.

Continued Global Recognition

World NGO day continues to be celebrated globally, honoring the tireless work of NGOs in making the world a better place.

Ideas to Celebrate World NGO Day

1 faq icon

NGO Awareness Rally

Plan a peaceful rally or demonstration in your local area to highlight the critical role NGOs play in the community. This event can open conversations about the issues these organizations encounter and ways in which citizens can provide aid.

2 faq icon

Fundraiser Drive

Host an event aimed at raising funds for a selected NGO's mission. This could take the form of a charity run, a benefit concert, or an internet-based fundraising drive. The primary objective is to accrue funding that enables these NGOs to proceed with their invaluable work.

3 faq icon

Open Day

Set up an open day event that gives various NGOs the opportunity to present their achievements and operations to the general public. This event can include presentations, workshops and interactive discussions. It can serve as a great learning platform and networking opportunity for all involved.

4 faq icon

Collaborative Project

Invite different NGOs to contribute to a special cause or project. This collaborative effort could maximize impact on the chosen cause and the occasion can be used to celebrate the success of this collaborative endeavor.

5 faq icon

Educational Webinars and Workshops

Schedule informative webinars or workshops aimed at educating the public about the significance of NGOs, how they operate, and how people can actively contribute or partake in their activities. The classes can cover a variety of topics including the history of NGOs, their societal influence, among others.

7 Interesting Facts About NGOs


The Oldest NGO

Regarded as the first-ever NGO, the Anti-Slavery Society for the Protection of Human Rights started its operations back in 1839.


The Rise in NGO Numbers

The number of NGOs across the globe has seen a significant surge since the 1970s, with current estimates putting the total count at over 10 million.


Variety of Sectors

These organizations work in various areas, such as healthcare, human rights, environmental conservation, education, and economic progress.


NGOs in US

The country with the greatest number of these organizations is the United States, with over 1.5 million NGOs registered as of 2021.


World's Largest NGO

BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee), a global development organization, is known as the world's largest NGO, having been founded in 1972.


Game Changer NGOs

Several NGOs have had a significant impact on global policies. For instance, The International Campaign to Ban Landmines was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.



Founded in 1946, UNICEF, also known as the United Nations Children's Fund, is amongst the most renowned NGOs around the world, dedicated to advocating for children's rights and welfare.

World NGO Day FAQs

Next World NGO Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 February 27th Monday
2024 February 27th Tuesday
2025 February 27th Thursday
2026 February 27th Friday
2027 February 27th Saturday
What is the pattern? Every February 27th

World NGO Day Word Search

  • Volunteer
  • Charity
  • Nonprofit
  • Humanitarian
  • Donations
  • Campaign