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They exist to further political/social goals of their members. Some example goals improving the state of the natural environment, encourage the observance of human rights, or improve the welfare of the disadvantaged, but there are a huge number of such organisations and their goals cover a broad range of political and philosophical positions.
NGOs also vary in their methods. Some act primarily as political pressure groups, others primarily conduct programs to help their goals (for instance, an NGO concerned with poverty alleviation providing food aid to the needy).
The relationship between business, governments, and NGOs can be quite complex and sometimes antagonistic, particularly when NGOs act to oppose some activities of governments and businesses.