Comparative Nonprofit Sector Essay

From hunter-gatherer collectivities to modern societies, human beings have carefully created the different ways for social involvement. The government, nonprofit and community based involvement in providing collective good is a visible feature of societies. The world today is far more complex than before. The gap between rich and poor , the haves and the have-nots are bigger than it was before. This gaphas directly affected peoples' access to basic human needs such as water, food, housing, health care etc. In these conditions the basic question of survival is to create foundations of nonprofit activity both locally and internationally.

From individual philanthropy to multinational non-governmental organizations, the nonprofit sector is dominating some of the traditional functions of the state. Since it is something birth from the society, it is totally affected the political, economical, religious, cultural conditions from the society where it comes into being. This explains why the nonprofit sector amon countries vary, have similarities and differences regarding the similarities and differences of their society. Pakistan and Turkey, as two developing, muslim oriented, trying to adapt and implement democracy have very different structure and history of the CSOs. I.

Historical background and Changes in Society Voluntary and philanthropic activities and initiative have a long history in the region, part of which is now Pakistan. Responsively to political and religious situations in the region, role and aim of nonprofit sector has been changed throughout the decades and centuries. Before the British colonial rule, civil society activities in the area were motivated primarily by religious beliefs and political strategy. Different beliefs created different ways for manifesting themselves with philanthropic institutions activities, since every religion promotes care for poor and sick and education.

Hindu concepts were daana(giving) and seva (service) and those were provided in asharams. Stupas of Buddhists, Sikh gurdwaras were also religious institutions to satisfy the obligation of these beliefs. After 8th century till the colonial period, Islamic rule was on the stage in the region. Islamic practices of zakat (offering to the poor) and Khariat(charity) and haqooq-ul-bad (human rights) laid the foundation for voluntary activities. Followers of a mystic branch of Islam, the Sufis, established khanqahs (monasteries) and madrasahs (religious schools) to provide religious education in the 11th century.

Wealthy families, motivated equally by religious and political ends, also funded charitable activities. In the 15th century, a large number of Christian missionaries came to region and introduced western education system and provided health care facilities to people. at the beginning of the 19th century, British colonial invasion has happened. Colonialism led to institutionalization of voluntary organizations, colonial authority promoted philanthropy as a way to reduce demands on government and to maintain control over resulting institutions.

British helped to development of society through building numerous schools, colleges and hospitals which still operates. In the second half of the 19th century, British government created several legislations for the civil society organizations in order to monitor their activities and this attempt increased the number of CSOs in Pakistan. During the 20th century, most important CSOs were those began movement against British rule over the country. In 1947, these movements gave results and Britain declared independence of Pakistan. The changing sociopolitical environment shaped the activities of CSOs.

Millions of refugees came from to India, and to provide them permanent resettlement. Afterwards, CSOs in Pakistan showed very important development until the modern days. Women, human rights, education, environment based CSOs have been founded and work effectively within the country. Civil society organizations in Turkey dated to vakifs in the Ottoman times. In the archives of General Directorate of foundations in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, the oldest "trust deed" belongs to a foundation established in 1408 (Yildirim, 1.)

The main role of vakifs were providing the security, protecting property and also donating to people. Besides vakifs, individuals were making philanthropic investments for the public good which were called khariat. With affect of French Revolutions which spread all through the world, some nationalist and democratic organizations started to be found in Ottoman empire and they played very important role for declaration of mesrutiyet and constitution, independence of different nations from Ottoman and victory of Turkish Independence War.

After the establishment of Republic of Turkey; Ataturk, founder of the country, had closed the vakifs since they were religiously structured and considered continuation of the past which was trying to be abolished. Until the new Civil Law of 1967, civil society lived a silent era since the state and country had other priorities. This might be the fault of Atati?? rk and other leaders, since the civil society organization would have made easy the work of government while meeting the need of society which was dealing with after-war conditions.

After 1969 military coup, there had began a restriction era in Turkey which lasted till 1982 construction after 1980 military coup. Unions, political groups, women and youth branches were band since most of them were polarized and politically oriented. The first turning point for the Turkish society was Habitat Conference held in 1996 which increased public awareness about civil society organizations. The other and most important turning point was the Marmara Earthquake in 1999.

After the tragedy of earthquake, the number of civil society and social aid foundations started to increase. In year 2001, Copenhagen Criteria had been declared by EU and several reforms began to be made on civil society organizations as a response to argument of fully protection of human rights. These turning points started institutionalization of Turkish CSOs. Turks have not live under rule of any other society as in the Pakistan and the environment was durable. There were Ottoman hegemony over 700 years and then the Republic of turkey has been established.

There haven't been the effect of different religions in turkey, they were Muslims from the beginning and still so, just changed the way from sheria to laicism. The dynamics effecting turkey were mostly external and political. In Pakistan, due to political instability, transitions in religion, the state had been never very structured, so CSOs were more active to provide needs of society. They were also under British rule which is one of the most civilized societies of the world.

In Turkey with the transition came from the Ottoman Empire, the state was trying to meet all the needs of society since which was considered as its main job. And organizing of people has seemed as a threat for the power of sultans and leaders. So, the civil society organizations had not developed too much in Turkey as in the Pakistan, but in nowadays Turkey seems to pass Pakistan in organization and structure level but not in advocacy. Still, both countries are developing countries and need time to set up a more developed system and structure for the CSOs.