Besides from the corporations, a large amount of money used by the NGOs comes from government funds (i.e. from our taxes). Governments, much like corporations, expect the same thing in return: a stronger position for capitalism and the rich. Let us not forget that the sole purpose of the existence of the State is to protect the rich and their position in society, with the help of its mechanisms of repression and its monopoly on violence. Thus, it is expected that the State would financially support the work of a whole range of organizations whose activities help maintain the status quo of the capitalist society.
In order to stay strong and dominant so that it can properly serve the rich, the State must continually find new ways to impose its will and to justify its existence. With that whole “citizen’s activity” going on in the NGO sector (completely harmless for the government, of course), the State is given the chance to stage a soothing performance for the people, in which “citizens” can exercise their rights, participate in the policy making, socialize and identify themselves as free individuals. That is the great illusion of democracy, and the NGO sector helps keep it alive. That staged “mechanism of struggle” is not able to bring about any social change (nor was it created for such purpose), but certainly poses as such; so all those who believe that their demands can be reached through NGO activities, will most likely completely exclude all other methods of struggle (which are in fact effective and actually pose a threat to the government, but are unanimously rejected by the NGOs for being illegal). The government wins it all: a false mechanism of struggle, deceived, peaceful and obedient people and security for its dominion.
The NGO sector is in fact one of the many mechanisms the State is using to enforce its dominion and to justify its existence. But unlike the other such mechanisms, like public education or the mass media, which are designed for systematic propaganda and control over the people, the NGO sector has a slightly different role.
Namely, every government is aware that, in spite of its endless efforts to keep its people in fear and ignorance, people are still basically rational and libertarian and that the tiniest spark could stir up their anger each time they realize they are in any way oppressed. The riot is the greatest fear of every government, but modern governments know that the violent suppression (‘police state’ style) of massive riots can only further ignite people’s anger and endanger the domination of the State even more. That is why the modern government has come up with a more subtle solution: instead of waiting for a riot to come and then deal with it violently, why not allow the masses to “fight” with a harmless weapon – that weapon being the NGO sector.