They are expressed for civil society organizations in many different terms such as non-governmental organizations, voluntary organizations, non-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations and the third sector. There is also a classification variety parallel to this concept diversity. Indeed, considering their functions in social life, target audiences, status, scale, working style etc., it is quite difficult to both conceptualize and categorize CSOs which have various specificities. It is possible to find a classification criterion agreed upon neither in the literature, nor by public institutions, nor by CSOs themselves.
YADA Foundation, in order to overcome the problem of classification to bring unique and inclusive approach and the limitations mentioned above, proposes a new classification which considers the weaknesses, differences, originalities, and potentials of civil society in Turkey, as as an output of the research entitled “Civil Society Culture in Voluntary Organizations in Turkey”. The Civil Topography Classification, which is used as an analysis tool in other studies conducted by YADA, includes the following categories: