The so-called third sector (including non-profit organizations and associations) is a basic part of a civil society. However, not all its elements perform a function of the so-called social glue as there are associations open to different environments, but there are also such that represent interests of only one community. Some organizations serve building bridges and crossing borders whereas others build walls and barriers. This article analyzes both types of organizations and associations indicating differences in their structures and functions. Next, the author analyzes the impact of social and economic conditions of south-eastern Poland upon models of action of social organizations. One of the elements of the situation within which the organizations operate in the Podkarpacie region is the inhabitants' distrust to formalized and bureaucratized forms of activity.