Starting an NGO

Tuesday, 11 October, 2005 - 14:15

Establishing an NGO, charity, nonprofit or any other type of Association-not-for-gain can be a complicated exercise.

Establishing an NGO, charity, nonprofit or any other type of Association-not-for-gain can be a complicated exercise. Which is why the staff at SANGONeT have scoured the Internet to find the best locally produced and international online tools, guides and resources to assist anyone embarking on the journey towards credibility.

The Basics
The first stop for anyone new to the process is this paralegal guide on NGOs in South Africa.

Toolkits for Starting Up a Campaign
If you are thinking about starting a campaign in your own community, but you don't know where to start, visit CampaignCreator. This is a free tool that will provide you with the skills, information and tools you need to start an effective campaign. This tool can be used quickly and easily to create your own website, e-newsletters, online surveys and e-petitions.

The Essentials of Starting an NGO
Once you decide to start an NGO, there are a number of steps that you must take. In her article titled, “How to start a nonprofit organization - a check list,” Joanne Fritz provides us with a check list that serves as a blueprint and as a reminder of what needs to be done and in what order.

Official Sources
The Department of Social Development (DOSD) has also put together a useful guide, which can be accessed online and aims to provide you with All you Need to Know about the Registration of NGOs, including a model constitution for those NGOs needing to write their own. ETU  also has a guide for NGOs needing to draft a Constitution.

Other useful government resources that are available online include the SA Revenue Services (SARS) Tax Exemption Guide for PBOs in SA as well as information on Section 21 (not for profit) Organisations from the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office of SA (CIPRO).

NGO Support Services
Finally, once you have visited all these resources and followed all the necessary requirements, don't forget about the Non-Profit Consortium (NPC), which offers a wide range of legal advisory and support services to the NGO sector.

Other Countries
For those of you who would like to compare the local NGO requirements, practices and structures with those of other jurisdictions internationally, please take a look at Lessons from Other Countries @ About.com.

Your Inputs
SANGONeT welcomes  any contributions and recomendations from our constituency. Please send any e-mails to editor@sangonet.org.za

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