Things to Know Before Setting Up an NGO in India

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Starting an NGO requires more than just money. It requires hard work, determination, and a genuine desire to support others. To start and run an NGO is an almost similar process to run a company, but here you have to keep transparency. Moreover, here you have to work for the welfare of the society without expecting any profit.


Here are a few steps through which you can easily start an NGO in India:

Decide the cause and mission of your NGO

The first step is to list down the cause that your NGO will be supporting. From women's right, children's welfare, saving the environment, it can be anything. Draft a clear statement of your mission that reflects the purpose it stands for, its goals, the target group and its objectives.

Set up the board of Directors/members

There will obviously be the board of Directors and members who will be responsible to govern the NGO. Have like-minded people, people with the spirit of charity and social welfare and strong-willed people to be a part of the organisation of the body. You also need to have the support of financial advisers, technicians and people with knowledge of legal procedures.

There is no limit on the number of persons of founder members or their supporters.


Decide the name of your NGO

It is an obvious requirement for any organisation to have a name. Same is the case with an NGO. The name should be short and catchy - it can be anything, any idea that you have, a reflection of the cause. However, it should not be similar to any Government Authority Body, Board or Ministry, or any other registered company or NGO.

Memorandum – Articles of Incorporation/ Articles of Association

Every NGO in India is legally required to document a trust deed/ Memorandum of Understanding/Bylaws. It contain the name and address of the NGO, mission and objectives, details of governing body members, human resource and staffing information, rules and regulations, administrative laws and procedures. The Memorandum must be prepared and drafted in the acceptable pattern, manner, process and parameters that are required for registration and other procedures. It is better to hire legal NGO Consultants who know the requirements better and have a better knowledge of the procedure. Before the submission of the application for registration of an NGO, it is important to mention the bylaws that represent the rules, regulations, operation modes, working pattern, working area, responsibilities of the NGO and objectives of an NGO.

Get your NGO registered

Once all the documents are ready, and the required fee is submitted, you can get your NGO registered under any of these Acts-

  • Societies Registration Act (In society, minimum seven members are required to be the members),
  • Indian Trusts Act (In Charitable Trust at least two people are required, there is no limit of maximum members)
  • Companies Act (A non-profit Company can be registered under section 8 of the Companies Act with the Registrar of Companies.)

Start getting funds

Once your NGO has registered, it's time for you to start collecting funds to run the NGO. It can be done through internal sources like fees, donations, subscription charges. And external sources like grants in the form of aid from the Government, private organizations or foreign sources.

Get connected

Build a wide network. Get connected to various other NGOs, professionals, media houses, government agencies and corporate and be on the lookout for partnerships. The main source of survival and thriving of NGOs is mainly through partnerships. So, get connected with the potential partners, believing in the cause you support.

Also Read: Determined to be a Freelance Writer? Here’s How to build your portfolio


Heena Mangani is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

Starting an NGO Societies Registration Act run a company Memorandum of Understanding