Things You Should Know Before Starting An NGO in India

Last Updated at: Jul 11, 2020
Things you should know before starting an NGO in India
In a joint statement issued at a press conference organised by the NGOs in Mcleodganj, the members of the NGO said that the Tibetan community stands with India at this hour. They condemned China’s attack on Indian soldiers at the Galwan Valley.


NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) is a term that was coined initially in 1950 by the United Nations. These are organizations that take care and handle social issues depending on their functionality. If you want to know about NGOs in India, then you need to understand about the same in India before you actually start.

“This is not a job, it becomes a lifestyle – it takes far more commitment than an 8h00 to 16h00 job. BUT the reward is also way better in terms of making a difference in the lives of others. When you see change – real change in someone’s eyes – it touches you forever and leaves a legacy for life.

– Leona Pienaar, Executive Manager of PR and Resource Development for Mould, Empower, Serve (MES)

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The term NGO or a non-governmental organization was first coined in 1950 by the United Nations. These organizations are basically created to take care and manage social issues and based on its functioning, it can be classified into two as in whom it is designated to benefit and the services that are being provided.

An NGO supports and helps people in sustaining their legal rights and power in a society. An NGO basically works for the welfare of the large mass and for the betterment and upliftment of science, arts, culture etc. It is managed by the funds and resources from various sources like government, funding agencies, supporting communities, and certain business groups to provide development, distribution of food, clothes, medicines, etc; and all the basic necessities of a human being. NGOs on the very root work with an objective to improve human life and civilisation.

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Forming an NGO

Initially, the formation of the management is necessary, and hence a board of members with the same strong will to put in their hard-work with the spirit of charity and social welfare along with persons aware of legal procedures are to be assigned.

Preparing the document – An NGO has to mandatorily prepare a document furnishing the following details:

  • Name of the organization
  • Address of the organization
  • NGO’s mission and objectives
  • Relevant details of the governing body members
  • Information about human resourcing and staffing

Relevant administrative laws and procedures

There is no uniform law governing the NGO in India except an NGO formed as a Section 8 company which is governed by the Companies Act, 2013. Trust is governed and managed as per the Public Trust Act of each state and the Societies Registration Act governing the Societies in India is subject to State Amendments. Thus there is no concrete law for the governance, management, roles and responsibilities of the NGO in India.

Registering an NGO

As a company: An NGO should be registered as a company under Section 8 of the Company’s Act 2013 when it’s objective is to promote arts, science, education, sports, social welfare, protection of the environment and even for research purposes.

When registered as a company, it will not have to add the word ‘limited’ at the end, whereas it is mandatory for the company to have words like Foundation, Council, Federation etc. in its name.

As a society: An NGO with seven or more members can be registered as a society under Society registration Act of 1860. The process is a little tedious than usual but is efficacious on the long run with respect to its functioning and working.

Section 20 of the Act elucidates that such societies may include a military orphanage, formation and maintaining libraries, galleries and public museums. However, there must be well-defined powers and regulations in their memorandum while registration itself, accompanied by affidavit. Such a society provides rules and powers for the members in the documents itself and is governed as per the society bylaws.

As a trust:  While like Section 8 Company and Society, Trust is a separate legal entity. The Author or Founder of the Trust will initially contribute to the corpus of the Trust and will also list out the objectives for which the said corpus can be used and also set the vision and mission of the Trust.

After yielding the required trust deed and application form for Trust registration, on an average, it takes only 2 days to 1 week for its formation. Here, trustees are vested with power rather than a single person hence decisions tend to be more acute and quicker.

After the completion of the NGO registration in the above three methods, the NGO is eligible to apply for registration under section 12-A and 80G Income Tax Act 1961.

NGO needs huge commitments, advantageous and self-motivated individuals who put in their best having a will and genuine desire to help the needy along with the presence of transparency. Life of an NGO worker always stresses upon profound peace of mind which is quite toilsome in this modern world. The activities and objectives of the NGO can be cross-checked from time to time based on the type it is formed, which keeps the progress on an increasing rate.

NGOs support and help people live a sustained life with power and legal rights. Basically, NGOs ar meant for the welfare of people and the upliftment and betterment of their lives. If you are strong about forming an NGO, then make sure that you have strong group of members in the board who can put in great efforts for the social welfare.