You may know about NGO’s (Non Government Organization) because they are always in news for some reasons.
But why you need to start an NGO in India?
Well there are many great reasons why you should start an NGO here but the most important one is that you want to do more in your life.
You have made enough money and now you want to give it back to the society.
You have empathy for people who are suffering and in desperate need so you want to help them and start an NGO.
What is a NGO?
NGO is a Non Governmental Organization that does things that government can’t do. NGOs are basically non-profit organizations that don’t work for any profit or kickbacks.
They are neither part of the government nor a conventional profit making business.
There sole purpose is to serve people because governments fail to do so.
There are different types of NGO’s you can start. Some NGO’s are really big because of the funds they receive and some are small.
It depends on your donors who are donating money for your NGO.
Anyone can start an NGO in India provided they are registered according to the Indian Law.
So we will be looking at this in great details in coming paragraphs.
What Work They Do?
NGOs do many kinds of work. Let us understand their work by taking examples of some of the best NGO’s in the world.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is an NGO that works for the eradication of the Malaria, Polio, Cholera and many other diseases that are still prevalent in third world countries.
Take another example of National Geographic Society which generates awareness on cross border environmental and anthropological issues.
These were bigger names. There are many other NGOs which are smaller but doing great jobs like educating street kids, educating women, micro financing etc.
So in a normal world every country needs NGOs. The gap that is left by public sector and private sector has to be filled by someone and NGOs exactly do that.
How to Start an NGO in India?
How do you get started?
The first thing is to conceive what will be the objective of your NGO. You have to lay down issues that your NGO is going to address and establish a vision.
Then you also have to form governing body that will be held accountable for all the decisions and daily activities.
The governing body will involve long term and short term planning, financial management, human resources management etc.
You also have to formulate Byelaws before you go for registration which is a serious thing.
Before you register, you form a Memorandum of understanding that describes your NGO, contact details, address, mission, vision and policies related to it.
Different Acts You Need to Register Your NGO Under
Before you start the registration process you need to know about these acts because in India a NGO must be established through some acts.
Here are 3 such acts.
Indian Trust Act: For a charitable trust it is compulsory to get registered. The registration is also useful if you want income tax exemption from the government.
There are states where Public Trust Act is applicable then it is wise to get registered. You don’t want to take any risk.
Companies Act: Now if your NGO is like a company which wants to promote things like art forms, science, business or religion then it must be registered under companies act.
Here the profit goes to the reason for which NGO was established and not to its present members in the governing body.
Societies Registration Act: If you have more than seven members in your NGO then you can start it as society.
The best part is that there are fewer regulations but the worst thing is the registration process is very difficult compared to others.
So these were three acts that you can register your NGO in India.
How Do You Raise Money for Your NGO?
Now this would be a challenge. You have to raise money from somewhere so that your NGO keeps on working.
Well there are different ways to collect funds for NGOs.
Some NGO are sponsored by big companies and even government. So you manage to get funds from these companies and even from the government.
However in order to get funds from companies and government your NGO must be big enough.
So what are you going to do if your NGO is very small?
Well you can collect money from joining members; you can also conduct events and sell handicrafts or other products.
You can also collect money through charity and asking people for the money. You can also raise money through foreign sources.
On the brighter side the money you raise is exempted for tax.
Problems Related with Starting a NGO
You have decided to start an NGO now you need to go through a registration process.
Registration process is very long and you might go through various processes.
The laws may differ state to state. Your registration process would depend upon the state you live in.
To cut it short your NGO will be registered according to its kind.
Finally, I will conclude by saying starting a NGO is a noble cause but it may be very difficult to get started because of laws and regulations.
In India, many environmental NGOs like Green Peace are already under government scrutiny.
Especially NGO’s that get foreign funding are seen suspicious in every country.
So best of luck for your new NGO!