How to Start Your NGO in India – Beginner’s Guide

As responsible citizens of our country, we do not only have rights but corresponding duties that we must dispense with. Working for a non-governmental organization (BGO) or in fact going ahead and establishing a non-governmental organization is one way to go about it very efficiently.

A Non-Governmental Organisation or an NGO is set up with the prior and sole objective of helping our fellow citizens or conserving our resources without the aspirations of gaining any profit for the same. It is a selfless act which today has become an agent of change in the conservation of nature and welfare of the needy. So, if you have a quest for ensuring social justice, you can establish your own NGO centric towards a cause that’s close to your heart.

Here is a beginner’s guide about how to start an NGO in India.

1. What is an NGO and how does it function?

Understanding what an NGO is and clearly evaluating what difference it would make is the first step to starting an NGO. You have to delve deeper into how and in what exact ways will the NGO help a developing country like India.

Firstly, as far as what an NGO is exactly, it refers to a group of public spirited individuals who form a welfare organization for a cause that will ensure social justice. There are two major essentials that distinguish an NGO the first is that there is no profit involved and second that this is not a government body but purely a private one. As far is deciding the cause is concerned an NGO must not limit itself to one cause. The beauty of establishing an NGO is the fact that you can work for multiple causes all at once. There are many organizations that work in sectors such as education, health, women empowerment, environment, etc. Therefore, it gives you the freedom to explore varied areas.

2. What are the types of NGOs?

Now depending upon the nature and the functions of a non-profit organization, the same can be categorized in the following types:

a. Advocacy Groups

Their functions predominately are to ensure lobbying between the ministries and the stakeholders. They often also carry out protests and other social methods of showing dissent. They enable individuals to start a movement against their oppressors. An example of such an organization can be CRY which works for children.

b. Service Providers

These are groups that work to ensure that they help the needy and the less privileged get basic amenities like food, medicines, and essentials. They ensure this by way of donations. An example of such an NGO is HelpAge and Goonj that provide services to certain sections.

c. Volunteering groups

These are predominately people who volunteer to help. Organizations that are classic examples of this would be the World Wildlife Fund and Animal Aid, Jaipur. Nelda itself is a volunteer group.

3. What are the numerous benefits of starting an NGO?

The following are the advantages of starting an NGO in India:

  • It acts as a bridge between the citizens, the stakeholders and the government of the country.
  • It is a trustworthy agent of change as it isn’t a part of the state machinery and accordingly is far more autonomous.
  • They perform the functions that help the people working in the most unfortunate circumstances.
  • They have a better connection with rural India. And have added tremendous worth to human resources in India.
  • They are not restrictive and have the broad freedom of helping out many causes.
  • They include communities and foster locals to participate in the process.
  • They provide many essential services to the unfortunate.

4. What is the process to start an NGO?

Now that you know the advantages, the types and what exactly an NGO is defined as you can peruse the steps it takes to form one:

Step 1: Define the cause the NGO will work upon.

Step 2: You need likeminded people to be with you as a team who don’t have the wish for monetary gains out of this initiative. Here you can also get experts. Example: For an environmental NGO you can get people who have studied environmental sciences.

Step 3:  Select a name for your NGO. The name should reflect the purpose of the NGO and shouldn’t ideally be too long or difficult. Here remember that you can’t give a name that resembles a governmental body.

Step 4: Now deal with the logistics. First, you must make a memorandum or a document that describes everything from the mission of the NGO, the details of the team, etc. It should also contain the address and source of funding of the NGO.

Step 5: Make sure you have all the documents for registration.

The documents required will depend upon the kind of NGO you wish to open. Here are some kinds:

  1. A society – You will require a minimum of 7 members.
  2. A trust – You will require a minimum of 2 members.
  3. A section 8 company- It can be registered as a non-profit company under the companies act.

Remember, registration is not important but it will help you in fund collection and tax exemption. If you are alone, then you can start your NGO but need not register it.

Step 6: Collect funds for the NGO and build a network.

Funds can be collected via:

  1. Apply in various governmental portals or corporate houses
  2. Fundraising events
  3. Selling goods made by the NGO
  4. Using social media for donations and appeals for the same

We at Nelda Foundation recognize that each one of us has a responsibility towards the environment and must dispense it as our primordial duty. You should never think that you can talk yourself out of it. We believe that our community and environment has provided us with so much to cherish that we must be careful with the resources we have today.

Our ultimate aims are to help plant and grow a billion trees by 2041. As Mother Nature’s children, we are required to make sure that we take care of her and we at Nelda will help you attain that. If you or the corporate house willing to carry out tree plantations around Pune, be sure to give us a call on 9823348087. You can also donate to us on our website. Our services are provided throughout the state of Maharashtra.

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