How To Start an NGO in Nigeria

A Non-governmental Organization (NGO) is a voluntary group which is not under  the control of government and is not in business with the aim of making profit, but rather to meet some specific needs in the society. NGOs are mostly funded by the government of a country while in some cases, it could be funded by private individuals or groups, as well as foundations.

Requirements For Registering An NGO In Nigeria

When submitting the completed application form at the corporate affairs commission, you must go with the following:

  • Application letter (formal)
  • 2 copies of applicant’s constitution
  • 2 copies of application form duly signed by the chairman and secretary of the board
  • Original newspaper publications
  • 2 passport photographs of applicants
  • Bank draft of N20, 000 in favour of CAC, payable in Abuja

Starting Your own

An NGO is deemed a not-for-profit organization in Nigeria. The following steps will help get your own NGO up and running:

1. Make an action plan.

A plan of action is your chance to make an NGO effective, address any potential negative impacts and make sure your NGO will attract donors and volunteers. Make sure you are able to follow through with what you start. Think hard about your action plan. 

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Write about your organization’s beliefs, mission, and purpose. As you define your mission and draft you purpose statement, you should describe the overall purpose of the NGO; the activities your NGO will engage in or undertake; the core beliefs of the NGO; etc.

2. Consult an Accredited Solicitor. 

To start an NGO, you need to consult a solicitor who has been duly accredited by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to conduct pre and post incorporation matters with the Commission to help you execute the following:

 Your Solicitor will conduct a search at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) registry to check if the NGO name you have chosen is available for reservation. Only a name that is not identical to an existing registered organization in Nigeria can be reserved for you. Where your name is available, same will be approved for registration. Name availability check and reservation can be effected within 48 hours by a CAC accredited Solicitor.

3. Raise funds for your NGO

There are several ways you can generate money for your NGO. It can be done via membership fees, subscription charges, donations or grant in aid from the government. However, you’ll have to check for your eligibility and meet the criteria before you stand the chance for the government aid.

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4. Run your NGO like you would run a business.

Other NGOs are profit-oriented and well, only focus on making profit. If you want your NGO to be around for a long time, you’ll need to integrate these profit-making elements to your operations:

  • Create a defined strategy for hiring, operations and other organizational processes.
  • Have a strong financial system.
  • Do you have a target audience? A robust marketing strategy will cater to them.
  • Have a marketing budget.

Author: BF

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