An “NPO” stands for Non-Profit Organisation. It is also known as a non-business entity or non-profit institution. It is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit, in contrast with an entity that operates as a business aiming to generate a profit for its owners
A non-profit is subject to the non-distribution constraints: any revenues that exceed expenses must be committed to the organization’s purpose, not taken by private parties. A wide array of organizations are non-profit, including most political organizations, schools, business associations, churches, social clubs, and consumer cooperatives. Non-profit entities generally seek approval from governments to be tax-exempt, and some may also qualify to receive tax-deductible contributions.
Here are ten steps on how to start an NPO:
STEP 1: FIND YOUR PASSION
NPO’s are formed from passion as they exist to make an impact to lives or a cause.
STEP 2: FIND PEOPLE TO WORK WITH
In order to register an NPO, not mentioning support staff yet, you need to have at least 3 directors on board. That is the requirement according to Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), Department of Social Development (DSD) and any other non-profit registering body.
STEP 3: KNOW YOUR VISIONS AND MISSIONS
Having clear visions and missions helps to be organized and focused on your goals. It makes everything clear, making it easier to achieve your goals.
STEP 4: CONDUCT RESEARCH
It is important to conduct research in order for your organisation to get funding and be able to run projects and cover its expenses. Conducting research also helps you connect with your beneficiaries in new ways and in the right way.
STEP 5: FORM AN ACTION PLAN
Form an action plan on how to make your NGO effective
STEP 6: REGISTER YOUR NON-PROFIT ORGANISATION
You can register your non-profit organisation at your nearest provincial social development office, online on the department of social development website or as a non-profit company on CIPC.
STEP 7: NETWORK
Networking gives you a platform to learn from others, it gives you a platform to introduce your organisation to different people and a possibly find sponsors.
STEP 8: BUDGET AND FUNDRAISE
Know how much you need in order to be able to raise funds. Money can be complicated, so having people on your team who know what they’re doing is essential. How much funding you have and how you use the money can make or break your organization. You’ll also need to figure out where you’ll get the money from. Explore your funding options and always evaluate your messaging, so you get better and better at appealing to donors.
STEP 9: START YOUR PROJECT
The last step in establishing your NGO is to get started on a project. You’ll want to start small at first with attainable goals. Assign everyone a clear role and set up a monitoring-and-evaluation system. This will let you assess what’s working and what’s not during the project, and then afterward, you’ll be able to evaluate the final result.
We need more NPO’s to impact lives, not only those of direct beneficiaries but the lives of people trained, volunteering and absorbed by the NPO’s. The more NPO’s started and registered, the better our communities.