How to Get Certified as an NGO?

calendar06 Feb, 2023
timeReading Time: 5 Minutes
Certified as an NGO

The abbreviation “NGO” stands for “non-governmental organisation[1],” which refers to a charitable organisation that functions independently of the influence of the government and whose primary mission is to advance social, cultural, or environmental objectives. In most cases, the management of these organisations is handled by unpaid volunteers, and they were all founded with the intention of carrying out a particular mission, such as advancing the cause of human rights, enhancing the quality of life in disadvantaged communities, or fostering environmental preservation. In this blog, we will discuss how to get certified as an NGO.

History of NGOs

Before we discuss the process of getting certified as an NGO, lets understand the meaning of NGO. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been operating for centuries, with the earliest documented groups having been established in the 19th century. However, the concept of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as we know them today came to prominence in the decades following World War II. At that time, international organisations such as the Red Cross and Oxfam were established in order to provide humanitarian aid and support to countries that had been devastated by war.

Since that time, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have grown to become an essential component of the contemporary landscape of the world, with hundreds of organisations currently active in countries all over the globe. They play a significant part in resolving social and environmental issues, as well as lobbying for change on a worldwide basis, and this is why they are so important.

What Are The Different Types Of NGOs?

Non-governmental organisations can take many different forms and operate for a wide range of reasons. The following are some of the most popular types of NGOs that can be certified as an NGO:

  1. Humanitarian NGOs are non-governmental organisations whose primary mission is to offer assistance and support to communities that are struggling as a result of natural catastrophes, armed conflict, or extreme poverty.
  2. Environmental non-governmental organisations are organisations that seek to save the environment and advance sustainable development.
  3. Organisations that work to alleviate poverty, improve education and health care, and promote overall community well-being are known as non-governmental development organisations.
  4. Non-governmental organisations that focus on advocacy seek to influence public policy and increase awareness of social, cultural, and environmental issues.
  5. Research non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the primary mission of which is to carry out research and disseminate knowledge regarding a wide range of topics, such as the maintenance of a healthy and sustainable environment.

What Are The Perks Of NGOs? – Certified as an NGO

Non-governmental organisations bestow a variety of advantages upon the communities and causes that they support. The following are some of the most prominent advantages that you can avail once your organisation is certified as an NGO:

  1. Independence: Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) function autonomously from the influence of governments, which enables them to concentrate on their goals without being swayed by political concerns.
  2. Flexibility: Because NGOs are able to swiftly and effectively adapt to shifting conditions, they are ideally suited to tackle difficult and quickly developing problems.
  3. Local Knowledge: NGOs typically have a profound grasp of the communities and issues they serve, which enables them to adapt their strategy to better match the requirements of the community.
  4. Community Involvement: NGOs include local communities in the work that they do, giving residents of such areas the ability to take ownership of the problems they confront and to collaborate with one another to discover solutions to those problems.
  5. Global Reach: NGOs are able to operate on a worldwide basis, which grants them the power to draw attention to significant problems and push for change on a more widespread scale.

Process to get Certified as an NGO

In order to run as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that is legally recognised in India, an organisation needs to be registered and certified in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations. In what follows, we will talk about the steps that need to be taken for NGOs in India to become certified as an NGO:

Step 1: Choose the Appropriate Legal Structure

The process of becoming certified begins with selecting the suitable legal structure for your non-governmental organisation (NGO). In India, NGOs have the option of registering as either a trust, society, or Section 8 business. Because each legal structure comes with its own set of prerequisites, benefits, and drawbacks, it is essential to pick the one that is the most appropriate for the objectives and requirements of your firm.

Step 2: Register the NGO

Following the selection of the right legal structure, the next step is to register your NGO with the appropriate government body. The method that must be followed in order to have an NGO registered in India differs according to the type of legal structure that is selected.

For instance, if you want to register your non-governmental organisation (NGO) as a trust, you will need to submit an application to the office of the Sub-Registrar of Assurances. Along with the application, you will need to include the required documents, such as the trust deed, the PAN cards of the trustees, and a certificate of incorporation.

If you want to register your NGO as a society, you will need to submit an application to the Registrar of Societies along with the required documents. These documents include a certificate of incorporation, the PAN cards of the members of the society, and the constitution of the society. 

Step 3: Obtain PAN and TAN Numbers

After your non-governmental organisation has been officially registered, the next step is to contact the Income Tax Department and request PAN and TAN numbers. For the NGO to be able to collect and make donations that are tax-deductible, these numbers are essential.

Step 4: Obtaining 12A and 80G Certificates

The next thing that needs to be done in order to get certified is to go to the Income Tax Department and get certificates number 12A and 80G. The 12A certificate exempts the NGO from paying income tax on its income, while the 80G certificate enables donors to claim tax deductions on their donations to the NGO. Both certificates are referred to as tax exemption certificates.

Step 5: Register for FCRA

For your non-governmental organisation (NGO) to be eligible for financial support from other countries, it is necessary for it to be registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). This entails submitting an application to the Ministry of Home Affairs, together with the appropriate paperwork, such as the PAN and TAN numbers, the 12A and 80G certificates, and the organisation’s bank details.

Step 6: Register for GST

If your NGO plans to participate in any form of commercial activity, such as the sale of goods or services, it is required to get a Goods and Services Tax registration number (GST). This entails submitting an application to the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), along with the appropriate documentation, such as the organisation’s PAN and TAN numbers, as well as the organisation’s bank details.

Step 7: Maintain Proper Record-Keeping

It is essential to keep accurate records for your NGO, as this will assist you in complying with the applicable laws and regulations, as well as demonstrating the impact that your work has had. This might involve keeping track of donations, costs, and activities, as well as drafting annual reports and tax forms and filing them with the appropriate authorities.

Why Get Certified As An NGO?

A variety of advantages come with NGO certification. First of all, it gives NGOs a way to prove their validity and accountability to other parties, such as donors, partners, and the general public. An NGO can demonstrate its dedication to conducting business in a transparent and responsible manner by obtaining certification.

Second, certification can aid an NGO in obtaining financial support from governmental organisations, foundations, and businesses. Because they may be sure that their contributions will be utilised responsibly and accountable, donors are frequently more likely to sponsor certified NGOs.

Additionally, certification can raise an NGO’s visibility and reputation. A non-profit organisation (NGO) can more easily entice volunteers, supporters, and partners by being seen as a reputable and reliable entity.


In conclusion, being certified as an NGO in India is an important first step toward building a legitimate business that complies with all relevant laws and regulations and is thus better able to accomplish its mission and benefit the people it serves. Steps in the certification procedure include deciding on a legal structure, registering the NGO, getting a PAN and TAN, getting a 12A and 80G certificate, signing up for FCRA (if necessary), signing up for GST (if necessary), and keeping accurate records. This can be a lengthy and difficult process, but it is necessary to ensure that the NGO is able to function smoothly and make a difference in the lives of those it serves.

Read our Article:What Is The Process To Get FCRA Registration?

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