Setting up an NGO
A non-governmental organization (NGO) is a non-profit, voluntary citizen's group that is independent of government funding and formal government-institution affiliation.
NGOs are organized around a common purpose, typically to promote a specific social or political cause, and they operate outside of the formal governmental structure. There are an estimated 1.5 million NGOs operating worldwide, and they play an increasingly important role in international affairs.
NGOs are typically involved in a wide range of activities, including:
Advocacy: NGOs work to influence public policy and promote their causes. They may do this by lobbying governments, conducting research, and raising public awareness.
Service delivery: NGOs provide a variety of services, such as education, healthcare, and disaster relief.
Capacity building: NGOs work to build the capacity of local communities and organizations. They may do this by providing training, funding, and technical expertise.
Monitoring and evaluation: NGOs monitor government policies and programs to ensure that they are effective and accountable.
Research: NGOs conduct research on a wide range of issues, including poverty, human rights, and the environment.
NGOs are funded by a variety of sources, including:
Donations from individuals and foundations
Grants from governments and international organizations
Fees for services
NGOs play an important role in promoting social change and improving the lives of people around the world. They are a valuable source of information, expertise, and advocacy, and they are increasingly recognized as important partners in international development.
Setting up an NGO
There are three main types of non-profit organizations (NPOs) in Singapore: societies, companies limited by guarantee, and charitable trusts.
Societies are the most common type of NGO in Singapore. They are relatively easy to set up and do not require any special registration. However, societies do not have separate legal personality from their members, which means that members can be held personally liable for the debts and obligations of the society.
Companies limited by guarantee are a type of company that is specifically designed for non-profit organizations. They have separate legal personality from their members, which means that members are not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the company. Companies limited by guarantee must be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
Charitable trusts are a type of trust that is specifically designed for charitable purposes. They are governed by the Trustee Act and must be registered with the Commissioner of Charities. Charitable trusts must have at least one trustee who is a Singapore citizen or permanent resident.
The following are the steps on how to set up an NGO in Singapore:
Choose a legal structure. The first step is to choose a legal structure for your NGO. The most common options are societies, companies limited by guarantee, and charitable trusts.
Draft a constitution or charter. A constitution or charter is a document that sets out the rules and regulations of the NGO. It should include information such as the name of the NGO, its objectives, its membership structure, and its governance structure.
Register with the relevant authorities. Depending on the legal structure of your NGO, you will need to register with the relevant authorities. Societies must be registered with the Registry of Societies, companies limited by guarantee must be registered with the ACRA, and charitable trusts must be registered with the Commissioner of Charities.
Appoint a board of directors or trustees. A board of directors or trustees is responsible for the governance of the NGO. They should be people with the skills and experience necessary to manage the NGO effectively.
Develop a fundraising plan. NGOs need to raise funds in order to operate. There are a number of ways to raise funds, such as grants, donations, and membership fees.
Comply with all legal and regulatory requirements. NGOs must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. This includes things like filing annual returns and paying taxes.
Here are some additional tips for setting up an NGO in Singapore:
Do your research. Before you start setting up your NGO, take some time to research the different legal structures and the requirements for each one.
Be patient. Setting up an NGO can take some time, so be patient and don't give up.
Network with other NGOs. There are a number of NGOs in Singapore that can offer support and advice. Networking with other NGOs can be a great way to learn from their experiences and get help with your own NGO.
Get Professional Advice
If you are not sure what you are doing, it is a good idea to get professional advice from Bestar.
Bestar can help you set up an NGO in Singapore in the following ways:
1. Company registration: Bestar can help you register your NGO as a company limited by guarantee or as a society with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
2. Constitution or charter drafting: Bestar can help you draft a constitution or charter for your NGO, which outlines the rules and regulations of the organization.
3. Regulatory compliance: Bestar can help you comply with all applicable laws and regulations, such as the Charities Act and the Income Tax Act.
4. Accounting and tax services: Bestar can provide you with accounting and tax services, including bookkeeping, financial reporting, and tax filing.
5. Fundraising advice: Bestar can advise you on how to raise funds for your NGO, such as through grants, donations, and membership fees.
6. Governance and management support: Bestar can provide you with governance and management support, such as developing policies and procedures, conducting board meetings, and managing staff.
7. Grant writing assistance: Bestar can help you write grant proposals to secure funding for your NGO.
10. Ongoing support: Bestar can provide you with ongoing support as your NGO grows and develops.
In addition to these general services, Bestar can also provide you with specialized services tailored to your NGO's specific needs. For example, if your NGO is working in the area of healthcare, Bestar can help you apply for healthcare grants and develop partnerships with healthcare providers.
Overall, Bestar can be a valuable partner for NGOs in Singapore, providing them with the support and resources they need to succeed.
Here are some additional benefits of using Bestar's services:
Expertise: Bestar has a team of experienced professionals who are experts in setting up and managing NGOs.
Efficiency: Bestar can help you set up your NGO quickly and efficiently.
Cost-effectiveness: Bestar's services are competitively priced and can help you save money in the long run.
Peace of mind: By working with Bestar, you can have peace of mind knowing that your NGO is in good hands.
If you are considering setting up an NGO in Singapore, contact Bestar for a consultation. We can assess your needs and provide you with a customized proposal for services.
You can reach Bestar through our website or by calling +65 8836 4489.