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Non-Government Organisation (NGO) & Self Help Group (SHG) :: FAQs


What is a nongovernment organization?

A non-governmental organization (NGO) is a legally constituted organization created by private persons or organizations with no participation or representation of any government. In the cases in which NGOs are funded totally or partially by governments, the NGO maintains its non-governmental status insofar as it excludes government representatives from membership in the organization.

What is the name of the registration acts?
  For Society - Society Registration Act
  For  Trust  -  Indian Trust Act

Where to register?
Head office:
O/o The Inspector General of Registration 
No.100, Santhome HighRoad , Chennai 600 028. Ph : 91-44-24640160,
Fax: 91-44-24942774 ; Mail:

How many members in one society?
There should be 7 to 9 member but not beyond more than 9 members.

Where is the registration office at coimbatore?
O/o District Registrar Office,

NGOs are not for profits. So can they make profits ?
Yes. It would be called as surplus and not profit. 
Like Companies, which can distribute profits in the form of dividends, NGOs can not distribute surplus.

Is it possible to work with one or less staff ? 
Yes. Many NGOs are entirely managed with the help of volunteers

What is a foreign source?
Foreign source means the government of any foreign country or territory or its agency; international agency; a foreign company; citizen of a foreign country. For more details see section 2(1)(e) of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976.

Who cannot receive foreign contribution?
Foreign contribution cannot be accepted by a candidate for election; correspondent, columnist, cartoonist, editor, owner, printer or publisher of a registered newspaper; judge, government servant or employee of any corporation; member of any legislature; political party or office bearer thereof.

Who can receive foreign contribution?
An association having a definite cultural, economic, educational, religious or social programme, after it obtains the prior permission of the Central Government or gets itself registered with the Central Government, can receive foreign contribution.

Are all these NGOs good and credible ?
NGOs are formed by people. So like every industry, there are good and bad intentions. The NGO Sector is suffering more from the credibility image because they are dependent on donations from others rather than their self generated income. Also, people feel that there could be corruption at corporate or government level but at least the non profit social sector should be free of corruption.

What is the typical size of an NGO ?
The size of the NGO depends on its activities and budgets
e.g. CRY is more of a funding and monitoring organisation, working with 171 partner organisations across the country. CRY employs around 150 people. For implementing organisations of the same budget, the number of employees will be higher.

Typically most of the NGOs in the country have less than 10 people.

Why the role of NGOs is critical to build empowered sociey ?
Individual, institutional and even government funding to communities is channeled through NGOs. That is why the role of NGOs is critical to the development of the nation.

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