How To Start A Non-Governmental Organization (N.G.O) In Nigeria

non-governmental organization

Starting a non-governmental organization in Nigeria isn’t rocket science; and your ideas of helping those who needs help in the society into reality can be very exciting, but for one or a group of people to create a non-governmental organization, it takes passion, dedication, paperwork, investment in order to succeed. However, if given proper planning and strategy, the rewards of starting a service organization for the community and seeing that passion come into existence is great. Non-governmental in Nigeria go out of their way to help people who are in dire need of food, housing, education, healthcare support etc. We need to make the world a better place, and if this can be built into an organization that provides a much-needed service to the community, it will be achievable in a short period. Here are the steps for starting a non-governmental organization in Nigeria.



Why are you starting this non-governmental organization? If the answer that comes to mind is to make money for yourself, then that’s not what starting a non-governmental organization is about. It’s about starting and maintaining a charity to help humanity. Take time to reflect on what service your non-governmental organization intends to give to your community, who will be helped by the role played by your non-governmental organization and what methods you’ll need to use to succeed in its mission.

Starting a non-governmental organization always needs a mission statement: Write down your thoughts and revise until you have a firm grasp that what you’ve written fully and succinctly captures the purpose of your organization. At that point, you’ll have some focus for your plan.


Your non-governmental organization will preferably have a name that captures not only its mission, but also its spirit. The challenge is just as much; finding the right name that embodies your non-profit as it is a name that is unique to the world. Be as exhaustive as possible in making sure you don’t infringe on anyone else’s trademark by registering the name with the corporate affairs commission (CAC). Before that, the first step, quite easily, is to do a search online for the name you are thinking of, and see what appears. After that, search for the name that you intend to give the non-governmental organization you are starting within the C.A.C database of business names.

The spirit of starting a non-governmental organization and finances of an upstart charity can be crushed if someone calls foul on you or sues for name infringement. After you have the name set, double-check that you can get a good website name also as building a brand online is key. It may sway your decision.


After starting your non-governmental organization, do you want what you’ve created to extend into the future regardless of your own personal involvement? Do you want it to continue its mission after you have moved on to other business? Did you know that your non-governmental organization can become its own legal entity, capable of owning property and holding its own bank account separate from you or any individual?

Incorporating is a viable route to take: if this seems appealing, then after starting a charity, formalize the organization as a non-governmental organization with the corporate affairs commission in the state where it will function.

In order to incorporate, you must create articles of incorporation, which legally outline the purpose of your non-governmental organization and the authorities and responsibilities of the board members. A firm mission statement will be required as you incorporate.

After incorporating, you can set up a bank account to service your non-governmental organization that will be its own separate account. Even if you keep your non-governmental organization informal and choose not to incorporate, you can still protect your non-governmental organization by getting it registered through C.A.C


Starting a non-governmental organization isn’t the easiest task in the world, but there are places that want to reach out and help you called non-governmental organization partners. Non-governmental organization partners aim to help you as you start your charity or non-governmental organization in Nigeria by finding you resources and tools when you may not be on financially strong enough ground to gather them on your own.

The second thing you should consider is looking across the aisle to the people in the non-profit community who hold the same mission as yourself. Are there well-established non-profits whose mission is related somehow to yours? Like the Dangote foundation or the Tony Enumelu Foundation that give entrepreneurs startup capital and support.

From preëxisting organizations, aspiring non-governmental organization can often gain the support and financial investment to launch. Now that you have the mission and idea set for starting your non-governmental organization, by reading this article you might have noticed there is a lot of paper work involved. Having an expert to help you through may make for a lot less sleepless nights. That’s why you should consider hiring a financial expert if you or other board members are not oriented in this expertise. A lawyer who can help you create your articles of incorporation, review all legal documents and help you file for tax exemption with the IRS also is a great part of the team when starting your non-governmental organization. Financial requirements and documentation for non-governmental organization are not to be taken lightly.


Having fully set up your non-governmental organization, reach out to those who are in dire need of help in and around your community, such as orphanages, prisons, hospitals, mental homes, old people’s homes and home for the disables. Make them feel important and special members of the society, which goes a long way to make the world a better place for your future generations.

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