Citizen is a column that explains how the government’s policies fucks citizens and how we can unfuck ourselves.

While creating a Non-Governmental Organization in Nigeria is pretty easy, the process can be rather long and hard for some to figure out. Ifeoluwa Ogunleye, a corporate lawyer we spoke to has seen many Nigerians looking to register an NGO make several mistakes. From not knowing when best to register or what they need to have done before registering. We asked her to share some things you ought to know before registering an NGO and now you can read some of her tips below.

  1. You need to have done some charitable work

Before starting an NGO, you need to have done some work for whatever you are setting up an NGO for. For example, if you are setting up a food drive, you need to have done some rallies or a series of notable food drives. 

  1. The people around the area where the NGO office is set up have to know you before registering

NGOs depend on awareness and it is important that the people within the area where your NGO office is located are familiar with what you do. It also helps when they benefit from whatever cause you are championing.

  1. Your Board of trustees has to be financially independent

Because financial matters have been known to bring problems with NGOs, sometimes not being enough and other times being too much that it starts to go missing, it is important that anyone joining your board of trustees be financially independent. This is practical and also beneficial to your enterprise in the long run. It is also helpful that anyone joining your board of trustees is someone who already works within your area of expertise.

  1. Invest in putting your work out there

Talk about your work. Network with editors at publications. Attend charity events that will help bring attention to your work. It is important that people know what you stand for and what you are doing even before you decide to set up an NGO. This will make it easier to reach more people in terms of impact and getting possible assistance.

  1. Have a network of people who can help you give you access to grants and other related information.

Building a network of people (read government officials) who can help keep you in the loop when the government announces grants would save you a lot of stress. Not only are these people closer to information like this, but they can also legitimise the work you do with their support.


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