A Non-Governmental Organization, commonly referred to as NGO, is a non-profit entity independent of the government, voluntary citizens’ group which is organized on a local, national or international level. Many are active in humanitarian or social areas, however, NGOs can also be as lobby groups for corporations. NGOs perform a variety of service and humanitarian functions, bring citizen concerns to governments, advocate and monitor policies and encourage political participation through provision of information.
NGOs are usually funded by donations, but some avoid formal funding altogether and are run primarily by volunteers. Anyone can start an NGO in Kenya, but you need to have a deep passion for the cause, entrepreneurial skills, a business plan, a method of measuring results, and good management skills. According to the NGO Coordination Act, all NGOs in Kenya have to be registered under the NGOs Coordination Board.
Requirements for registering an NGO in Kenya
You will be required to have the following documents for you to register an NGO in Kenya.
- Copy of name reservation form duly paid.
- Copies of ID/passport for the 5 proposed officials and board members.
- Copies of KRA PIN certificates for the 5 proposed officials and board members.
- Copy of a valid police clearance (certificate of Good Conduct including the fingerprints and receipts) for Kenyans. Equivalent notarized clearance certificate for foreigners from their country of origin (must not be more than six (6) months old).
- Two copies of the constitution of the proposed NGO/INGO signed by both the proposed three (3) officials and the two (2) board members.
- Minutes authorizing the filing of the application with a specific agenda and resolution to register the organization as an NGO with the NGOs Coordination Board. Election of the interim officials must form part of the agenda.
- A one-year proposed budget.
- A forwarding letter.
- Original signatures of the officials and members as applicable.
- A processing fee of Ksh 16,000 for national NGOs and Ksh 30,000 for international NGOs.
- Information regarding the line ministry in which the proposed NGO will be operating in.
- Memorandum of Understanding between the organization and the donors (if any).
Qualifications for NGO registration in Kenya
For you to register an NGO in Kenya, there are some qualifications it must meet.
- The NGO would have to demonstrate an act of public good that it will benefit and improve the lives of the population and the citizens of Kenya.
- There should be a Kenyan among the 3 top three officials when registering an International NGO.
- At least one third (1/3) of all the board members must be Kenyan for all foreign-based NGOs.
NGO registration procedure in Kenya
Here are the steps you need to follow in order to register an NGO in Kenya.
- The first step is to conduct a name search for the name you have decided to use in order to register your NGO. Name search is mainly carried out at Huduma Centers. All that one has to do is to fill Form F2. This activity will cost you only Ksh 1,000.
- Upon confirmation of a name, the approved name is reserved for sixty days. In case of expiration of reservation period before proceeding to the registration phase, the reservation can be renewed for Ksh 1,000.
- After the name search, one is required to submit 2 copies of duly filled Form 3.
- In order for the forms to be accepted, they have to be in block letters.
- One will also need to fill Form 1 stating the organization’s contact person.
- A notification of the location of the office and postal address of the NGO signed by three top officials of the NGO.
- A payment of Ksh 400 should accompany Form 1 and 3 during submission.
- Submission of 2 passport size (2*2) colored, taken on a white background for the 3 top officials and 2 other board members. The passports should contain the names of the persons and their organizations at the back.
- After presentation of all the required documents and information to the NGOs Coordination Board, you will have to wait for its approval.