Non-profit organisations: registration and funding | Western Cape Government

Non-profit organisations: registration and funding


Female agriculture farmer. A non-profit organisation is a trust, company or other association of persons formed to assist the needy or disadvantaged.

Being a registered non-profit organisation (NPO) will not only improve your chances of getting funding but also tells communities that you care about providing quality services.

An NPO can register with the NPO Directorate in the National Department of Social Development (DSD)

Types of NGOs include:

  • Non Profit Organisation in terms of the NPO Act of 1997
  • Community-based organisations (CBOs)
  • Faith-based organisations (FBOs)
  • Organisations that have registered as Non profit Company (NPC) under the Company Act 61 of 1973
  • Trusts that have registered with Master of the High Court under the Trust Property Control Act 57 of 1988
  • Any other voluntary association or also referred to as "associations of persons"
  • Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) in terms of the Income Tax Act

How does government support NGOs?

The Western Cape Department of Social Development assists qualifying NGOs with funding, as we only fund organisations aligned to our mandates. The Western Cape Department of Social Development also assists NGOs with capacity building training as an important support provided by us. The national Department of Social Development helps all NGOs with registration.


NPO registration and fundingRegistration as a NPO in terms of the NPO Act of 1997

To register your NPO you’ll need the following founding documents:

  • A constitution if the organisation is a Voluntary Association.
  • A Trust Deed (a written agreement used by trusts) if the organisation is a Trust.
  • A Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) if the organisation is registered as a NPC

The next step would be to:

  1. Register online.
  2. Complete the application form and 2 copies of your NPO founding documents (constitution or deed of trust, and memorandum and articles of association).
  3. Submit the application form and founding documents via email or post.


You can make use of the Western Cape NPO help desk:

The NPO Help Desk was established to assist with registration support, compliance status information, NPO training, and certificate distribution.

In light of the shift in the Covid-19 Risk-Adjusted Strategy to Alert Level 4, the NPO help desk will continue to assist organisations via email and also have a dropbox for those opting to hand deliver registration and compliance documents.

As part of the national ‘Know Your Status Campaign,’ NPOs are encouraged to use the provincial DSD NPO Help Desk to determine their compliance status. 

Many organisations have reported that they don’t know their status or didn’t know they had to submit annual reports. Nationally, 54% are non-compliant. NPOs with reports outstanding will be provided with the necessary support and documentation to facilitate compliance at the Help Desk.  

Days: Monday to Thursday (closed on Fridays)
Time: 8:00am to 2:30pm

Where to apply

You can post your documents to:

NPO Directorate 
Department of Social Development
Private Bag X901

or hand-deliver them to:

NPO Directorate
HSRC Building
134 Pretorius Street

You can contact the NPO Directorate on:

Tel: 012 312 7500

What next?

Whether you apply by email or online, you’ll receive a reference number to track your application.

If you’re successful, you’ll receive a registration certificate.

If your application is unsuccessful, however, you’ll receive a letter stating the reason why it was not approved and what amendments are required. 

Contact information

Applying online for fundingFunding your NGO

As an NGO leaders, you’re encouraged to raise funds to help your organisation achieve its mission and goals. You can also contact your nearest regional office of the Department of Social Development to apply for subsidies and funding programmes. The next funding cycle opens in 2024/25. The NPO call for proposals will be advertised in June/July 2023. 

Regional Offices

The City of Cape Town also offers grants and funding.  

Provided by:
Government Body: (Western Cape Government)
The content on this page was last updated on 21 July 2021