Non-profit organisations: registration and funding



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

Here’s what you need to know about getting your NPO registered.

Different types of NPOs

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

An NPO can be a trust, a company or organisation, which has a public rather than a private purpose. This means that your NPO will not operate for profit but provide services.

Types of NPOs include:

  • Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • Community-based organisations (CBOs)
  • Faith-based organisations (FBOs)
  • Organisations that have registered as Section 21 Companies under the Company Act 61 of 1973
  • Trusts that have registered with Master of the Supreme Court under the Trust Property Control Act 57 of 1988
  • Any other voluntary association that is not for profit

Who is responsible for NPOs?

The Western Cape Department of Social Development assists NPOs with funding, while the National Department of Social Development helps all NPOs with registration.


Funding your NPO

As an NPO founder, you are 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.

Registering your NPO

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

  • A founding document/constitution
  • A deed of trust (a written agreement used by trusts)
  • The memorandum and articles of association (which set out the mission of your NPO and monitors its growth)

You can apply for registration in two ways:

  1. Register online
  2. Post your application form and two copies of your NPO’s founding documents (constitution or deed of trust, and memorandum and articles of association)


You can submit your documents to:

Directorate: Non-Profit Organisations
Department of Social Development
Private Bag X901

or hand-deliver them to:
Directorate: Non-Profit Organisations
HSRC Building
134 Pretorius Street

Whether you apply by post or online, you will receive a reference number to track your application.

If you are successful, you will receive a registration certificate. If your application is unsuccessful, however, you will receive a letter with advice to re-apply. 

Provided by:
Government Body: (Western Cape Government)
The content on this page was last updated on 11 October 2017