How to register a non governmental organization in Kenya

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) have made significant differences in people’s lives, especially those who are in marginalized areas. Some of their main functions are to mobilize social change and provide humanitarian aid such as quality healthcare and education, which would have been difficult to access otherwise.

Based on the growth and development of NGOs, it’s safe to say the society we live in today wouldn’t be the same without these organizations. According to research, the number of NGOs in Kenya has grown by over 400% between 1997 and 2006.

The NGO Coordination Board is in charge of regulating NGOs in Kenya which was established by the Non-Governmental Organizations Co-ordination Act. They are responsible for coordinating the work of all national and international NGOs operating in Kenya, advise the government on activities of NGOs and maintain the register of NGOs operating in Kenya.

Registration can be done physically or online through the eCitizen website. Here’s a guide on how to register an NGO on eCitizen.

Requirements to register an NGO in Kenya

The requirements for registering an NGO in Kenya are as follows:

  • 3 proposed names for the NGO
  • Contact details of the NGO
  • Details of top 3 officials
  • Details of all board members including KRA Pins and identification documents
  • NGO’s head office and postal address
  • Filled Form 1 stating details of the NGO’s contact person
  • Scanned copies of valid Police Clearance Certificates not less than 6 months old and an equivalent notarized clearance form for foreigners
  • Scanned copy of the NGO’s draft Proposed  Constitution duly signed by all board members on the execution page and at least one proposed official on each and every page
  • Scanned minutes authorizing the filing of the application with a specific agenda and resolution to register the organization
  • National or international affiliations and certificates of incorporation
  • Charitable objectives of the NGO
  • Proposed annual budget
  • Sectors of proposed operations
  • Duration of activities
  • Source of funding
  • Digital signatures of all Board members in blue ink and on a white background
  • Two colored Passport size photos (size2*2) of 3 top officials and 2 other Board members taken on a white background
  • Forwarding cover letter
  • Application should either be typed or filled in block letters
  • Processing fee of Ksh 1,000 and convenience fee of Ksh 50

Note: at least ⅓ of all board members should be Kenyan for foreign based NGOs

Application process for registering an NGO in Kenya

  • Visit the eCitizen website and log into your account
  • Click Apply Now on the NGO Name Search tab. This is the first step to register an NGO
  • Read the instructions carefully then select the Type Of Registration tab
  • Choose either National NGO or International NGO and answer whether it’s registered in another institution
  • Fill in the NGO’s proposed names and attach supporting documents then select Next
  • Enter the applicant’s details including full name, designation, ID number, phone number and email address then select Preview
  • Confirm if the information is accurate then select Complete
  • Choose your payment method ie Mpesa, KCB Cash, Airtel Money etc. For Mpesa, enter the Mpesa number then tap on Pay
  • Enter your PIN and tap Complete
  • The registry will conduct a search and recommend reservation if the proposed names are available
  • Once a name is approved, application is submitted alongside Form 1, Form 3, the NGO’s constitution, the cover letter and proposed budget
  • The NGO Board will send an acknowledgment letter upon receipt of your application

It takes approximately 3 months for the registration process to be completed. A registration certificate will be issued once your application meets the set requirements.

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