Welcome to the last ngoLAW Brief of 2023

The food sovereignty training gardens at Siyazisiza

First the news that the latest iteration of the “Spy Bill” (which looks like being rushed through committees and Parliament in the dying days of 2023 in the same way that the FIC General Laws Amendment Act was in 2022) has dropped specific references to security vetting of all NGOs, but is still terribly vague on accountability […]

Ask NGOlaw

Dear ngoLAW can my brother-in-law/mother/husband serve on the same non-profit board as me?  NGOs quite often begin as family affairs, in which some family members call on other (family) they know and trust, get some good stuff done, and then come to us to set up a legal structure to house, manage and fundraise for […]

Dear ngoLAW: No-members NPC

Back when we were operating under the old Companies Act we used to be required to have members and once a year we would have an annual general meeting. It was a bit silly in that we would just close the normal board meeting and then open the AGM with the same participants, do the […]

Dictionary corner: “Ex Offico”- what does it mean?

This (widely misunderstood) term means “by virtue of another office held” and simply means that the person automatically becomes a board member because of some other position they are in. Those who serve ‘ex officio’ are not voted on, do not resign and are not subject to terms of office, as they are in when they […]

Difference between a with and without members NPC

With members Without members –       The board governs, the members appoint the board and special resolutions are passed by members (same as shareholder role, but no ownership as no shares); –       Checks and balances in place All authority in the board of directors, including special resolutions to amend the MOI etc, and also power of […]

Fiduciary Duty

DID YOU KNOW?   Defined: Fiduciary Duty This is the general duty of trust which rests on anyone acting not for themselves but for another. Directors, trustees, committee members and employees of organisations are required to act with the level of care and diligence which could reasonably be expected of someone taking care of the affairs/money/property […]

Founder syndrome

In his new article published on marcuscoetzee.co.za,  Marcus Coetzee says: “ Founder’s syndrome occurs when a founder struggles or refuses to ‘change gear’ and adopt a new mindset, approach or skill set as the organization grows and as its strategic context changes. Rather than making way for a new leader to take the organization to the next […]

Governance concepts: some quick definitions-types of board members

We find that our clients are often confused by these terms- hopefully this brings clarity: Executive Those (on the board or not) who have management authority and responsibilities. The Managing Director, “Executive Director”, Chief Executive Officer, CFO, COO, etc are all executives. Non-Executive Those who serve on the board or any other structure of the […]

Governance: Why and How

“Governance” is a word more likely to produce a (politely stifled) yawn than any excitement or interest. It does not sound like fun and many founders of organisations and those who go on to lead them treat it as an irritation and a hindrance, something that is a boring waste of time and money when there […]

What are the limits in our founding document?

Every founding document defines the objects/mission of the organisation and 98% of founding documents will say that the efforts and the funds of the organisation may only be expended in pursuit of that defined object. This echoes the Income Tax Act requirements for tax exempt entities: activities and expenditure are strictly limited to those which further and support […]

uMgeni Tourism Board

Umgeni Tourism board

I would like to thank Nicole for writing the three practical guides to NGO’s. It has been extremely helpful and I will definitely be reading her advice with a new set of eyes.  The practicality and simplicity of the books are a perfect fit for someone like me who does not enjoy reading. I have already suggested the books […]



KidsCan! is still a small organisation but if it is planned for us, we will grow. Our dream is to become the best After Care and Learning Centre in our area, helping children from a vulnerable background. Without ngoLAW’s guidance and straight answers to the many questions we had, we would have struggled receiving the […]

Second Quarter 2023 ngoLAW in brief

Welcome to June!- the past couple of months have brought more regulatory changes to the sector, including the final versions of: the NPO Act Regulations (the draft version was dealt with in our previous Brief) and the new Companies Act Regulations (which we will deal with in our next Brief). For this Brief, though, the […]

NPC advice: what is a ‘unique moi’ and do we need one?

Many NPCS which are registered in a hurry or without any understanding of the importance of the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) of an NPC are often established with the CIPC standard form MOI as their founding document. At ngoLAW we only register with a standard CIPC MOI as a short-term emergency measure when the NPC […]

Corporate Foundations webinar

Corporate Foundations webinar poster

https://youtu.be/YmwxQhQceNA This link is to a high-speed panel discussion, featuring Nicole and hosted by Trialogue, on Corporate “Foundations” Trialogue’s primary research shows that 43% of companies surveyed in 2022 managed some or all of their corporate social investment (CSI) through a separate legal entity, 28% through trusts and 15% through non-profit companies. This is an […]

First Quarter 2023 ngoLAW in Brief

This year has begun with a bang, as the contents of this Brief will show- there are three major regulatory changes for the NGO sector to understand and respond to: A major expansion of the FICA Schedule of “accountable institutions’ and who it now applies to; New 18A receipt rules, effective 1 March 23 (so, last […]

Understanding the differences between NPO, NGO and NPC and the governance policies

NGO, NPO, NPC, PBO – all these acronyms lead to confusion as to where charitable organisations and other similar entities fit into the equation. This also speaks to the funding models and criteria for each of these organisations, interrogating the issue of governance, transparency, and accountability in the organisational operations. NGO stands for a Non-governmental […]

Last Quarter 2022 ngoLAW in Brief

Our last newsletter of 2022 begins with an update on (and some practical advice coming out of) the major legislative changes that we have been engaged with government over, in an effort to: avoid grey-listing of our country by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF); AND limit unnecessary, not useful and potentially harmful extra regulatory […]



It has been an absolute pleasure having the support from ngoLAW to set up our NPC, although I have worked for many years in the sector, I was very hesitant about starting something up on my own.  ngoLAW took the edge off and made it feel achievable. They took care of all the daunting bureaucratic […]



Working with the ngoLAW team has been an extremely pleasant process for us at LIV Central. The level of excellence, professionalism and support they have provided, has been outstanding. We highly recommend their services which comes with great wisdom and the ability to understand our organisation’s needs, which ultimately saved us so much time and […]

URGENT call for submissions on the anti-grey-listing (compulsory NPO registration) Bill

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2022-10-08-mandatory-registration-requirement-in-money-laundering-and-terrorist-financing-bill-will-badly-hurt-sa-non-profits/ In an effort to prevent the severe economic consequences arising from the imminent threat of the “grey-listing” of South Africa, a General Laws Amendment Bill has been published that aims to avoid this grey-listing by demonstrating compliance  with the recommendations contained in South Africa’s Mutual Evaluation Report of the Financial Action Taskforce Force (FATF). […]

Special Brief from the Companies and Compliance team at ngoLAW

NOTICE TO NON PROFIT COMPANIES (AND PTYS): THE CIPC CHECKLIST WHAT IS IT? The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) has introduced an additional compulsory reporting requirement for companies with effect from the 2020 year, to increase awareness of and compliance with the obligations and processes of the Companies Act 71 of 2008. This additional […]

SECOND Quarter 2022 ngoLAW in Brief

Our winter newsletter has a little of something for everyone, and most of them come from questions our clients have asked us in the last couple of months – An introduction to a new CIPC annual compliance requirement; The question of the AGM- who needs to have one; For organisations which have a (dormant) trust […]

Parkinsons Disease South Africa

Parkinsons Disease South Africa

I was referred to Nicole Copley by another NGO that I am a patron of. Nicole quickly assessed what I required and minutes later I received a very clear proposal outlining my various options. Through every step of the process, I felt very comfortable that I was in capable hands. There were applications to several […]

SA Foundation For The Advancement Of Artificial Intelligence NPC

SA Foundation For The Advancement Of Artificial Intelligence NPC

We are very grateful for all of the assistance from the team at ngoLAW with our tax exemption application. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without their help, knowledge and guidance. From the onset we received guidance on how the process will work and what documents were needed. A few gentle but needed […]

I can Innovate NPC


We have had an incredible experience working with ngoLAW since our inception in 2018. The team is professional, efficient and always able to assist with our non-profit needs. The guidance and support we’ve received has allowed our team to reach thousands of students around the country. We would recommend ngoLAW to any non-profit company getting […]

Juju Surf NPC

Juju Surf

The ngoLAW team has been incredible in helping us set up our non-profit organisation, registering it and obtaining our 18a tax status in South Africa. Our experience has wonderful because every person on the team was very professional, kind and went above and beyond to help us along the way. Thank you ngoLAW for sharing […]

First Quarter 2022 ngoLAW in Brief

Purple flowers

It almost seems like it might be (hopefully, possibly) if not the end, at least the beginning of the end of our days of being dogged by pandemic panic. Please, God. Hope springs, facing forwards etc and this Brief is packed with useful, normal advice and insights for the day to day job of governing […]

Lulamaphiko NPC

Lulamaphiko NPC

I naturally turned to ngoLAW for guidance and support when I started Lulamaphiko in the middle of 2021, having relied on Nicole’s legal knowledge and experience from 2008 when I was director of the Family Literacy Project.  Nicole and her team expertly steered us through the legal requirements and registration processes for a new NGO, […]

Khula Natural Health

Khula Natural Health

ngoLAW assisted us right from the beginning with excellent and professional advice on starting our NPO, guiding us through all the legalities and always answering all our questions. The advice we received, and are still receiving, is always up to date, quick and professional. ngoLAW  is a most valued partner for all our Non-Profit Organisation’s […]

Sdi Global Support Organization NPC

Sdi Global Support Organization NPC

Nicole and her team have been so helpful in supporting us to ensure we have everything in order to operationalise our newly registered nonprofit company (NPC). Her expertise in South African ngoLAW and her responsive and highly competent team have really helped us to ensure we have everything in order to get us up and […]



Nicole from ngoLAW assisted us with advice on our membership restructure as well as on governance design for a subsidiary organisation in Rwanda. Nicole is on top of her game as far as the legal context of non-profit organisations are concerned and she is willing to listen and translate between the business context and the […]



HandsandFeet NPC has so valued the input, guidance and wisdom ngoLAW has provided to us over the years. From the transition from a Voluntary Association to a Not for Profit Company, to assisting us to stay on top of our compliance requirements and more. ngoLAW is incredibly efficient, friendly and helpful. They are trusted experts […]

Federation For A Sustainable Environment

Federation For A Sustainable Environment

The FSE has no hesitation in testifying to ngoLAW for its professionalism, ability, diligence and expert knowledge of the relevant legislation governing Non-Profit Organisations (NPO), and in highly recommending it to any NPO or civil society organisation. ngoLAW has always shown a keen interest in the progress and welfare of our organisation and has always […]



Edulution was fortunate to be introduced to ngoLAW just when their services were most needed! How grateful we are for the guidance and support from ngoLAW. Without the help of ngoLAW to navigate registering a non-profit as a Section 18A organisation and applying for PBO status and tax exemption, we would still be waiting.  Their […]

TFT in Practice NPC

TFT in Practice NPC

“Working with ngoLAW was such a pleasurable experience. Your efficiency, prompt response and experience in dealing with matters as the application process in getting TFT in Practice NPC the PBO status in drawing our MOI helped us to reach at the stage where we are at. Throughout the process I also appreciated the fact that […]

Greener Future Foundation

Greener Future Foundation

It has been such a great experience working with Nicole and Lisa in getting Greener Futures Foundation’s paperwork sorted out in record time.  ngoLAW’s experience and highly capable consultants made this process a seamless and efficient one.  Their attention to detail and the way they helped us understand the intricacies of resetting our NPC allowed […]

Steam Foundation

Steam Foundation

ngoLAW are the absolute go-to legal practice that specialises in all aspects of ngoLAW in the country. They are deep subject experts in the various forms of non-profit – from Voluntary Association to Non-Profit Company to Charitable Trust. They have also published books on the matter which are well worth getting for every organisation. Their […]


Dee Bezuidenhout is a VAT Specialist with 30 years’ experience and a useful depth of practical insights. Website: https://thevatlady.co.za/



Hashtag Nonprofit is a news magazine website celebrating the South African nonprofit sector. The site includes news and opportunities, profiles of NPO changemakers, NPO success stories, as well as a large collection of resources from leading NPO service providers. Ruen Govinder Website http://www.hashtagnonprofit.org



Forgood gives NPOs the chance to connect with people who have the skills or goods they need to solve social problems and continue serving their communities. In addition, the platform acts as a marketing platform, exposing the work that you’re doing to the world. Nerissa Roberts, Operations & Community Manager Website https://www.forgood.co.za/

October 2021: news and updates including: NPO Amendment Bill

Welcome to October and to the final newsletter of the year from the team at ngoLAW. There is quite a bit of content here so, to help you navigate it and find the bits you need first, a summary: The times we live in Reflections on our mental state, a handy document for organisation health-checks, and […]

Updates, Advice, Links and Events

Dear Friends It has been a while since we last wrote, but I know that we have all been busy, re-building what had fallen, creating new ways of working, adapting as we always have, to survive and continue to serve. In this ngoLAW Brief we bring you a mixture of topics and links that we […]

Fundraising Talk Session February 2021: 18A Q&A

[siteorigin_widget class=”SiteOrigin_Widget_Headline_Widget”][/siteorigin_widget] [siteorigin_widget class=”SiteOrigin_Widget_Headline_Widget”][/siteorigin_widget] Q: In proposals, can we still offer to put their information on our sites (social media and website) if they donate alongside the 18A certificate? Q: If you are writing articles or posting on social media about a donation, is that considered them getting something back for the donation? A: Recognition […]

An invitation to join us on a #FUNDRAISINGTALK Webinar with Nicole Copley

Please join us as Nicole, hosted by FundRaising Talk, gives a free webinar from 10 -11 am (log in from 9.45 am) on Thursday 4 Feb 2021 about: 18A in practise – be careful what you promise! (basics, updates and what to watch out for) and the ‘audit certificate’ newly being required by SARS (do you […]

November 2020: letter eight from lockdown

In this, our last letter of the year, we: deal with the upcoming NPO register clean up (!) in some detail, with practical tips; discuss whether the PBAs SARS classifies organisations under matter; and give some practical advice on filing objections with SARS.  We also introduce our theme for the next few letters:   Governance: […]

Advance access & delivery

Advance access and delivery

I am very happy with the service at I received at ngoLAW. The team is always polite and professional and very knowledgeable. The systems Nicole has built to make sure there was consistent and clear communication across team members must be commended. I would highly recommend ngoLaw. Michael Wilson

Call 2 Care

Call 2 Care

“Working with ngoLAW was the best decision our organisation made and helped us fast track updating our MOI and getting approved for Section 18A. The team at ngoLAW were insightful, professional and methodological which ensured the best possible outcome. Our organisation can not recommend ngoLAW enough.” Steven dos Ramos – Call 2 Care director