Frequently Asked Questions

Browse through frequently asked questions, if your question is not answered please Contact Us.

Determine the need and then go on to the next point!

See application form and model constitution supplied by the Department of Social Development

Visit - All You need to Know About the Registration of an Non-Profit Organisation (NPO)

See for valuable information regarding the starting up of an NPO and the difference between the various options.

This is a very broad subject. Depending on your requirements, it may be a little as organising a "Big Walk" or as large as submitting a funding application to a Corporate Donor or the National Lottery.

SAIF Branches hold get-togethers every two months or so and have speakers who would contribute to your knowledge.

SAIF Learning Centre provides comprehensive accredited fundraising courses in partnership with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

Also visit the SANGONeT Website - "NPO Management Toolkit" and - Resources & Services / Civil Society Toolkits

Only if you are registered as exempt. See SARS for more information. Their website has detailed explanations on how to register for tax exemption and the tax deductibility of donations

No (see benefits for members & A Case for joining SAIF)

No, we do not raise funds on behalf of organisations because we are a membership institute for fundraising professionals.

There are several local and international companies available via web search that advertise and make donor databases available on subscription or purchase.

SAIF does not approve of commission based fundraising. We believe that fundraisers should be paid a market related rate commensurate with the job requirements.

Click here to view "Arguments against Commission-based fundraising"

Click here to view the International Statement of Ethical Principles

The old Fundraising Act has been repealed and under the new NPO Act (NonProfit Organisation Act), registration is voluntary. Therefore, fundraising numbers are not required.

However, experience has shown that it would be to your advantage to be registered as a NPO (NonProfit Organisation) and have an NPO number.

Registration as an NPO is done through the Department of Social Development, NPO Directorate, Pretoria (012 312 7500) -

Download the NPO Act in PDF format

See for valuable information regarding the starting up of an NPO and the difference between the various options

The SAIF Branch functions are excellent places to meet and network with other fundraisers.

For SAIF information and application click here

The NPO Directorate have compiled a model Constitution - click here to view this document.

Copies of the Government Acts can be obtained from Government Printer in Pretoria – 012 334 4500 (consult current telephone directory) or visit

Refer to our Advertisers on the consultancy page for more information on available services.

See "Non-profit organisations - Starting up"

See for valuable information regarding the starting up of an NPO and the difference between the various options

Members of the Board should have an interest in the work and future of the organisation they serve.

They should represent the stakeholders and constituencies involved in the organisation; such as: the clients, beneficiaries or community; or even the donors funding the programme.

Visit FundRaising Success for an article on "Four Steps to Creating a Strong Fundraising Board" By David H. King

It determines the organisation’s mission and purpose.

It selects and appoints the executive personnel.

It supports the chief executive officer and reviews her performance.

It ensures effective organisational planning.

It ensures adequate resources.

It effectively manages resources.

It determines and monitors the organisation’s programmes and services.

It enhances the organisation’s public image.

It serves as a court of appeal.

It measures its own performance.

Board membership should declare in writing any financial or family interest they have in any organisation or person that has a relationship to the NGO, either as supplier or customer

Set policy and monitor performance

Help prepare the case for support

Supply lists of potential donors

Add personal notes to corporate and trust appeals

Evaluate and provide information on major donor prospects

Invite prospects and influential friends to visit the organisation

Arrange introductions and open doors to donors

Accompany staff members on solicitation calls

Personally thank major donors

Make an annual donation to the best of their ability.

Log onto – go to the “Resources & Services” Link, then to the Civil Society Tool Kits. Scroll down, there is a very good Toolkit on Proposal writing which can be downloaded (for free) - either in MSWord or PDF format.

You don't! The SAIF membership list is not for sale nor is it divulged to a third party. Should you really believe in your product, you may sent an e-mail proposal to the National Office for perusal by the National Council.

Downes Murray International can advise as to where/how lists can be rented (note – this is quite expensive!).

Direct Marketing Solutions can also advise on list acquiring.

A good idea is to swop with other NPOs, as you will then at least have people who do donate.

Lists of Donors/companies/ trusts, etc, go to, which has all info on donor directory service. (Available for purchase)

You can give funds to any charity of your choice – this is between you as the donor and the beneficiary charity. However, should you want to raise funds in the name of a particular charity, then you must ask permission from them. They have the right to protect the use of their name. If you want to hold an event to raise funds, then you must make it clear to the people you invite that the money they give is in the form of a donation for that charity. People then have the choice to donate or not to donate. You must be transparent in your actions and accountable for the funds. For example, consider whether you will be deducting the expenses for the event from the money raised before handing over the profits to the charity, or will it be a sponsored event with the costs being donated, permitting all the funds raised to go to the cause. Either way is permissible, providing you make it clear to all concerned and everyone is in agreement. You have an obligation to act responsibly with donor funds.

Should you wish to hold the event on a regular basis, you might want to form a small committee to manage the event. You should write some simple rules governing the proceedings and then allocate responsibilities such as advertising, collecting the money and liaising with the charity. You will need to do this if you want to open a back account in the name of the project, which is preferable if you are managing other people/s money. If you work closely with one particular charity, you might find that they will help you be endorsing your initiative and may even write a letter giving you permission to ask businesses to donate prizes on their behalf.

We are in the process of starting a project which will rely entirely on donor funding. unemployed in our area. The people we will serve are not in a position to pay for this help. As we are novices at this type of fund raising, we would appreciate any advice.

Membership of SAIF is individual not organisational. Benefits include discounts at branch meetings, trainings, conferences etc. Membership gives opportunities for networking and learning from other similar organisations. Newsletters and e-mails give advice on matters affecting the non-profit sector. Perhaps it would be beneficial to identify a suitable person to be trained as a fundraiser.

We could help them using our own resources but they have to commit a portion of funds raised to meeting our costs. Is there any guideline on applicable daily or hourly rates or is this for agreement between my client and me? What charges are prevailing on the market as of now?

The arrangement between you and your client is a contract between both sides. You can make whatever arrangements suit you best. However, we do not agree with commission based fundraising because it leads to abuse. Click here to view arguments against commission-based fundraising.

The consulting rate should be market related, depending on what skills you are bringing to the party.

If you choose to work at your own risk, you could arrive at a fee and they could pay you only if you are successful but the risk will be yours.

Note - the Fundraising Act of 1997 was replaced with the Non Profit Act. Click here for PDF format of the Act

You are not allowed to hold back any fees raised on behalf of a client. All money raised should be paid directly to the client and they should pay you for your services on presentation of invoice.

Copies of the Government Acts can be obtained from Government Printer in Pretoria – 012 334 4500 (consult current telephone directory) or visit

You are already a voluntary association/forum. You now need to have a founding statement or constitution.

Contact the Department of Social Development and apply for a NPO number. They will send a pack of information containing a model constitution, which you can follow.

See application form and model constitution supplied by the Department of Social Development

Note - the Fundraising Act of 1997 was replaced with the Non Profit Act. Click here for PDF format of the NPO Act.

Copies of the Government Acts can be obtained from Government Printer in Pretoria – 012 334 4500 (consult current telephone directory) or visit

Take the telephone number of the charity and ask them how much of the money raised they are receiving. Do not contribute if you are not satisfied as to their authenticity. Note - fundraising numbers are not longer relevant.

Regarding the legalities of charities there are a few checks that anyone should make before making any donation.

Is the charity registered as a Non Profit Organisation? What is their NPO number? (However, what should be born in mind is that because an organisation has a NPO number, it only means that the organisation complies with the requirements laid down by the Department of Social Development and it is not a guarantee of the reliability of the organisation)

What is their Income Tax Number? Although charities are generally exempt for tax they do have to be registered as a PBO

Are they registered under section 18A of the Income tax act? This will allow the donor to deduct a donation (within prescribed limits) from taxable income. They should be able to issue a special receipt to allow the deduction

Are they registered with one of the Department of Social Development, Dept of Health, Dept of Sport or Dept of Culture?

Who are their board (Committee members)?

How often does their board (committee) meet?

Who is the Director, General Manager or Chief Executive?

What is their physical address– not only a box number? How long have they been there? Do they own or rent the premises?

What is their contact telephone number (not a cell number?)

How long have they been in existence?

Have you looked at their constitution?

Who else gives to them? You should be able to contact other donors.

Do they get funds from Community Chest or the National Lottery? Those organizations generally have a good method of checking the legality of an organisation

Who benefits from their activities and in what form?

Have you looked at their annual financial statements?

Do they have an annual report?

Is their Annual General Meeting open to the public?

Do they have a website?

The Non Profit Directorate is the only source of this information - or 012 312 7500

We now have voluntary registration of non-profit organisations.

Whether or not what you are doing is legal is a matter of normal legal practice. Consult an Attorney or Chartered Accountant.

What is a Case Statement?

It functions as a vehicle to bring together in one place the thinking of those responsible for the institution’s future.

It serves as a catalyst in the process of evolving such thinking.

It becomes the authorised resource document for all subsequent forms of communication.

It serves as a back-up document, where necessary or appropriate, to other shorter written communication pieces such as releases and media events, special presentations, foundation proposals, fundraising brochures and the like.

It is a major working tool in volunteer leadership enlistment, orientation, training – and for prospect cultivation and solicitation in selected cases. Any proposals which are made for financial support will draw on this document without it being necessary to recreate a completely new proposal on each occasion. In this way it becomes a model for support and the basis for any publication produced to support the fundraising effort.

What a Case Statement is not -

It is not just a straightforward description of the institution.

It is not just written from the viewpoint of those inside the institution.

It is not just a list of achievements, although these will be included.

It is not a PR document, although PR documents can be created from it.