Frequently asked questions

Browse though our FAQs to discover more about Southern Africa Institute of Fundraising

Southern Africa Institute of Fundraising
How do I Register for a NPO number?
Open Tab

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.

How do I raise funds for my Non-Profit Organisation?
Open Tab

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.Southern Africa Institute of Fundraising (SAIF) hold training and information sessions as well as get-togethers in KZN and the WC every two months or so and have speakers who would contribute to your knowledge. Southern Africa Institute of Fundraising (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

Do companies who fund my organisation get a tax deduction?
Open Tab

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.

Do I need to register with SAIF in order to raise funds?
Open Tab

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

Does SAIF facilitate Fundraising?
Open Tab

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

Where can I get a list of Corporate donors, Trusts and Foundations?
Open Tab

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

If a fundraiser raises funds for my organisation, how much commission may they ask and can they charge referral fees?
Open Tab

Southern Africa Institute of Fundraising (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.

Do I need a fundraising number in order to raise funds?
Open Tab

The old Fundraising Act has been repealed and under the new NPO Act (Non-ProfitOrganisation Act), registration is voluntary. Therefore, fundraising numbersare not required. However, experience has shown that it would be to your advantage to beregistered as a NPO (Non-Profit Organisation) and have an NPO number.Registration as anNPO is done through the Department of Social Development, NPO Directorate,Pretoria (012 312 7500) - the NPO Act in PDF formatSee for valuable information regarding the starting up of an NPO and the difference between the various options.

Where can I get support, network and get inspiration as a fundraiser?
Open Tab

The SAIF training and  functions are excellent places to meet and network with other fundraisers.For Southern Africa Institute of Fundraising (SAIF) information and application click here.

Where would I obtain a model of a Constitution for my Organisation?
Open Tab

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

Where would I obtain copies of various Acts - eg. NPO Act?
Open Tab

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

Where would I obtain information on how to fundraise through bequests?
Open Tab

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

What is the difference between an NPO and a Non-Profit Company and Trust Organisation?
Open Tab

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Who is the right person to be a Member of a Board?
Open Tab

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

What are the roles and functions of the governing board?

  • It determines the organisation’s mission and purpose. It selects and appoints the executive personnel.
  • It supports the chief executive officer and reviews his/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.

What are the fundraising responsibilities of board members?

  • 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.
Where can obtain information on Proposal Writing?
Open Tab

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.

I want to circulate information to the SAIF membership base - how do I go about it?
Open Tab

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 send an e-mail proposal to the National Office for perusal by the National Council.

Can I (and where do I) buy membership lists (or lists of people to target in fundraising appeals)?
Open Tab

Downes Murray International can advise as to where/how lists can be rented (note – this is quite expensive!). 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, which has all info on donor directory service.(Available for purchase)

We want to organise an event in aid of fundraising for a charity of our choice. What are the legal implications?
Open Tab

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.

Would it benefit our Church to become a member of SAIF?
Open Tab

We are in the process of starting a project which will rely entirely ondonor funding. unemployed in our area. The people we will serve are not in aposition 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, 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. As a member of the SAIF, I know that our ethics prevent us from charging a percentage commission on funds raised. However, I receive requests from very poor and rural communities who are not able to fund our daily rate. What shouldI do?" 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 andme? 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 hereto 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.

In terms of the fundraising act what amount of fees if any is the fundraiser allowed to hold back as a fundraising fee. Where can I obtain a copy of the Act?"
Open Tab

Note - the Fundraising Act of 1997 was replaced with the Non-Profit 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 youfor your services on presentation of invoice.Copies of theGovernment Acts can be obtained from Government Printer in Pretoria – 012 3344500 (consult current telephone directory) or visit 

Can you tell me where I can find statistics for fundraising in Southern Africa (i.e. % of people who give, age breakdown, success of face-to-face fundraising vs. letters, etc)?
Open Tab

Try CORE (Cooperative for Research and Education)

I have been invited to join an international group of people, of all colours, races and creeds, which creates a forum of peaceful and caring human people. What do we have to do legally to make this into a registered NGO?"
Open Tab

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.

How do I acquire the Fundraising Act, especially with regards to the limitations/ requirements for churches wanting to raise funds? Where can I lookup such info?"
Open Tab

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

People coming to the door with collection lists (with Fundraising number) – is this legal – do the donations go to the organisation listed?
Open Tab

Call 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 no 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? What should be borne 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 PBOAre 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 deductionAre 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?

Still have questions?

Reach out to us for further assistance