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How to Acquire NGO Status for International Grant Writing

If you hope to participate in the world of international grants, you need NGO status. Nonprofit organizations that provide programs and services in an international arena rather than a U.S. arena are considered to be nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs.

If you have (or will have) nonprofit programs or activities outside the United States, you must either file for NGO status in every country your organization operates in or register with each individual country’s national taxation authority, or whatever such an agency is called in the country in which you’re providing services. After you receive approvals, you can use your NGO letter when seeking grant funding in each specific country.

Get your organizational information together in advance to speed up the NGO approval process. Each country will likely want to see a written description of your organization’s purpose and programs, and maybe even multiyear financial data. Visit The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law to find information on the legal documents required in several countries and how to file them.

After you have your NGO approval letters in hand from each country, make multiple copies or scan them into an electronic file. If you lose this letter or mistakenly attach your only copy to a grant proposal, it may take months or years to obtain another official copy.

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