How to check the status of an NPO

Why check the status of an NPO?

How often have you had someone approach you on the street or knock on your door requesting a donation for some or other cause? They’ll flash a letter or show you some document attached to a clipboard, you’ll glance at at it, perhaps even read it, and then you’ll either fork out a few bucks or not. Its no big deal if you’re only shelling out pocket change, but What if you or your company are being asked for a larger amount of money? It happened to a customer today – hence this Quick Tip.

Checking the status of an NPO is quite easy, and it can be done online. Head over to and look for the “Search the NPO Register” search box on the right side of the screen (figure 1). Enter the name or the registration number of the organization and you can instantly search the 165,000+ organizations that are registered with the Department of Social Development.

NPO Register Screen
Figure 1

The results screen (figure 2) will provide confirmation of the NPO’s registration status. If the information you provided matches more than one organization then all possible matches will be displayed (figure 3). Clicking on the magnifying glass icon on the left of each row of results will provide more detailed information about that NPO, including details of the various office bearers and contact information (figure 4). Since it is quite likely that criminals will use genuine NPO information to draw up documentation it is advisable to pick up the phone and call to make sure that your donation will in fact make it to the organization.

NPO Database Definite Results
Figure 2

NPO Database Possible Matches
Figure 3

NPO details screen
Figure 4

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