Top 5 Things That Show The NGO You Are Donating To Is Legitimate

An NGO is a Non-Governmental Organization independent of government involvement. NGOs make up a subgroup of organisations that are established by citizens. Ri’Ayah Foundation is a Non-Profit Non-Governmental Organisation created by Liberians for Liberians. Ri’Ayah Foundation offers help and resources to vulnerable communities and people in Liberia.


Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other events, there has been an influx of fake NGOs created by fraudsters online. In this post, we’ll be detailing how to ensure the NGO you want to donate to is legitimate. Here are five ways to check.



  1. Transparency – An NGO is usually held accountable by its donors, stakeholders, the people being helped, the partners of the NGO, and, the government. At all these levels, the NGO must hold a certain level of transparency with the government and partners requiring the highest amount of transparency. Transparency will come in a few ways. The first and most prominent way is through NGO registration. NGOs are required to register with the government of the country they have been established in. This is necessary to ensure they are valid and they are able to be excused from tax. In some countries, NGOs are exempted from paying tax because they are charity organizations. NGOs should have ID numbers alongside their tax exemption certificate.


NGOs should also have semi or quasi-public records that can be accessed on their website and on an official government website. Their finances should be available on their website as quarterly financial reports and annual financial reports. The reports posted should mirror or be as close as possible to the change enacted by the NGO. Transparency is vital in NGOs because the very idea of an NGO is for a charitable and ethical cause.


  1. Method of Payment – The method of payment an NGO permits is indicative of the legitimacy. Banks will often require official documents if one wants to open a business account. A business account may need multiple signatories as well as a maximum withdrawal amount to prevent laundering. An NGO should not have donors donate to a personal account but rather an official account with the name of the NGO. NGOs do not ask for cash only or credit card transactions over the phone, there should be multiple secure payment channels available.


  1. Availability of a Diverse Team – Donors should be able to speak to the team or at least some members of the team If they wish to. This will assuage the fears of donors and let them know their donations are going towards a good cause. The team must also be diverse especially if it’s an NGO tailored towards an indigenous or a particular country or community. Members of that country or community should be on that team. A lack of diversity and sensitivity shows a detachment from the people the foundation claims to help.


  1. Absence of Administrative Cost – It’s impossible to run an NGO without administrative cost even with volunteers. The volunteers still need to be trained and educated on the goals of the NGO and the process of achieving those goals. An NGO claiming that they donate 100 percent of donated funds is either deflecting or lying.


  1. A Clear Vision – An NGO should have clearly outlined goals they want to achieve as well as how they plan to achieve them. These goals should be detailed and the process towards development should also be clearly outlined. They should also have a theory of change that will show that they understand how change works and how the work of the NGO may influence the goals they strive to achieve. This helps NGOs stay on track as they’re often overwhelmed by the amount of work needed to be done.



Ri’Ayah Foundation is an NGO by Liberians for Liberians. We have clearly outlined goals and transparency concerning donated funds. To donate or volunteer to help Liberians in need please click here.




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