NGOs can be defined as non-profit making organisations which raise funds from members, donors or contributors apart from receiving donation of time, energy and skills for achieving their social objectives like imparting education, providing medical facilities, economic assistance to poor, managing disasters
and emergent situations. Therefore, this definition of NGO would include religious organisations, voluntary health and welfare agencies, charitable organisations, hospitals, old age homes, research foundations etc. The scope of services rendered by NGOs is extremely wide and as such can not be
covered in a small definition. Some examples of NGOs operating in India include Child Relief and You (CRY), NORAD, UNICEF, Godhuli, Vidya, Concern India Foundation., etc. Non-Governmental Organisations are generally incorporated as societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or as a trust under the India Trust Act, 1882, or under any other law corresponding to these Acts enforced in any part of India. NGOs can also be incorporated as a
company under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. None of the above mentioned Act warrant a mandatory registration under them for an NGO. But if an NGO is created as a trust and trust relates to immovable property worth more than one hundred rupees, the provision of Section 17(1) of the Registration Act, 1908 read with Section 123 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 must be complied with and the registration of trust becomes mandatory. In some states, such as the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, where Public Trusts Acts have been passed, such as the Bombay Public Trusts Act 1950, all charitable trusts have to be registered under these specific Public Trusts Acts. Registration under the Income Tax Act, 1961 and the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976 would also be invoked in many cases. NGOs registered under the Companies Act, 1956 must maintain their books of account under the accrual basis as required by the provisions of section 209(3)(b) of the said Act. If the accounts are not maintained on accrual basis, it would amount to non-compliance of the provision of the Companies Act, 1956. The NGOs which are not registered under the Companies Act, 1956 are allowed to maintain accounts either an accrual basis or cash basis.