Differences between a co-operative Society and an NGO/Foundation

Differences between a co-operative Society and an NGO/Foundation

September 19, 2019

Co-operative societies and Non-governmental organizations are often times mistaken to be one and the same, this is because they bear a lot of similarities. However there are a few striking differences which include;

  1. A Co-operative can be defined as “an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. While a non-governmental organization (NGO) is a citizen-based association that operates independently of government, usually to deliver resources or serve some social, humanitarian or political purpose.
  2. To protect the interest of members, co-operative societies are placed under state control through registration. While getting registered, a society has to submit details about the members and the business it is to undertake. While NGOs’ are under the control of the Corporate Affairs commission.
  3. A co-operative society is totally based on voluntary membership. Persons having a common interest can join as members. A member can join the society as and when he likes. Continue for as long as he likes, and leaves the society at will. While there exists a more rigid procedure for appointment and removal of a trustee of an NGO.
  4. One primary difference between a co-operative and an NGO is how money flows back into the community: a nonprofit organisation cannot distribute profits to members or trustees, while a co-operative society generally distributes profits based on members’ participation in the co-operative (through patronage dividends). The primary source of funding may also be different: whereas a co-operative generates most or all of its revenue through the sale of goods and services, a non-profit organisation can receive tax-deductible donations from community members and foundations, and is limited in the amount of business activity it conducts unrelated to its charitable purpose.
  5. Another striking difference is that a non-profit organization may have more limits on its activities than a co-operative society, as it must be organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, or other specified purposes. Specified purposes can include relief of the poor, distressed, or underprivileged; combating community deterioration; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; and education, to name a few. These purposes must benefit the broader public and a charitable class of people (such as low-income, distressed, marginalized, etc). Thus, a non-profit is primarily accountable to the public, though, like a co-operative, may choose to have a membership to which it is accountable.


For further information or any assistance you may require concerning the above registration process, log on to our website on www.618bees.comor call us on

+2349017190079. We are available to render fast, reliable and affordable service to assist you with the process.


The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, no information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or professional advice from the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer. This post is protected by intellectual property law and regulations. It may however be shared using appropriate sharing tools provided that our authorship is always acknowledged and this Disclaimer Notice attached.

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