Our Expertise
If you are an NGO, a corporate or family foundation or a charitable trust, or are thinking of starting any one of these, or simply an individual who wants to use your wealth to advance a particular cause, you are given the plethora of laws and regulations, the number of regulatory bodies and the amount of conflicting advice you've received probably fairly confused at the moment.

You started out wanting to advance a particular cause, help a specific section of the community, put your money to good use in the larger interests of society. Now you struggle to understand all that you need to do to set things up, how to go about it, whom to approach. In short, how to stay on top of things while still remaining focused on your mission. You find yourself confronted by a legal labyrinth. Or so it seems.

Here's where CAP comes in. Or rather, where we have always been providing swift, simple, and affordable advice that solves all the seemingly intractable problems that NGOs or their funding agents face at any point in their lifecycle.

Since it was established over a quarter of a century ago, with the simple but ambitious mandate of advancing and sustaining a more legally enabling environment for the non-profit sector in India, CAP has been the definitive source for legal information and guidance for hundreds of social sector organisations. From the Trusts and Societies Acts and Income Tax Act, to FCRA and other allied laws, our legal advisory has been the trusted, go-to resource for large and small NGOs, charities, philanthropists, and corporate foundations, whatever their legal concerns.

Recently, CAP has expanded its services to include guidance on compliance with labour laws, service tax, and VAT as well.
    •   What is compliance and why it is important?
      The social sector which include voluntary, community, and civil society organisations perform a critical role, especially in developing societies like ours, filling the gaps in the delivery of essential services that are primarily the responsibility of the government. However, this does not and should not exempt them from following the laws of the land; those that govern their existence and functioning. While this has always been a challenge for social sector enterprises, given their limited resources and also the generally prevailing mindset of the sector, it has never been more complex and yet more essential than it is today.

      In recent years, the non-profit sector in India has witnessed a boom, with an ever-increasing presence, visibility, and impact. While this has been a boon in terms of an increased awareness, a greater inflow of funds and volunteers, and higher levels of professionalism in the sector, the heightened visibility also means greater accountability, ever more vigilance and regulation and being held to a higher standard, in every respect. Donors and grant making foundations also expect a higher degree of credibility and accountability from their non-profit partners in addition to assessing the impact of their work. Therefore, NGOs too are increasingly being nudged towards compliance in an effort to demonstrate to potential funding agents that they are credible, effective partners.

      CAP has always maintained that being on the right side of the law is not just an existential necessity as failure to do attracts penalties, the potential for de-registration and other potentially harsh punishments and sanctions but also critical to efficiency. This is because compliant organisations are usually some of the best managed and most effective ones. Espousing compliance as an internal organisational value has never been more important than it is at present. In sum, and taking inspiration from an oft-quoted adage, "it is not just enough to do good and be seen to doing good, one must be good".
    •   How CAP can help you
      With its decades of experience in assisting social sector organisations and their partners become and remain compliant, CAP is the natural go-to choice for all matters related to legal compliance. From one-time queries to ongoing legal advisory, workshops on specific topics to customised advice, we offer our members and affiliates all these services and more. If you have a legal query, there's a good chance we have a quick, easy, and affordable solution for you.

      In the past three decades, CAP has provided legal advice to thousands of NGOs, large and small, those that were just starting and others that were well-established.
    •   CAP's services extend to
      In the past three decades, CAP has provided legal advice to thousands of NGOs, large and small, those that were just starting and others that were well-established.
      Our CAP Affiliates include:

As a result, CAP is a 'one stop shop' in this field and it provides essential services to the international donor community. We are particularly grateful for the timely, accurate, and thoughtful information on the legal framework for philanthropy that CAP provides to ICNL.
Douglas Rutzen
President & CEO, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL)

Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy