Definition of Non-Profit Organization
A non-profit organization is an organization whose primary objective is about pursuing a social and humanitarian goal as well as advocating a cause. The mission can range from hunger-relief programs to scientific research projects, depending on the market of reference.
Behind the concept
Juridically, a non-profit organization is an organization whose mission and purpose grants it tax-exempt status. It can consist of charities, NGOs, public universities, public libraries, public hospitals and much more. Therefore, the core business is about furthering and advocating social, charitable, educational, environmental, religious or scientific causes (see charitable organizations).
As the name itself suggests, it differs from other kinds of companies for it doesn’t operate to make profits. Moreover, it is exempted from paying taxes. Regardless of its core business and its legal form, a non-profit organization’s main peculiarity is that it doesn’t distribute dividends (or shares) but it reinvests the potential net profit in the pursuit of the organization’s mission and goals.
Also called not for profit organizations, these organizations, as already said, can go from foundations to religious institutions. They count on individual donations as well as partnerships, grants and so on. Their mission and core activities must be stated clearly. Also, the management, in order to keep attracting investments, must be transparent with the allocation of resources, honest with the stakeholders and able to meet budget expectations.
The main reason is that donors, nowadays, in the shape of individuals as well as companies, have a wide range of choice. That’s why it is essential for a non-profit organization to differentiate and stand out. That is, target the right groups, meet their needs and convince them of the validity of your projects. Being transparent and honest, in conclusion, is definitely a good start.
Here is a list of some of the most famous non-profit organizations which operate worldwide and can rely on a strong brand awareness: