It may be a formal incorporated not-for-profit corporation that does not have shareholders, though it may have members and issue membership certificates or require member loans. It may also be a trust or association of members. The organization may be controlled by its members who elect the Board of Directors or Board of Trustees. Not-for-profit organizations may have a delegate structure to allow for the representation of groups or corporations as members. It may be a non-membership organization and the board of directors may elect its own successors.
It may have a tax exempt status or it may be a de-facto group of individuals operating for a common purpose. For example, it may comprise a voluntary group of individuals who are dedicated to developing an open content online encyclopedia, that allows any member of the public who has access to an internet connection and a world wide web browser to make a contribution of knowledge, information, editing, formatting, or programming skills.
Most jurisdictions have laws governing the setting up, running, and reporting requirements of these organizations. In many aspects they are similar to business entities though there are often significant differences. Both non-profit and for-profit entities must have board members, steering committee members, or trustees who owe the organization a fiduciary duty of loyalty and trust.
To qualify for federal tax-exempt status under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, the nonprofit must be organized and operate for some religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering of national or international amateur sports, or prevention of cruelty to animals or children purpose permitted under this section of the code.
Nonprofits formed under 501(c)(3) must be formed for some religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering of national or international amateur sports, or prevention of cruelty to animals or children purpose.
The Alliance for Nonprofit Management is the professional association of individuals and organizations devoted to improving the management and governance capacity of nonprofits - to assist nonprofits in fulfilling their mission.
Its mission is to develop and disseminate high quality data on nonprofitorganizations and their activities for use in research on the relationships between the nonprofit sector, government, the commercial sector, and the broader civil society.
Nonprofit Financial Centers mission is to strengthen the viability of communities by enhancing the financial stability and management capacity of the nonprofits, individuals, and organizations that support those communities.
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