Definition: Defining the Meaning of Foundation
A foundation (also a charitable foundation) is a legal categorization of nonprofit organizations that will typically either donate funds and support to other organizations, or provide the source of funding for its own charitable purposes. This type of non-profit organization differs from a private foundation which is typically endowed by an individual or family. There is no commonly accepted legal definition in Europe for a foundation. There is a proposal for a European Foundation, a legal form that would be recognized throughout Europe.
What is a Foundation
The term "foundation," in general, is used to describe a distinct legal entity. A disability foundation is a legal categorization of nonprofit organizations. Disability foundations may also and often have charitable purposes. This type of nonprofit organization may either donate funds and support to other organizations, or provide the sole source of funding for their own charitable activities.
Private foundations are legal entities set up by an individual, a family or a group of individuals, for a purpose such as philanthropy.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the U.S. with over $38 billion in assets. However, most private foundations are much smaller and approximately two-thirds of more than 84,000 filing with the U.S. IRS in 2008 have less than $1 million in assets and 93% have less than $10 million. In aggregate, private foundations in the U.S. control over $628 billion in assets and made more than $44 billion in charitable contributions in 2007.
Unlike a charitable foundation, a private foundation does not generally solicit funds from the public. A private foundation, in the United States, is a charitable organization described in the Internal Revenue Code by section 509.
Non Governmental Organization
Non-governmental organization (NGO) is a term that is becoming widely accepted as referring to a legally constituted, non-governmental organization created by natural or legal persons with no participation or representation of any government.
In the cases in which NGOs are funded totally or partially by governments, the NGO maintains its non-governmental status and excludes government representatives from membership in the organization.
Unlike the term intergovernmental organization, "non-governmental organization" is a term in general use but is not a legal definition. Apart from "NGO", often alternative terms are used as for example: independent sector, volunteer sector, civil society, grassroots organizations, transnational social movement organizations, private voluntary organizations, self-help organizations and non-state actors (NSA's).
A nonprofit organization (abbreviated NPO, also not-for-profit) is an organization that does not distribute its surplus funds to owners or shareholders, but instead uses them to help pursue its goals.
Examples of NPOs include charities (i.e. charitable organizations) , trade unions, and public arts organizations. Most governments and government agencies meet this definition, but in most countries they are considered a separate type of organization and not counted as NPOs.
Community organizations (sometimes known as community-based organizations) are civil society non-profits that operate within a single local community. They are essentially a subset of the wider group of nonprofits. Like other nonprofits they are often run on a voluntary basis and are self funding.
Within community organizations there are many variations in terms of size and organizational structure. Some are formally incorporated, with a written constitution and a board of directors (also known as a committee), while others are much smaller and are more informal.
Typical community organizations fall into the following categories: community-service and action, health, educational, personal growth and improvement, social welfare and self-help for the disadvantaged and persons with disabilities.
Visit the link for disability communities, groups, and clubs information.
Quick Facts: Charity
Few people realize how large charities have become, how many vital services they provide, and how much funding flows through them each year. Without charities and non-profits, America would simply not be able to operate. Their operations are so big that during 2013, total giving was more than $335 billion. Historically, Religious groups have received the largest share of charitable donations. While this was still true in 2013, the percentage dropped by 2% from 2012 making this the fifth year in a row it was down or flat. Even with the 0.2% decrease in donations this year, 31% of all donations ($105.53 billion) went to Religious organizations. Much of these contributions can be attributed to people giving to their local place of worship.
Statistics: U.S. Non profit Organization
- Nonprofit Share of GDP was 5.3% in 2014. (Source: US Bureau of Economic Analysis)
- Individuals gave $228.93 billion in 2012, an increase of 3.9 percent from 2011. (Source: Giving USA 2013)
- There are an estimated 323,548 congregations in the United States in February 2015. (Source: American Church Lists)
- Foundations gave $50.9 billion in 2012, up just less than one percent from 2011. (Source: The Foundation Center, 2013)
- In 2010, nonprofits accounted for 9.2% of all wages and salaries paid in the United States. (Source: The Nonprofit Almanac, 2012)
- 1,457,064 tax-exempt organizations, including: 992,543 public charities - 98,632 private foundations - 365,889 other types of nonprofit organizations, including chambers of commerce, fraternal organizations and civic leagues. (Source: NCCS Business Master File 9/2014)
- In 2012, public charities reported over $1.65 trillion in total revenues and $1.57 trillion in total expenses. Of the revenue: 21% came from contributions, gifts and government grants. 73% came from program service revenues, which include government fees and contracts. 6% came from "other" sources including dues, rental income, special event income, and gains or losses from goods sold.