Why Do Nonprofits Exist? What Ties Them Together?

June 1, 2021   |   Nonprofit 101

Ready to make a difference in the world? Not sure where to begin? Start here.

Called the third sector in some countries, the sector exists to fill a need the market would otherwise not. Imagine a business assigning a mentor for your child, or better yet, a government entity. There is also not an immediate business case for providing food to the hungry. There is a compelling moral case, a social case to provide both of these services, enter the nonprofit sector.

In the US nonprofits are organized under the 501(c) section of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax code. There are 27 different types of 501(c) organizations. Most of our focus is on the 501 (c) 3 type. These organizations are tax-exempt. Here’s how the IRS website puts it:

The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals. The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.

With millions of registered nonprofit organizations in the US and more globally, what could possibly tie them together? REVENUE and that is just what we’re going to talk about on the Asking for Good podcast.

No matter how you want to change the world, you are going to need funders and their buy-in. Listen to frontline fundraisers from myriad types of nonprofits varying in size, organizational maturity, missions and footprint talk about the lessons learned from a specific ask. Hear their industry insights and their own personal career advice.

You want to make a difference, you’re in the right place.

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