Names: Non Profit verses Charity

Non profit or Charity, that is the question. Neither name is very appealing. Non profit sounds very non personal, non fun, and non artisitic. Charity sounds like a homeless handout place. Foundation sounds way more elite, but we don't qualify. When I worked at a Peace Corps Volunteer in the social work sector of Romania we were called NGO's or Non Governmental Organizations. This name still works for most international businesses and makes more since. Unfortantly, most Americans have no idea what NGO means, so the word charity still gets bantered about.

Canadan's make a cool distinction between Non Profits and Charities.

Charities Must

be established and operate exclusively for charitable purposes

• relief of poverty

• advancement of education

• advancement of religion

• purposes beneficial to the community

Non Profits must

• operate for social welfare, civic improvement, pleasure, sport, recreation, or any other purpose except profit.• Cannot operate exclusively for charitable purposes.

This is very cut and dry. How nice of the Canadan's to help me out in my quest.

So what are we offically? We are a 501(c)(3) according to the Federal Government. Other than that, its a label that each organization must define themselves by. For now, until I think of a better word, we will remain the negative sounding non word.


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