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20 Interesting Facts About Nonprofits

March 24, 2023

The number 20 made of yellow poppies

Nonprofits are organizations that exist to serve a public or social benefit, rather than to generate profit for owners or shareholders. These organizations can take many forms, from small community-based groups to large international organizations with global reach. Here are 20 interesting facts about nonprofits that you may not have known.

  1. Nonprofits are not necessarily tax-exempt. While many nonprofits are eligible for tax-exempt status, this is not automatic, and organizations must apply to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to receive it.
  1. Nonprofits can earn revenue. While nonprofits are not allowed to distribute profits to owners or shareholders, they can earn revenue through various means, such as selling products or services, receiving grants, or accepting donations.
  1. The nonprofit sector is a major employer. In the United States alone, the nonprofit sector employs more than 10% of the workforce.
  1. Nonprofits have a significant impact on the economy. According to a report by the National Council of Nonprofits, the nonprofit sector contributes more than $1 trillion to the US economy each year.
  1. Nonprofits come in many shapes and sizes. Nonprofits can range from small, local community organizations to large, international organizations with thousands of employees.
  1. Nonprofits are subject to many of the same regulations as for-profit businesses. Nonprofits are required to follow various regulations regarding taxes, employment practices, and other areas.
  1. Nonprofits can lobby for policy changes. Nonprofits can engage in lobbying to advocate for policy changes aligning with their mission.
  1. Nonprofits can be run by volunteers. While many nonprofits have paid staff members, it is not uncommon for nonprofits to be run entirely by volunteers.
  1. Nonprofits can have diverse missions. Nonprofits can be focused on a wide range of issues, from social justice to environmental conservation to animal welfare.
  1. Nonprofits can partner with for-profit businesses. Many nonprofits partner with for-profit businesses to achieve their goals, such as through cause marketing campaigns or corporate social responsibility initiatives.
  1. Nonprofits can be religious organizations. Religious organizations, such as churches and mosques, are often registered as nonprofits in the United States.
  1. Nonprofits can be political organizations. Political action committees (PACs) and other political organizations can also be registered as nonprofits, although they are subject to additional regulations.
  1. Nonprofits can be international organizations. Nonprofits can be registered in multiple countries and work to achieve their goals on a global scale.
  1. Nonprofits can receive grants from the government. Governments at all levels may provide grants to nonprofits to support their work.
  1. Nonprofits can support other nonprofits. Many nonprofits partner with or provide support to other nonprofits to achieve shared goals.
  1. Nonprofits can have a significant impact on social issues. Nonprofits have played a critical role in addressing social issues such as poverty, hunger, and access to healthcare.
  1. Nonprofits can be involved in disaster relief efforts. Nonprofits often play a key role in disaster relief efforts, providing food, shelter, and other support to those affected by natural disasters or other crises.
  1. Nonprofits can be involved in research. Nonprofits may support research into various issues, such as medical research or environmental science.
  1. Nonprofits can be involved in advocacy. Nonprofits often advocate for policy changes or other actions to address social or environmental issues.
  1. Nonprofits can be started by anyone. Anyone can start a nonprofit, although the process of registering as a nonprofit can be complex and time-consuming.

Another interesting fact about nonprofits is the importance of insurance. Nonprofits are exposed to risks just like for-profit businesses, and insurance can help protect them from financial losses. Some common types of insurance for nonprofits include general liability insurance, directors and officers liability insurance.

Nonprofits are an essential part of our society, working to address a wide range of social and environmental issues. By understanding more about nonprofits and the impact they have, we can better appreciate the significant role they play in our communities and our world.

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