10 characteristics of nonprofit organizations

1 year ago

The Nonprofit organizations are those entities that are characterized by not pursuing no type of economic benefit. This does not mean that they cannot produce and market different goods and services to obtain some type of profit for them, but that these must be fully invested in the organization.

They are usually established as a association, although there are some that operate under the name of Foundation either cooperative.

non-profit organization making a food donation

Characteristic Non-Profit Organizations



  1. Its benefits are social: Non-profit Organizations do not have as their main purpose to have some type of economic benefit, on the contrary, the benefits they seek are of an economic nature. social, artistic, cultural, community or humanitarian.
  2. They are not used as a government tool: These types of organizations are not at the service of the government, therefore, they are not used for governmental purposes, since they are in the hands of different private entities.
  3. They are autonomous organizations: This means that they are fully capable of control their own activitiesIn this way, they have structure hierarchies, limits and objectives.
  4. There are 4 types of non-profit organizations: There are 4 types of non-profit organizations, which can be divided as follows:
    • charitable organizations. The objective of this type of organization is to provide services to the most needy people, specifically those who do not have the financial resources necessary for their livelihood.
    • Community Purpose Organizations. The main objective of this type of non-profit organization is to promote activities such as sports, environmental protection and culture, without receiving any type of payment in return, since its only benefit is the expansion of the objective.
    • Professional and trade organizations. These are the ones that are in charge of providing professional programs and services to those people who need it, without charging anything in return. These services can be: accounting, legal advice, among others.
    • sports organizations. In these organizations are all the sports clubs and those entities that are integrated from them. In general, they have a legal personality under private law.


  1. They work for society: Non-profit organizations are characterized by working for the progress and common development of society; For this, it must have an approach that is intended for certain people or groups that have some type of special need or that they are vulnerable, such as children, youth, the elderly, criminal groups, people without access to education, among others.
  2. It is organized as a company: The way in which these types of entities are formed can be very similar to the way in which commercial companies are organized. Likewise, it can be managed by salaried peopleyes, even, in many cases, the existence of volunteer programs, whose purpose is to support its social objectives, either by investing your time or your money.
  3. Its financing comes from donations and aid: One of the main characteristics of this type of organization is that they manage to finance themselves through aid and donations that, in general, are derived from people, companies and different institutions of all kinds.
  4. They do not force anyone to participate: Its voluntary nature is one of its main characteristics. Non-profit organizations cannot force citizens to collaborate through money or time with it. This means that, at least initially, this type of organization resorts to the will of the people.
  5. Can be formed informally: These can be created informally, which means that they do not have the extreme need to register some type of document, have a set of directors and that type of more formal things. Although the Law does not recognize them as such, they can be recognized as "non-profit" in practice.


  6. They are exempt from paying taxes: Non-profit organizations generate an impact on different populations, which is why the State usually considers them exempt from paying some taxes, in order to contribute to their work.

Non-profit Organizations make use of information campaigns, awareness and the constant dissemination of their work, so that people know their objectives and they can continue contributing to society.



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ENCICLOPEDIA DE CARACTERÍSTICAS (2024) 10 characteristics of nonprofit organizations, en 10caracteristicas.com. https://10caracteristicas.com/en/10-characteristics-of-nonprofit-organizations/ (Consultado el: 22-06-2024)

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