Community Platform

The Nonprofit FAQ: Mission & Purpose

Select an FAQ   (21):

Approaches to the History of Nonprofits
Approaches to documenting and understanding the history of nonprofits in the US by two well-known scholars.
Can donated equipment be deductible for the donor?
Donations are deductible if made to a recognized 501(c)(3) organization, or one that meets the qualifications of such.
Can I sell things for a profit and be tax-exempt?
Selling items does not risk an organization's tax-exempt status if the revenue generated is used to promote the organization's exempt function and the applicable taxes are paid on any unrelated business income.
Creating a community foundation
Advice and observations on starting a foundation to work in a specific community.
Does a strong nonprofit sector make any difference?
Discussion of the connection between 'civil society' and nonprofit organizations.
Does anyone ever say 'no' to a gift?
It's best to think this question through before the issue arises and to have an established policy that relates any restrictions on donors or donations to the mission of your organization.
How are nonprofit organizations classified?
Many systems of classification (taxonomies) are in use for various purposes. These notes mention several of them.
How do we change our mission statement?
You need a careful and inclusive process.
How-to Guide for Advocacy Campaigns
A large public relations firm with many nonprofit clients has posted a guide for advocacy campaigns on the web.
Research on Nonprofits
Starting points for learning more about nonprofits and the various ways scholars examine them.
Resources for many types of planning
Free Management Library offers resources for a variety of types of planning.
What are Articles of Incorporation? Bylaws?
Articles of Incorporation typically specify the purpose of the organization, its name, place of business, key officers and various limitations of operations. Bylaws are the board's specifications of the overall structure and operations of the organization
What is nonprofit social entrepreneurship?
Simply put, a nonprofit social entrepreneur addresses social issues by starting a business enterprise that is not designed to return profits to any owners.
What is strategic planning?
Strategic planning can be used to determine mission, vision, values, goals, objectives, roles and responsibilities, timelines, etc.
What should our mission statement say?
Purpose. Business. Values. Beneficiaries.
When can a NPO charge?
Whether or not an organization charges for its services is not the measure of not-for-profit status.
Where do we start looking for support for a new organization?
Some very basic advice for people who are just beginning to think about this possibility.
Which kind? 501(3)(3), 501(c)(4) or 501(c)(6)?
Resources for making a decision when choosing which kind of tax-exempt organization fits.
Who can benefit from a nonprofit's activities?
Nonprofits are restricted to public purposes and may not be used as a source of private gain.
Why do we develop an annual operating plan?
The strategic plan can only carry you so far
Will signing a petition get us in trouble for lobbying?
A 501(c)(3) can express an occassional opinion about a matter of public policy without risking being challenged for lobbying. This item discusses the rules about lobbying and advocacy and points to some more detailed resources.