Community Platform

The Nonprofit FAQ: Business Activities

Select an FAQ   (11):

Can a nonprofit be a business?
Many nonprofits undertake 'business' activities, and most are 'business-like' in their work. Nonprofits can't pay out profits as dividends to stockholders or as income to 'owners.'
Do we need a privacy statement?
There are many facets to this question, and many resources available online. It is especially important for organizations that do business online or that offer online services for kids.
How alike are nonprofits and for-profit businesses?
Some observers say running a nonprofit is much harder.
Is there any way to be eligible for grants before getting 501(c)3) status?
Sometimes, a fiscal sponsor will assume responsibility for a grant-supported project that is not connected to any existing agency or organization.
Principles and Practices for Public Policy and Advocacy
Suggested policies for nonprofits to follow regarding advocacy and lobbying.
Resources for employee policies, records and handbooks
Personnel policies guide toward legal, ethical and other desired behaviors in the workplace.
What is a patent? trademark? copyright?
Patents, trademarks and copyrights are used to protect your creations (intellectual property), whether they are tangible creations such as books or intangible processes such as programs
What is business planning? How is it carried out?
A business plan specifies your nonprofit's business idea. It's sometimes needed for funding or to justify a new program. The plan often includes a market study, strategic plan and financial projections.
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 sorts of business deals can nonprofits do?
As corporations, nonprofits can enter into all sorts of contracts. But the arrangements can be complicated. Here's a book that may help.
When can a NPO charge?
Whether or not an organization charges for its services is not the measure of not-for-profit status.