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Are there any gurus on this site regarding 'Non-Profit' organizations?
April 10, 2008
11:25 am
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on my way
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If so, would you mind sharing your experience or what you know of them? I'll be researching, but would like to hear from your experience. Thanks!

April 10, 2008
8:56 pm
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2BHAPPY
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No "guru" myself but I know enough to not want to donate unless it is my old clothing for tax purposes.

I have a business where most of my competition is "non-profit" but guess what? I charge less and do better work than they do.

I know that most organization take in 70% of your donation for admistrative costs..so I rather find someone in particular whenever there is a disaster and donate it directly to the person in need.

 

 

2bHappy

April 11, 2008
5:52 pm
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Thank you 2B. I saw where some have there finanacials posted, so that is good. People need to see where the money goes. Thanks, your reply was helpful.

April 11, 2008
8:11 pm
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On my way.

I am a member of three non-profit incorporated organizations.

I have been the Vice-President and then President of one and a Treasurer of another.

I am no expert. My understanding is that a non-profit (not-for-profit) organization is normally also neither a 'break-even' nor a 'loss' motivated organization by intent.

Of course there are exceptions such as the Rockefella Foundation whose purpose, as I understand it, is to distribute the wealth of the foundation to worthy causes.

To make a profit is the valid intention of most non-profit organizations. What profits that are made are not, by law, to be returned directly to any individual member. That's what non-profit means in this context usually.

If profits are converted to resources and assets for the membership in general or the good of the community, that's fine. However any income from non-members is considered to be taxable income and thus is of great interest to the Tax Office(IRS in your country).

Thus mutual income, that is, income derived from members, is viewed as the same as an individual transferring money from one bank account to another - in the eyes of the Tax Office(IRS).

Of course a non-profit organization is free to give their money or anything else away to anyone(except to individual members as a return or dividend of some kind) and for any reason that is within the defines of their Objects as laid out in their Constitution. Usually it is written into their constitution that non-profit organizations can remunerate members for their services if contracts are made between the management committees and that member. If lent money by the member, the non-profit organization can pay interest to that member. Again this is usually spelt out in their constitution.

If you have any problem with the behavior of a non-profit organization, then see if you can get a hold of their Constitution. Then look up the Objects and Powers defined therein. That should clarify the situation for you.

As for pricing of goods for sale by that organization, that has nothing to do with their non-profit status, legally - or so I believe. The 'morality' or 'ethics' of their general pricing policies is another issue altogether.

A company solicitor familiar with corporation law would be able to give you a definitive answer to any legal question that you might have in the above regard.

April 15, 2008
8:17 am
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chelonia mydas
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Good Morning On My Way,

Are you wanting to start one, join one or just curious about what they do?

I've help to start two non-profits and have worked for several others, some as a paid employee but many as a volunteer.

Non-profits usually serve the community in some way... the one's Ive been involved with have been animal shelters, spay/neuter clinics, animal rescue groups, organizations to promote the preservation of indiginous cultures, helping families in poverty gain access to selling their handmade goods in fair-trade markets, provide shelter for homeless families, protect habitat and provide nature based experiences to the community, promote the use of native plants in landscaping and help low-income families build and own their own home.

If you have specific questions I'd be happy to see if I can answer them.

April 16, 2008
1:25 pm
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Thank you, this is great information. Non-profits can be so vague. I am actually going to be deciding where to place large sums of money (not mine)to particular non-profit organizations. I have to do alot of research. Will be going to training as well.

My heart goes out to children, youth and homeless and animals. I know there are thousands out there.

April 18, 2008
1:19 am
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chelonia mydas
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you could set it up as a grant and let the non-profits propose to you how they would best spend your money. I've written grants for as little as $250 and as much as $400,000. You set out the requirements for what you are looking for and they write and submit the proposals, then you get to pick which ones fit what you are looking for best. You can request that they include information on their finances, how much of the $$ is spent on the project and how much is spent on administration etc. you can even state in the grant that the money can only be spent on building or purchases or what ever you want.

Thanks for making a difference 🙂

April 21, 2008
4:04 pm
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chelonia,
Thanks you have been very helpful! 🙂

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