A public charity is another term for the coveted Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)3 status. This designation allows all donations made to the charity to be tax deductible for taxpayers. To obtain this designation, the organization must have the proper provisions within the organizing documents.
Comparison of Non-Profits to For Profit Businesses
All three of the primary characteristics of a profit driven operation exists in the non-profit world. The difference is the order, unlike a profit driven operation of which the primary goal is to generate a profit, the non-profit’s goal is to serve society. Non-profits value the personnel that perform this service to a higher level than profit driven operations and their tertiary goal is to generate enough funds to continue in operations.
Section 6033 of the Internal Revenue Code requires tax exempt organizations to file an annual report. Form 990 fulfills this requirement. Many citizens utilize the information from Form 990 to evaluate the non-profit organization they donate to annually. The 990 covers much of the information any citizen desires to know about the charity of their choice.
A third factor in determining a fair profit percentage is risk. Risk is divided into two types. The first is insurable and the second is uninsurable risks. Insurable risks are mitigated and have very little to no effect on the profit formula due to transferring the risk to a third party known as the insurance underwriter. Uninsurable risks are non-transferable and therefore the profit must be adjusted to compensate for this type of risk.
Before you do anything towards starting a non-profit organization, you need to form a brain trust. This is a group of friends that will add their thoughts to your idea and provide you with a platform to begin the process. Their ideas, questions, suggestions, misgivings, and other thoughts expand your thinking beyond a simple idea to a core value of what is important.