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Essay on Non-Profit Organizations

6 pages
1557 words
Vanderbilt University
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Non-profit organizations have operated in the United States from as early as the 17th century. They have made immense contributions to the American society in various sectors. Nonprofit organizations come in different forms based on their specific roles. Charities do offer service and help to the less privileged in the society. Foundations are privately sponsored nonprofit organizations whose role as well mainly involves helping the less privileged in the society. Social welfare and advocacy organizations do look after the welfare of specific groups in most cases they help discriminated classes of society. Religious organizations were the first form of nonprofit organizations to set foot and run their activities in the United States. Churches have had a great impact on the transformation of the society through their charitable and nonprofit organizations.

The emancipation of the black people in the United States took a huge amount of effort from charitable foundations and advocacy groups. After the civil war there continued to be a discrepancy in the status of the white and black races. It took the effort of northern white philanthropists such as the Peabody Fund, formed in 1868, to even offer education to free slaves. Previously denied enlightenment, the freed slaves could then gain knowledge of technical skills and social affairs that would then transform their lives and status (Butler & Wilson, 2015). The National Association for The Advancement of Colored people invested greatly in advocacy through political representation. The efforts of the organization as from the early 20th century eventually saw the blacks get elected into political positions hence securing the interests of the blacks.

The rise of The United States as a technological and academic giant in research ensured that the elite could secure employment and thus support their families. The first charitable private research university was Harvard which was sponsored by Charles Elliot became a forerunner for the academic revolution which later occurred in the subsequent years. Universities in the United States which were developed later did run courtesy of involvement of stakeholders, key among them was charitable organizations. Education has significantly changed the fortune of American citizens through employment. Also, through the actions of professionals who offer service to the community and give back to the society through financial aid, there is positive progress in society.

Non-profit organizations occupy a crucial place in society just like government and profit organizations. They differ in substantive areas such as their basic purposes and mode of operation. Nonprofit organizations are set up to further the cause of society by contributing service and funds with no profit purpose from the activities. The government on the other side is a political organ that runs its various activities based on the legal set up and its statues and policies (Broomley & Meyer, 2017). The governments main aim is to collect taxes to be able to run its services to the people. The business sector is profit oriented, meaning it aligns its operations to gaining profit from the services they offer or the goods they trade.

Finance is a crucial tool for organizations to run their activities. Nonprofit organizations rely on individual donations from philanthropic persons. Also, they rely on grants from government and organizations. On the other hand, the business organizations have to raise their funds through revenue from sales and service as well as credit arrangements with lending institutions. Financial resource helps the business organizations maximize building their capacity to obtain more profits from the laid out business venture plans. However, nonprofit organizations, have a duty to use the resources in such a charitable manner as to further the interests of society and to show discreet accountability. There is no tax obligation to the government for charitable organizations. Business organizations are obliged to file their business returns with relevant tax authorities and remit appropriate taxes.

Government is a superior organ, and in every state, it occupies the center of every activity. Despite the many similarities between the government and charitable organizations, they are nowhere close to being similar. The government raises funds from taxes and revenue collected or may outsource from local or international banks. The government has to file a report a comprehensive annual financial report documenting the financial information on government spending. Charitable organizations having raised their money from donations and grants only have to put down financial reports to be checked by the board of directors. To matters accounting, the government is required to give a statement of net assets while charitable organizations are required to submit a statement of financial position.

The 2007 economic recession of the US Economy has not yet cleared away 11 years after large businesses suffered the great shock. Non-profit organizations till currently are grappling with consistent resources that help them run their activities. Many charitable organizations face the challenge of insufficient funds. The past few years have seen an economic slowdown due to a hostile and cutthroat global economy. The United States has been challenged in almost all sectors by other growing economies such as China. This economic tragedy befalling the United States has translated to donors having a hard time balancing their financial stature to sufficiently and steadily finance the non-profit organizations (Salamon & Toepler, 2015). However, the large organizations with a huge global support base despite the hard economic times are quite stable. Mid and small size nonprofit organizations have incredibly been affected to warrant their turmoil over the past decade.

With many nonprofit organizations currently operating in the United States, the cropping challenge is the competition involved in attracting donors. Just as business organizations have found it hard to survive in a cutthroat business environment, so have charitable organizations been embroiled in the decimating competition to find grants and donations. Reputable charity organizations may be easing through the competition, but certainly the mid-size to small organizations suffer the most. The fact that some charitable organizations have been fronted on the news tablets as to having squandered resources have made donors even more wary of donating their hard earned financial wealth and resources to any organizations. The sustainability of such organizations becomes a challenge because coming across aid has become extremely tougher than ever.

The fact that there are many organizations offering help to the community as well as the involvement of government makes it hard to have clear evidence of change value and impact which would encourage investors. Small and medium organizations are not able to quantitatively and qualitatively measure the impact of their actions because of their small-scale activities (Bryson, 2018). Compared to large organizations which conduct their activities on a large and wider scale, the small organizations are easily beaten in securing funding. If charitable organizations would seek to find ways of documenting accurate and detailed evidence of the social impact and economic value of their activities, perhaps they might then have a strong case to present to donors.

The future for nonprofit organizations is in their own hands. They have to find ingenious ways of coping up with the challenges and investing in their portfolios as the agents of change and socio-economic impact in the society. Social media has become a crucial tool to reach out to masses. Instead of reaching out to individual wealthy firms or persons to spo9nsor them, nonprofit organizations should embrace social media and its power to move many people. Through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, the organizations can air their mission, cause and their plea for aid. Besides, they need to detail some of their achievements to improve their image and public trust. The ingenious strategy is finding the appropriate audience through customized advert features on most of the social media sites.

The hard economic times continue to decimate nonprofit organizations arousing wise ways of seeking donor aid. The future times will favor organizations that first seek to build a relationship between them and likely donors. The organization might just adopt mechanisms of taking the targeted persons through a close journey of getting to understand their cause (Renz & Herman, 2016). Mid and small size nonprofits that embrace an advanced form of public relations involving closer individual involvement rather than professional involvement would be able to eventually get the investors to release their aid even in the hard economic times.

In conclusion, the state of charitable organizations at the moment is at a situation different from its forerunners who had the benefit of massive funding from then wealthy persons. Unlike presently whereby the effects of economic depression continue to linger, charitable organizations then had the freedom to perform their activities without bothering about the likelihood of running out of funding. The fact that charitable organizations play a crucial; role in society ought to be one reason that such organizations ought to be prepped to stand and exist to further social change.


Butler, R., & Wilson, D. C. (2015). Managing voluntary and non-profit organizations: Strategy and structure. Routledge.

Bromley, P., & Meyer, J. W. (2017). They are all organizations: The cultural roots of blurring between the nonprofit, business, and government sectors. Administration & Society, 49(7), 939-966.

Salamon, L. M., & Toepler, S. (2015). GovernmentNonprofit Cooperation: Anomaly or Necessity? Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 26(6), 2155-2177.

Bryson, J. M. (2018). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement. John Wiley & Sons.

Renz, D. O., & Herman, R. D. (Eds.). (2016). The Jossey-Bass handbook of nonprofit leadership and management. John Wiley & Sons.

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