Non-Profit Organizations: How Do They Make Money?


In recent times, many non-profit organizations came into existence for the welfare of people. When a large group of the community selflessly comes together to help the under-privileged people or animals is generally called as a non-profit organization. In short, they are also referred as ‘non-profits’.

The moto of these non-profits is not to make money but to make some impact and try to bring the change in society. But this doesn’t mean that they do not make any money. Every non-profit organization requires some funds in order to carry out the activities. But that source of income would not be counted as their own profit.

Well here, a question arises that where does this income from? And how is this income utilized to carry out those activities? But first, we need to understand what types of non-profit organizations exist and how do they work.

Types of non-profit organizations:

Various types of non-profit organizations exist that are meant to help the society in different fields. Some common non-profits that can be seen on a regular basis are:

  1. Charitable non-profits
  2. Educational non-profits
  3. Literary non-profits
  4. Religious non-profits
  5. Scientific non-profits
  6. Public safety non-profits
  7. Sports non-profits

These are some common non-profits that run all the time. Every organization have its own significance that helps to improve the current condition of the society. But to run them successfully, all of them need funds.

People who plan to start a non-profit organization must take care of various things before taking any steps. Also, most of the organizations fall under the charitable non-profits.

How do non-profit organizations make money?

Once again, non-profit organizations do not aim to earn money. There moto is to bring change in the society with whatever funds are made available to them. Mostly, these organizations receive donations from public, politicians, businesses and many other sources.

They also receive grants from other larger foundations, federal states, or sometimes the government. Depending upon the work they do, funds and donations also vary.

One advantage that the non-profit organizations get is that whatever they earn on the name of the non-profit is non-taxable. That means the government will not imply tax on the earning of the non-profits. Although, people working for that organization that receives salary will have to pay the tax.

All the non-profits have to raise the funds either by charity or selling some products under the tag of non-profits which does not imply taxes. However, on the off chance that your non-profits bring in cash in manners that are inconsequential to its crucial, tax on those funds will be applicable.

For instance, if your charitable is set up to convey food to the destitute, however, raises assets by purchasing and selling utilized vehicles, those assets will probably be viewed as available by the IRS.

What activities of non-profit organizations are not taxed?

Sometimes confusion might arise while understanding the meaning of related and unrelated activities. Due to this IRS has noticed that some kinds of activities that generate funds will not be taxed even if they are completely not integrated with the non-profit’s purposes.

Some example of such activities is:

  • Projects that are completely taken care by the volunteers
  • Program in which the employees of the organization are benefited in their primary requirements such as medical allowance, student’s sponsorship and much more.
  • Selling merchandises under the hood of the non-profits that were donated to them. Sometimes, some non-profits can sell products made by their benefiters like orphans or old age people.
  • Distribution of products that cost less than $5. This include things like stamps, pre-printed mailing labels, etc.
  • Rents or funds earned by trading mailing list of the customers or the employees as well as volunteers.

Apart from these, few more activities are off the taxable activity list. This allows and encourages more people to either join or start up their own new non-profit organization.

Although it is said that income flow if highly indefinite, but since it is mostly a cause of charity, people should not consider getting high income. But still, in case those who wish to keep a steady income flow from this venture must do so exceptional work to get more charity or funds.

Do employees of non-profit organizations get paid?

Various organizations provide salaries to their long-term employees but some of them might choose not to do so. On one hand, people may join such organizations as volunteers for a short time, hence might not get paid.

But someone who is completely dedicated to that job might be considered as an employee of the organization and depending upon the employer, the salary might be disbursed.

Since non-profits exist to promote and spread cultural requirements, it in some cases appears to be opposing to pay cash to the staff as opposed to supporting the association’s motivation straightforwardly.

Yet, the staff keeps the association operational with the goal that it can proceed with its crucial. Paid staff for most causes appears to be basic. Notwithstanding, it is anything but a simple undertaking to decide a compensation level that draws in qualified applicants while not spending valuable assets on overpaying pay rates.


Non-profit organizations have been working very hard in all the sectors to bring some positive change. All they need is some good volunteers and support from the citizens in terms of financial help that would boost up the confidence in them.

Along with that, the long-termed employees must be paid to gain their loyalty as well as have some self-respect for the owners.

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