Talk:Charitable organization

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US Section: Random statistic[edit]

The United States section largely describes the distinctions between various charitable designations, but ends with an unrelated (perhaps politically motivated) statistic about how much various income levels tend to donate. It doesn't seem relevant, given the article's focus. Objections to its removal? Rlconkl (talk) 12:49, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Country specific information under legal definitions[edit]

The Legal Definitions section of the article is country specific and should not be a part of the general article. Worse, it doesn't even say which country (though most users can guess).

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 22:10, 27 February 2007 (UTC).

Separate page for "British Charities"?[edit]

I suggest that material on British Charities should be put on to the Charities page, not on a separate "British Charities" page. Any adequate discussion of British Charities must duplicate a great deal of what is on the Charities page and what is unique to British Charities can be covered better in the UK section of the charities page. This approach avoids duplication and facilitiates comparative study. Accordingly, I have emailed Wikipedia and suggested that the British Charities page should be deleted. In the meantime I have put in a cross reference from the British Charities page to the Charities page. James Kessler.

Charity Supervision example[edit]

I removed a link to an article that was used as an example of charity supervision. The example used was quite a good one (UK Government insisting the RSPCA put human needs first) put was part of a larger article attacking the RSPCA on a self-published website dedicated to attacking the same charity. This can't be considered a reliable source. However the website did say the jugement was heavily covered in the March 27, 1996 Guardian. If anyone has access to that, perhaps they could see if it is a suitable reference and put it in instead. --Siobhan Hansa 12:32, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Reword General?[edit]

I don't think old age is a service. This should be reworded. YB3 (talkcontribs) 05:16, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Charities all non-profit organizations?[edit]

I don't think this is really true. It might be true for many organizations, but it's conceivable that there is a for-profit organization, doing charitable work, that claims it's a charity.

All 501(c)(3) Public Charities are non-profit organizations, but I really don't think that everywhere and anywhere that anything that calls itself a charity is always going to be exclusively non-profit. Fredsmith2 09:13, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

While a for profit company might call itself a charity, I don't think that fits in with the common concept of a charity, and in many places such a claim would probably be seen as fraudulent. There are lots of examples of for-profit companies who provide services within areas that are often served by charities - for-profit schools and hospitals for instance. But the for-profit companies are not considered charities. The pecuniary interest of the owners means they cannot - as organizations - be properly philanthropic. Only the owners, individually, can be. In recent times the term social enterprise has been used as a label for for-profit companies who are set up with the intent of making money for their owners and "doing good". -- SiobhanHansa 12:54, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree, but still the wording should probably be changed. Google has over 2,000 instances of the phrase For-profit charity that doesn't mention not-for-profit charity. Fredsmith2 12:15, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Those make interesting reading - but I couldn't find anything that explained how a for-profit charity was different from a for-profit corporation (and much of the writing made it sound like they weren't - they just wanted to be called charities). It would be good to find a reliable source tht explains what the concept of a for-profit charity is so we can write about the distinction properly. -- SiobhanHansa 13:22, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, except for the organization totally funded by govenment, most so called non-profit charity organization also charges fee, more or less, from each donation to maintain their operation.In some country, charity organization must register itself and will get a unique number. The for-profit charity organiztion, unlike the normal company, doesn't take profit as it primary mission, although they do make money. The other obvious character is that a real charity organization is normally immune from taxation(depends on local law and tax bureaucracy), and their marketing behavior is highly restricted. While sometime, they mix charity with fundraising, for example, World Wide Charity. This blur the border of charity activity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The difficulty with a lot of this is that it is very difficult to make comments which are true on a global basis, because many things to do with charitable organizations and charities vary according to the country you are in. You might be able to say what happens in the US and what happens in England for example, but once you start adding other countries it becomes more variable. For example, to refer to yourself as a charity in some countries you need to satisfy certain criteria, and it could be fraudulent to call yourself a charity if you don't. In other countries you might be able to call yourself a charity if you make a profit, but just not get the tax exemptions that you get if you are a charity. TamaraStaples (talk) 10:26, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

These comments come quite sometime after this conversation was started and maybe a little out of context. The above (and below!) conversation was in relation to a poster who wanted to include mention of "for profit charities" because they got lots of Google hits that used the term. What is meant by profit in this discussion is not simply charging fees or getting more revenue than you pay out in expenses - it is distributing money made to the owners (normally shareholders) of the organization. But most of those Google hits were in relation to US companies - under US law it is not possible to be a legally recognized charity and make a profit. We came to the conclusion that although some for profit companies like to use the term "for profit charity" it did not fit into the concept of a charitable organization as discussed in this article (simply using the same word does not mean you are using the same concept). We had a hard time finding reliable sources that stated this outright but it was implicit in writings by experts in the field and direct quotes were found for the USA legal perspective at least. If you know of instances where organizations make profit that is distributed to owners and are still considered to be Charitable Organizations (rather than organizations that are also charitable) it would be great to find reliable sources that we could use to broaden the article. -- SiobhanHansa 12:54, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
In the USA, Nonprofit corporation is an entity created under a state's nonprofit corporation law, generally those entities organized for religious, educational or charitable purposes can incorporate under state nonprofit corporation law. A charity is an organization that may be organized as a nonprofit corporation, if it meets the state's legal requirements. Amycsj 14:26, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand this. You talk about what nonprofit corporations are and then you say that charities may be nonprofit corporations. But that doesn't say anything about whether charities also exist that are for profit organizations of some kind. Am I missing something?
It seems to me we need to separate out the use of the word "charity" from the concept of "a charity" as understood by experts (which would, I would think include people from legal, tax and various philosophy backgrounds, as well perhaps, as those involved in the charitable sector of the economy). Do some experts recognize for-profit charities as charities? Or is it wishful thinking/marketing/an attempt to align with a preferred set of values (or something else entirely) on the part of the for profit?-- SiobhanHansa 19:44, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
In the USA, charitable organizations may not be for-profit and instead they must be non-profit. "Charitable" is a word of art, meaning that the organizations may support youth sports like little league or scientific research or activities more in line with what is colloquially known as "charity" such as helping the sick, hungry, and poor. A chartiable organization may be organized in several forms. One of which is the corporation, which means that it is organized under the laws of the state in which it is a resident; corporation does not mean that is is for-profit but that it has a board of directors and so forth. If a charitable organization, such as a non-profit corporation that incorporated under the laws of its state, decides to make a profit and distribute that profit to donors or the board of directors or someone related to the board, then the IRS will say that the organization is no longer a "charity" and will then tax its income the same way they would an ordinary business.-- EECavazos (talk) 20:00, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
A business may call itself a charity even though it is for-profit, but the IRS will ignore their subjective self-classification. Maybe in a policy discussion people will argue whether a for-profit organization can be a charity, but in the USA the IRS and Congress are pretty clear about the role profit has in the classification of an organization as a charity. If a for-profit organization tries to call itself a charity, it is actually breaking the law . . . think of fraud or misrepresentation and so forth. The nearest a charity can come to being for-profit is having a side-business with which it funds it's charitable activities, however, that side-busienss would then be subject to the Unrelated Business Income Tax.-- EECavazos (talk) 20:11, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
"For-profit" business means that the owners of a business get the profit like the dividends that a shareholder receives. However, "non-profit" organization/business means that it is not owned by anyone and so no-one receives any profit. Any money that the non-profit organization may make whether through investment or donations or royalties does not leave the organization. Charitable organization is a subset of this where it may not give the donors any "profit" that the charity may have made like how some foundations have endowments that invest in the stock market.-- EECavazos (talk) 20:21, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
The "for-profit" charities mentioned in a google search ends up giving you results where the word "charity" is in quotes. Other links are policy discussions about the idea of creating for-profit charities.-- EECavazos (talk) 20:24, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
So if I understand this - it is only looking at the concept of a charitable organization through the eyes of US tax law?
Also, do you have a reference for the idea that a for-profit simply calling itself a charity is fraud in at least some jurisdictions? It was my initial reaction - but I was surprised when trying to research this that I couldn't find any sources that said that "a charity" had to be non-profit. I didn't really expect to find that in the US. I was under the impression that there was not a legal concept of "a charity" in the US, and only non-profit status was codified - in the tax laws under specific sections (such as the 501(c)s) and under each state's laws for incorporating or otherwise creating a legal entity. I did think there would be something in British law, but I have been unable to find it so far. I also haven't yet found anything in journals (though my searches are pretty much limited to Google at the moment) that specifically cover this point, or anything that looks at the idea from a global perspective. -- SiobhanHansa 21:09, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
For the USA, this will give you plenty of information: [1]. I spoke of only the USA. A "charity" is meaningless in the law of the USA, it is only used for informal conversation; it is colloquial. USA law defines a couple of types of organizations that are "charitable." "Charity" is too simple of a description and only means that the organization must be a non-profit that has a charitable purpose. The closest to "charity" you can get is a "public charity" which is well defined in the US tax code and must be a non-profit. Each state within the USA also has its own respective laws, but for tax reasons largely is in line with the US Tax Code. For other countries, we would need to find experts on their respective laws. As I understand with British law, they tend to not put much into specific classifications of organizations that could be called a charity and instead rely on a general charitable purpose. It is possible that you could have a for-profit charity, but I don't find it very likely.-- EECavazos (talk) 21:25, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
In the USA if you have a business that is for-profit, you can't call yourself a charity because a charity must be a non-profit. Charity is synonymous with non-profit. Actually, I think "public charity" as a term does not actually exist in the tax code but rather is understood as a collection of organizations (non-profit). You can find the USA law in section 501 and section 170. They refer to a charity as a "corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office." That was 501(c)(3). This is 170(c), "(c) Charitable contribution defined For purposes of this section, the term “charitable contribution” means a contribution or gift to or for the use of— (1) A State, a possession of the United States, or any political subdivision of any of the foregoing, or the United States or the District of Columbia, but only if the contribution or gift is made for exclusively public purposes. (2) A corporation, trust, or community chest, fund, or foundation— (A) created or organized in the United States or in any possession thereof, or under the law of the United States, any State, the District of Columbia, or any possession of the United States; (B) organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals; (C) no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual; and (D) which is not disqualified for tax exemption under section 501 (c)(3) by reason of attempting to influence legislation, and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office." -- EECavazos (talk) 21:49, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Charity is encompassed in the penumbra of sections 501 and 170. You see charitable purpose in 501 and 170 and section 170 is about to which organizations you may give contributions that allow for the charitable contribution deduction. If you want something that says "charity" you won't see it instead you'll see charitable and all sorts of organizations that may receive a contribution that qualifies as a charitable contribution. So when you say charity, it at least means that the organization must be a non-profit and all the other defintions for it are quite large, as you can see from the selections I posted above.-- EECavazos (talk) 22:08, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
You've been working hard EECavaros! That legal reference is great - I've been searching for that sort of cut and dried pronouncement and did not find it! -- SiobhanHansa 22:39, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I just hope this helps. While complying this material I went through a few cycles of uncertainty and reassurance in what I had posted, hahaha. Too complicated.EECavazos (talk) 22:49, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Differences beg expanation[edit]

Could s.o. who understands the subject kindly add a paragraph for legally and tax-code challenged individuals what the differences are between private foundation, public foundation, charitable trust, endowment, support organization (any others)?? I tried to get an idea from the relevant pages but all I got was a headache. I could live happily without tax citations, just give me a general idea of who does what, in what way and what does A do differently from B, and C. Thanks.

Listing all charities[edit]

I have no objection to the removal of Bridie Goldstein Run for Children from this page; I was only trying to provide an additional link for the article, which was listed under Wikipedia:Orphaned_Articles. I do think, however, that the reference to wp:Undue was not exactly apropos. More to the point might be WP:NOT#DIR. Sincerely, and with thanks for your attention, GeorgeLouis (talk) 23:38, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Difficulties of a single charitable organisation page[edit]

It seems very difficult having one page for charitable organisations in all countries. The legislation, tax treatment etc differs from one country to another. Even the wording differs. In the UK the word charity is mainly used, but in the US what are called charities in the UK are generally called foundations, public charities, and the words non-governmental organisation, are used in many countries now. Having a british charitable organisation page might make it much easier to make it verifiable, and there could also then be a separate page for American charitable organisations.

Also, I think that there is quite a lot wrong with the first few paragraphs, but although I could correct some of it from a British perspective, I couldn't do much about it from a worldwide point of view. I could explain private foundation, charitable trust, endowment etc but only the british meaning. TamaraStaples (talk) 17:39, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Please contribute your knowledge of the British perspective particularly if you could produce enough content to produce more pages dedicated to the British perspective. There is a dearth of articles on the British perspective in this area and this needs to be remedied. EECavazos (talk) 20:27, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Merger of all info on one country?[edit]

At present info on supervision, tax treatment & regulation is all in seperate places for different countries, which makes it hard to follow and to reference. Also, quite a bit overlaps e.g. supervision and regulation. Would it be considered an improvement if I put all the info. on England together, everything on Australia together etc? TamaraStaples (talk) 08:10, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Spelling of organisation[edit]

In England what other people spell organization, we spell organisation. The page is titled organization, so should the word be spelt organization throughout the page, and if so what happens when people look up charitable organisation? Some advice would be appreciated.TamaraStaples (talk) 08:14, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

We use redirection pages so if someone looks up charitable organisation they are automatically redirected to this article. The English Wikipedia serves English speakers around the globe so variant spelling is accommodated. Wikipedia's manual of style basically state that spelling should be consistent within an article and that we decide on spelling dependent on if the subject is "native" to a particular country (e.g. the article on Winston Churchill should have British English spelling) and if not then whichever flavour of English is first used should be stuck with. In this article it's American English so it's all "organization" unless it's part of a proper name or the like. A primer to help with the difference is available here -- SiobhanHansa 13:04, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

TamaraStaples, should you create separate articles focusing on British law and organizations then, of course, use British spelling. Links to those articles in this article would use British spelling within the link. EECavazos (talk) 18:38, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, I will use American English and organization in this articleTamaraStaples (talk) 18:53, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Funnily enough though you are wrong about English. See Fowler's usage and abusage of English. The older and more correct spelling is organization which for example the Cambridge University Press has always used. But English people who aren't very good at spelling (or went to Oxford) use Wikipedia too so we accomodate them with redirects. --BozMo talk 14:57, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

By country sections: UK (and Canada)[edit]

I know some Brits will hate me for this, but England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland do not need separate sections. They should be consolidated into in pan-UK section with subsections. I realize the counter-argument will be "but they have separate legal systems" which is all well and good, but so do (in some senses) the various regions in federations (US states, Canadian provinces, Australian states, etc.), and we generally subdivide articles primarily by sovereign states first, and by region next. Also I'm adding a Canada section. --Kevlar (talkcontribs) 21:30, 20 April 2009 (UTC) i don't know why Africa are not included —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:51, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

"Worst charities"[edit]

I found: Bocquet, Greg. "The 20 Worst Charities in America." Main Street. June 1, 2010. WhisperToMe (talk) 17:48, 13 September 2010 (UTC)