1Overview of Not-for-Profit Organizations

  1. Perspective and Issues
    1. Key Differences between Not-for-Profit and Profit Organizations
    2. Resource Use Consideration
    3. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles

Perspective and Issues

Not-for-profit organizations represent a significant portion of the economy of the United States. Over one million of these organizations provide almost every conceivable type of service from education to politics, from social services to country clubs, and from religious to research organizations. The number and importance of these organizations to the overall US economy continues to grow. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) defines not-for-profit organizations by distinguishing them from profit organizations. It defines not-for-profit organizations as entities that possess the following characteristics not usually found in other organizations:

  1. They receive contributions from significant resource providers who do not expect a commensurate or proportionate monetary return.
  2. They operate for purposes other than to make a profit.
  3. There is an absence of ownership interests like those of business enterprises.

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