While not-for-profit organizations are permitted to generate surplus revenues, those revenues must be retained by the organization for its self-preservation, expansion, or plans. NPOs have controlling members or boards. Many have paid staff including management, while others employ unpaid volunteers and even executives who work with or without compensation (occasionally nominal). Where there is a token fee, in general, it is used to meet legal requirements for establishing a contract between the executive and the organization.
Designation as a nonprofit and an intent to make money are not related in the United States. This means nothing can be conferred by the declaration. It is unclear whether or not this holds outside of the United States. In the United States, such inference is the purpose of the Internal Revenue Code, Section 501(c). The extent to which an NPO can generate surplus revenues may be constrained or use of surplus revenues may be restricted.
Nature and goals
Some NPOs may also be a charity or service organization; they may be organized as a not-for-profit corporation or as a trust, a cooperative, or they exist informally. A very similar type of organization termed a supporting organization operates like a foundation, but they are more complicated to administer, hold more favorable tax status and are restricted in the public charities they support.
- Cornell Law, "Non-Profit Organizations"
- Idealist.org, "What is a nonprofit organization?"
- Society for Nonprofits, "Starting a Nonprofit Organization"
- Eugene Fram & Vicki Brown, Policy vs.Paper Clips: How Using the Corporate Model Makes a Nonprofit Board More Effective & Efficient - Third Edition (2011), Amazon Books,Create SpaceBooks.
- Snyder, Gary R., Nonprofits: On the Brink: How Nonprofits have lost their way and some essentials to bring them back, 2006.
- P. Hartigan, 'It's about people, not profits', Business Strategy Review, Winter 2006.
- The Nonprofit Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Start and Run Your Nonprofit Organization (Paperback), Gary M. Grobman, White Hat Communications, 2008.
- "Publication 4220 (Rev. 8-2009)" (PDF). http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4220.pdf. Retrieved on 31 July 2010.
- Drucker, Peter (1989). "What Business Can Learn from Nonprofits." Harvard Business Review: 1-7.