The Different Types of Nonprofits – All You Need to Know


Many people are familiar with the term nonprofit, but not everyone knows what it entails. A nonprofit organization is defined as a group that uses its surplus revenue to achieve its goals rather than distributing it among shareholders or owners. In short, nonprofits exist to further a particular social cause or advance a shared mission.

Dr Philip Baldeo advises, “If you’re thinking of starting a nonprofit, the first step is to understand what type of organization you want to create.” There are different types of nonprofits, each with its own unique purposes and goals.

There are many different types of nonprofits, each with its own unique purpose. Keep reading to learn about some of the most common types of nonprofits.

Charitable Organizations

One of the most common types of nonprofits is charitable organizations. These groups typically raise money to fund research or provide services related to their cause. Some examples of well-known charities include the American Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity. Donations made to these organizations are usually tax deductible.

Professional Associations

Professional associations are another type of nonprofit that many people belong to without even realizing it. These groups provide resources and networking opportunities for professionals in a particular field. The American Medical Association and the National Association of Realtors are two examples of professional associations. These organizations usually offer membership dues and subscriptions as their primary source of income.

Educational Institutions

As the name suggests, educational institutions are groups that exist to educate the public on a certain topic or provide training for a specific profession. Colleges and universities are the best-known examples of educational institutions, but there are also many vocational schools and specialized training programs that fall under this category as well. Educational institutions typically generate income from student tuition and government funding.

Art museums, zoos, and historical societies also fall under the umbrella of educational institutions. These groups often rely on ticket sales, membership dues, and donations for funding.

Trade Associations

Trade associations represent businesses and professionals in a particular industry. They work to promote their industry and advance the interests of their members. The National Restaurant Association and National Retail Federation are two examples of trade associations. Trade associations typically get their funding from member dues, conferences, and publications.

Also falling under the category of trade associations are chambers of commerce. These groups work to promote and support businesses in a particular community or region. Chambers of commerce usually generate income from membership dues and events.

With so many different types of nonprofits, there is sure to be one that aligns with your interests and goals. Do some research to find the right fit for you, then get out there and make a difference!


In conclusion, there are many different types of nonprofits out there, each with its own unique purpose. From charities to trade associations, there is a nonprofit for almost every cause imaginable. Knowing the different types of nonprofits can help you decide which one you would like to support or even start yourself!

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