A nonprofit organization is formed with the mission to provide some type of educational, religious, scientific or charitable purpose. Nonprofit organizations are organized for the purpose of providing a benefit to society as a whole, a community or a particular segment of the population. Nonprofit organizations have a definitive management structure that is used to help the organization achieve its intended purpose.
Nonprofit organizations may have members that participate and provide input in terms of operating the organization. Trade associations are an example of a nonprofit organization that will have members as part of the organization's operating structure. Members of a nonprofit organization have the right to participate in the current and future activities of the nonprofit organization, as explained by the Citizen Media Law Project. However, it is not a necessity for a nonprofit organization to have members as apart of its organizational structure.
A nonprofit organization's board of directors will consist of individuals appointed by the organization's founders. A founder can serve on the organization's board of directors. Board members are expected to show a passion and commitment toward helping the company achieve its mission. The board of directors is the governing body that sets and enforces the rules and regulations of the nonprofit organization. A nonprofit's board must make sure that the organization complies with all legal and tax requirements.
Officers of a nonprofit organization consist of positions, such as executive director or president, secretary, treasurer and vice-president. The initial officers of a nonprofit organization are selected by the board of directors. A board member of a nonprofit organization may also serve as an officer. The nonprofit's officers are required to manage the organization's staff to carry out the decisions made by the board of directors. Officers of a nonprofit are responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the organization.
A nonprofit organization's staff members may consist of paid and volunteer workers. Paid staff members are given their duties by the officers of the nonprofit organization. The paid staff members may be managers and regular employees. Volunteers receive their duties from the managers or other paid staff members. The decisions of the nonprofit's directors and officers are carried out by the organization's staff members.
Committees are a big part of the structure of a nonprofit organization. A nonprofit organization may form a committee to handle budget, fundraising and operational concerns. In addition, nonprofit organizations may form committees for public relations and marketing, as well as for the purpose of implementing programs that promote the non-profit's mission. Every committee should have at least one board member, but two board members is an ideal number. Other spots on a committee may be held by the nonprofit organization's officers and staff members.