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The broad term "not-for-profit organisation" is used to describe all independent organisations which do not make profits for directors, shareholders, or members. The not-for-profit designation is not a legal structure in and of itself as there are numerous kinds of organisations that qualify as not-for-profits.

Organisational structures fall into two categories: Charities & Community Groups and Social Enterprises. The difference between the two is basically who has control of the organisation.

Charities and Community Groups are usually run and controlled by a committee of volunteers (even if they may employ staff). This group is called a management committee or board of trustees, and they organize activities or or to distribute money for the purposes of charity. . Whether the committee is elected by the membership or appointed by the committee which already exists. This type of organisation is likely to receive grand funding due to the fact that the people who run it enjoy no financial gain.

Social enterprises, on the other hand, may be controlled by those who have invested in them or who are paid to work for them. Perhaps those who own the business the customers, the paid staff, or those who have bought community shares in the endeavor. Social enterprises are usually funded by the sale of goods and services or inviting others to invest instead of applying for donations and grants.



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