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National Nonprofit Day

National Nonprofit Day "recognizes the goals and positive impacts nonprofits have on communities and the world." It takes place on August 17th because the Tariff Act of 1894 was signed into law that August—purportedly on August 17th. The law imposed the first federal income taxes on corporations but made exemptions for charitable institutions and nonprofit corporations. With some exceptions, nonprofit organizations are still exempt from taxes today. According to those behind the day, the Tariff Act of 1894 helped make nonprofits possible, and thus benefited society in many ways:

Because of this significant Act, somewhere a volunteer reads to school children; a patient receives steady medication; a lawyer provides legal services for low-income individuals; a nonprofit funeral home buries a lost soul; or a first-time homebuyer is moving into his own home. Acknowledgement of National Nonprofit Day (NND) reminds us that each of these scenes is possible because of the nonprofit sector and the work performed by capable men, women and organizations.

Nonprofit organizations are operated for public, social, or collective benefit instead of for a profit for their owners. They are accountable to donors, founders, volunteers, program recipients, and the public community. Although they aren't for profit, they must generate enough money to pursue their goals. They raise money from individual donors or foundations, corporate sponsorship, government funding, investments, and sales of programs, merchandise, and services. Revenues that exceed expenses go towards the organization's purpose.

Nonprofits become tax-exempt through government approval, and it is possible for an entity to incorporate as a nonprofit but not receive tax-exempt status. In the United States, to be exempt from federal income taxes, an organization must meet the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code, as implemented by the IRS. Some nonprofits may also qualify to receive tax-deductible contributions.

Nonprofits provide research, awareness, and aid, and employ workers such as lawyers, computer engineers, and nurses. Some examples of nonprofits are political organizations, schools, social clubs, consumer cooperatives, and churches. They can be public charities and private foundations. In the early 2020s, there were more than 1.5 million nonprofits registered in the United States. The goals and positive impacts of these nonprofits and nonprofits around the world are recognized today with National Nonprofit Day!

How to Observe National Nonprofit Day

A few ways you could take part in the day include:

  • Learn more about, support, or apply for a job with a nonprofit.
  • Start your own nonprofit.
  • Share about the day and nonprofits on social media and accompany your posts with the hashtags #NationalNonprofitDay and #NND. If you are part of a nonprofit, share what the organization is along with its logo, photos, and information about its mission.
  • Check out the National Nonprofit Day Facebook page.
  • Explore the website of the Philanthropy Alliance Foundation, an organization created by Sherita J. Herring, the founder of National Nonprofit Day.

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