Difference Between Nonprofit and Foundation (With Table)

There are many services that are ongoing in the name of kindness and humanity. The sole purpose of these activities is to do good for society and improve the life quality of those people who are unable to afford many life-essential requirements. To provide those services many foundations are opened and running through funds and donations.

Nonprofit vs Foundation

The main difference between Nonprofit and foundations is based on the sources of income and the purposes for which surplus of incomes is used. If a nonprofit organization gains some surplus income then the surplus money is used as funds whereas The foundations are funded by the founders of the foundations that’s why there is no surplus.

A nonprofit is a charitable organization with such a particular social objective that utilizes its revenues & excess supply to fund its processes rather than benefiting the representatives, shareowners, staff, or heads of state of the organization. The excess profits are reinvested in the company’s goals. Nonprofit groups accept funds from a variety of sources, including the govt, establishments, organizations, and people, to mention a few. Such funds then are applied to the designated charity activities. They seem to be exempt from taxes and can start operating in research, spiritual, educational, or even science options.

This is indeed a charitable organization that receives funds out of its founders, who can be a business or kin. The funds then are decided to invest, with the proceeds going towards the organization’s charitable efforts. Foundations also public spending and economic or gifts to certain other non-profit organizations. A few foundations accept funds and others do not, even though they do not meet the criteria as public charities.

Comparison Table Between Nonprofit and Foundation

Parameters of Comparison




A non-profit organization has a social purpose. A surplus & income made are used to fund.

This is a charitable organization that receives funds from those who founded it.


Grants are not made to certain other establishments or charitable organizations.

Make contributions to certain other charitable & non-profit organizations.


Just about all individual & corporate taxes are exempted.

foundations are obligated to pay a 1-2 percent excise tax.

Financial data

NPOs share basic financial data, but only to a limited extent.

It is entirely dependent on itself because it is self-funded. If they wish to disseminate the information.


For effective functioning, it is run by a board of directors.

governed primarily by its donors or a board of directors made up of family members or even other individuals

What is Nonprofit?

A nonprofit organization is short-termed as NPO, which is also recognized as a non-profit entity. It is a part of the legal body of a country. They are formed and maintained by a group of people as collective, public, or social benefit, with the motive to oppose the organizations whose owner seeks profit.

The non-distribution limitation applies to nonprofits: any surplus funds must be invested in the organization’s mission rather than distributed to private parties. The activities that a nonprofit engages in can serve to increase public trust in organizations by demonstrating how ethical the standards and procedures are.

Some groups of the society like groups associated with politics, schools, or business associations. These groups also include churches groups, social clubs, and consumer cooperatives are great examples of nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit organizations can seek government approval to be tax-exempt, and some may be eligible to accept tax-deductible contributions, but they can also establish themselves as a nonprofit organization without obtaining tax-exempt status.

The main moral aspects of these organizations are loyalty, honesty, accountability, and transparency to the people who invested their time, faith, and money in the organization. They are answerable to many members of the organization which includes donors, volunteers, funders, and many more.

What is Foundation?

This is a charity organization that receives funding from its founders, who might be a business or a family. The funds are subsequently invested, with the earnings going to the organization’s humanitarian efforts. Other nonprofit organizations get financing from foundations in the form of grants or gifts.

Some foundations get donations and others do not, Although they are not public charities. Public charity foundations, such as community foundations, and private foundations, are often endowed by a person or family. It is mostly funded by many funders who want a better society and be a part of humanity services. They invest their money to upgrade the quality of life for many people who are not able to do that.

However, organizations that are not involved in public grantmaking may use the word “foundation.” Foundations come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Few types of foundations are listed below:

  1. Operating foundations—An operating foundation engages in philanthropic activity and distributes funds to existing nonprofit projects in a sustainable and ongoing manner.
  2. Nonoperating foundations are the most prevalent sort of foundation. They award or transfer money to other charitable organisations.
  3. Private foundations are those that are administered and controlled by a firm, family, or individual.
  4. Public foundations are those that get money from private foundations, companies, and the government.

Main Differences Between Nonprofit and Foundation

  1. Non-profit organizations need not make charitable contributions to certain other organizations. Non-profits utilize their surplus to fund their operations. Foundations typically make grants to other charities and non-profits.
  2. Volunteers are most likely employed by non-profit organizations. They are usually not compensated for their efforts. Employees of foundations are compensated for their efforts.
  3. Both in cases, the taxation process is quite different. There is a tax exemption in the case of non-profit organizations. It doesn’t matter if you’re an individual or a corporation. Foundations, but on the other hand, are required to pay a 1-2 percent tax.
  4. Non-profit organizations release a few basic financial data to demonstrate and confirm the public’s significant support. Even though foundations are self-funded, they choose whether or not to disclose financial information.
  5. Funding appears to be a problem for non-profits. Those who primarily rely on grants from the govt, underpinnings, and numerous other organizations. A funding snafu turns out to be quite a problem. Those who don’t have to rely on others for money. They are self-sufficient.


A charitable organization with a particular social objective that utilizes its revenues & excess to fund its activities instead of benefiting the firm’s members, stockholders, staff, is referred to as a nonprofit. Those who get their money from gov’t, establishments, organizations, and persons, as well as they, don’t give that to other charities.

A foundation, on either side, is a charity organization that receives funds out of its founding members, who can be a business body or kin. People may be supported by private foundational principles, businesses, the govt, or a person, corporation, or kin. These, however, continue to be significant charitable organizations in society.


  1. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/13673270410567602/full/html
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0024630188900611