Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the questions we get asked a lot with some useful information and guidance.

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How do non-profit owners make money?

Non-profit organisations do not have ‘owners’ but instead have ‘founders’. 

While a non-profit organisation is not able to earn a taxable profit, those who founded the organisation, manage the running of it or work for it, are able to earn a salary. 

This means a non-profit organisation founder can ensure they earn a living while being able to professionally facilitate charitable giving.  All non profits and charities have administrative costs, in order to be able to pay their workforce.  Without this workforce, the good work they do would not be possible.

More flexible funds, set up in collaboration between donors and funders such as community foundations, can pay for core costs (or running costs) to charities or non profits.  This type of funding enables the payment of bills, staff, equipment, and other vital provisions that ensure charities and non-profit organisations can continue to do their vital work.  This kind of funding is increasingly being encouraged by funders and the wider philanthropic sector to increase sustainability among smaller charities and non-profit organisations.

You can read more about our recommendations to funders in this report.

There is also a useful guide on funding and income planning on NCVO's website.