Examples of Nonprofit Organizations

There are a plethora of nonprofit organizations operating in the world today. If you are interested in starting a nonprofit organization of your own, you might want to take a look at others that are already established and learn from them.

The National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) asserts that there are a little more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the United States to date. Of these:

  • 1,076,309 are public charities
  • 103,430 are private foundations
  • 369,557 are other types of nonprofit organizations, including chambers of commerce, fraternal organizations and civic leagues

Nonprofit organizations are established in order to provide public services to the communities in which they operate, serving as intermediaries between the public and government agencies. Depending on the types of non profit organizations, they serve various needs and interests of the communities to which they belong.

If you are interested in establishing a nonprofit, you might want to check the other NPOs that are already in existence.

Some of the world’s top nonprofit organizations include:

Human Rights Watch (HRW)

Human Rights Watch was established in 1978 and has grown to include 400 staff members all over the world. The staff consists of human rights professionals including lawyers, country experts, journalists and academics of diverse backgrounds and nationalities. HRW has proven itself for its accurate fact-finding and impartial reporting and often works in tandem with local human rights groups. Publishing more than 100 reports and briefings on human rights conditions in roughly 90 countries, HRW generates extensive coverage of the plight of millions of people from all walks of life. HRW gathers together with government and world leaders in order to press for changes in policy and practice that promote human rights and justice around the globe.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

UNICEF is an established humanitarian and development agency working internationally for the rights and improvement of the lives of every child, in every situation. The organization believes in giving every child, everywhere, especially the most disadvantaged, a fair chance in life and works towards the accomplishment of this goal. UNICEF endeavors to provide women with pre-natal care for healthy births, and provide children and families with clean water and sanitation, health care and education. Aside from ensuring that children have access to these basic needs, UNICEF also seeks to protect children from violence, exploitation and abuse. As the leading advocate for children’s rights, UNICEF is active in more than 190 countries, territories and areas through country programmes and National Committees.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been providing medical aid since 1971. Since the beginning, MSF’s decision to intervene in any crisis is based solely on their independent assessment of the needs of the people, devoid of any political, economic, or religious interests. This enables MSF to more quickly respond and be first on the scene to provide emergency medical assistance, even in countries and regions that are otherwise forgotten and don’t get media attention. MSF-USA has consistently met all standards of watchdog agencies and has recently been awarded an “A” rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy. Saving lives by providing medical aid where it is needed being MSF’s primary objective, they have worked in 60 countries around the world often facing catastrophes such as armed conflicts, epidemics, natural disasters, and other crisis situations. Aside from answering the urgent call for specialized medical and logistical help, MSF also run longer-term projects designed to tackle health crises and support people who cannot otherwise access healthcare.

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross was founded in 1881 in Washington, D.C. by Clara Barton and a circle of her acquaintances, after having learned of the Swiss-inspired global Red Cross network while visiting Europe following the Civil War. Barton campaigned for an American Red Cross and for ratification of the Geneva Convention protecting the war-injured. Prior to the First World War, the Red Cross introduced programs such as first aid, water safety and public health. After the war, the Red Cross directed efforts towards providing service to veterans, and enhanced programs in safety training, home care for the sick, and nutrition education. The Red Cross provided extensive services to the U.S. military, Allies, and civilian war victims during the Second World War, and after World War II, introduced the first nationwide civilian blood program. This blood program now supplies more than 40 percent of the blood and blood products in the U.S. The Red Cross has expanded its services into such fields as civil defense, CPR/AED training, HIV/AIDS education, and the provision of emotional care and support in the wake of disasters.

World Wildlife Fund

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has been working to protect the future of nature for 50 years. As the world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States, and nearly 5 million internationally. WWF’s objectives include conserving the world’s most important forests; safeguarding healthy oceans and marine livelihoods; securing water for people and nature; protecting the world’s most important species; doubling net food availability and freezing its footprint; and, creating a climate-resilient and zero-carbon world, powered by renewable energy. WWF works together in partnership with foundations, governments, businesses, communities, individuals and their members more than 6-million strong in order to achieve their mission to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.