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Organizations created for the purpose of philanthropic rather than pecuniary pursuits.

A charity is a group designed to benefit society or a specific group of people. Its purpose may be educational, humanitarian, or religious. A charity goes beyond giving relief to the indigent, extending to the promotion of happiness and the support of many worthy causes.

The law favors charities because they promote goodwill and lessen the government's burdens. They are therefore ordinarily exempt from paying income or property taxes.

Charitable Gifts and Trusts

A charitable gift is something that is donated by an individual or organization with the intent to benefit the public or some segment of it as a whole. It is meant for use by an indefinite number of people. Similarly, charitable trusts or public trusts are trusts of religious, political, or general social interests, or for the relief of poverty or the advancement of education.

Charities are ordinarily supported by gifts from donors and most states have set forth statutes controlling the manner in which funds are solicited for charities. In addition, the state will generally require charities to disclose their financial structure and condition.

Charitable gifts are often testamentary, or created by will. If there is a problem in determining the actual donative intent of the testator, the court might have to pass on his or her intent.

Cy Pres is a doctrine applied by a court so that it can carry out a trust made by will for charitable purposes even when the testator's charitable purpose can not be accomplished in the precise manner specified by the testator. For example, if a testator wished to donate money to a certain hospital whose name had changed, for example, this would not defeat the gift. With cy-pres the court would interpret the donor's intent to be to give money to the hospital in spite of the change of name.

Charitable Societies and Institutions

To determine whether an institution is charitable, the test is whether its major purpose is to aid others or to make a profit.

Charitable corporations are nonprofit corporations that have been created to minister to the physical needs of the indigent or to advance a particular goal, such as the aid of a particular religious group or country. In order to receive a tax-exempt status, such organizations must meet certain criteria.

Ordinarily, charitable corporations have no capital stock and they obtain their funds primarily from private and public charity. These funds are held in trust to serve the charitable objects of the institutions.

Beneficial associations also exist mainly for a charitable purpose and not for financial gain.

Religious organizations, such as the Young Men's and Women's Christian Associations and the Salvation Army, are also considered to be charitable societies.

The test for determining whether or not an educational institution is a charitable organization is the question of whether it exists for a public purpose or for a private gain.

While charities may charge a nominal fee for some of their services and still be considered charitable societies, they are organized primarily for the public good and not for profit.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
1821 the only officially supported charitable organization in New York City was the City Dispensary -- municipal aid to others having been cut off in 1817 on the grounds that charity to the poor only made them lazy and improvident}
This makes it unclear as to whether AICPA guidance and GASB can be used when preparing a financial statement for a charitable organization.
BAGHDAD / NINA /- Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Nechirvan Barzani discussed with the Chairman of the Executive Board of the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) Abdullah Al-Maatouq the situation of displaced people and refugees in the region.
"The parties concede that Boston University qualifies as a charitable organization but plaintiff disputes whether that status extends to the Athletic Department and, specifically, to the lacrosse team.
The Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) organised a workshop in cooperation with the Oman Charitable Organization (OCO) recently.
Hainan Cihang Charity Foundation, Inc., the New York-based charitable organization established by the founders of HNA Group in 2016, has announced the appointment of Dr.
Salalah, Sep.20 (ONA) A financing agreement for the 2017 Assistance Program for Families of Social Security, Limited Income and Orphans was signed today at the Office of the Minister of State and the Governor of Dhofar within the framework of the Community Partnership and Support of National Initiatives between the Oman Charitable Organization (OCO) and the Salalah Methanol Company.
The result would be otherwise if the church leased its property to an entity that would itself qualify as exempt--another charitable organization, nonprofit educational institution, religious organization, etc.
I then met some of Aspen's ADARA "ambassadors" to learn more about this amazing charitable organization founded by an ex-Bermuda banker, Audette Exel.
A charitable organization's purpose is more than words in a brochure.
AMMAN, July 8 (KUNA) -- Around USD 19.75 million were spent in the past three years to help those in need for assistance in Jordan, said an official of Kuwait-based International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO).
The lead beneficiary is a charitable organization that receives a fixed annual payment throughout the term of the trust.

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