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Civil society/Catalogs/Organization Types

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An alphabetical listing of a variety of terms for civil society organizations. (Many of these types are also covered more extensively in separate linked pages. Discerning readers will note a good bit of overlap between several of these terms.) <P>

  • Association [r]: Please do not use this term in your topic list, because there is no single article for it. Please substitute a more precise term. See Association (disambiguation) for a list of available, more precise, topics. Please add a new usage if needed.
  • Civil society organization [r]: An organization found in or characteristic of civil society. [e]
  • Club [r]: Usually a small association with a narrow or clearly defined purpose and limited formal organization. (E.g., card club, model club, chess club). The term can also be applied to larger membership associations (e.g. 4H Clubs). [e]
  • Commons [r]: (1) A pool or set of common resources together with the agents controlling inflows and outflows of resources from the pool; (2) A bundle of rights held jointly or collectively by a group of people; traditionally referred to land or real property, more recently also includes many other types of valuables (knowledge, open source software information, copyrights, social relations). (3) An association of those controlling such pools or collectively holding such rights. [e]
  • Community foundation [r]: A type of foundation first created in the 1920s in Cleveland and consisting of individual funds dedicated to specific purposes (like supporting nonprofit organizations, community resources, scholarships, etc.) and general funds available for distribution by the foundation's governing board. [e]
  • Company foundation [r]: A foundation created by a business corporation out of company earnings or profits. (Tax law often allows corporations to donate a limited amount for such purposes). Distinct from a family foundation created by members of a family-owned business out of their own personal wealth. [e]
  • Community organization [r]: A widely used term that can refer both to a type of civil society organization (one closely associated with a particular community) and to the process of forming, creating and operating such organizations. [e]
  • Cooperative [r]: A cooperative (or co-operative or co-op) is defined by the International Co-operative Alliance's Statement on the Co-operative Identity as an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. [e]
  • Corporation [r]: In commerce, an organisation that is jointly owned by shareholders who participate in its profits but are not personally liable for its debts. More generally, a legal entity that is distinct from its owners and may employ people, buy and sell assets, and lend or borrow money. [e]
  • Family [r]: (1) Persons related by blood, marriage, adoption or guardianship, including individuals placed for foster care. (2) The social organization of a household or housekeeping unit using certain rooms and housekeeping facilities in common. See nuclear family and extended family [e]
  • Family foundation [r]: A foundation created and controlled by members of a family, and often named for the family. (E.g., the Ford Foundation; the Rockefeller Foundation; the Mandel Foundation, et. al.) [e]
  • Firm [r]: An economic organization devoted to the production of goods and services for maximum profit. [e]
  • Foundation [r]: Add brief definition or description
  • Grassroots association [r]: A term referring to local or locality-based associations, particularly those that are small, informally organized, and directly controlled by members. [e]
  • Group [r]: Group is a very general term that can refer to just about any batch, cluster, classification or category of things. In civil society and other social theory, it is most often used to refer to three or more persons in spatial proximity and interaction with one another. [e]
  • Guild [r]: (Or gild). An association of craft workers in a particular trade, profession or occupation. [e]
  • Household [r]: The organization of persons living together in a residence. A single family household includes only related family members of one family and any resident household employees and retainers, like live-in cooks, housekeepers, au pairs, etc. The U.S. census also tabulates households of unrelated individuals (often termed "roommates"). [e]
  • Interest group [r]: An organization that seeks to represent its members' interests, usually by seeking to influence political and/or public policy outcomes. [e]
  • Krewe [r]: Distinctive membership associations in New Orleans known as krewes are devoted to celebration and display in conjunction with annual Mardi Gras festivities. Activities of New Orleans krews include elaborate costume-making and float construction. [e]
  • Labor union [r]: Add brief definition or description
  • Livery company [r]: One of 107 occupational associations based in the City of London and dating back to the Middle Ages. Most are known as the "Worshipful Company of" a particular trade or profession. Originally developed as guilds, they were responsible for wages and labour conditions and other aspects of the practice of their craft. [e]
  • Membership association [r]: An association or group with criteria or procedures for designating one or more categories of member. Membership usually defines or outlines the conditions and circumstances of participation, and may be offered by the organization in return for special considerations including nomination, invitation or payment of dues or fees. [e]
  • Nongovernmental organization [r]: A term used in much of the world to describe third sector organizations in terms of their location outside of formal government. [e]
  • Nonprofit corporation [r]: Any of a number of types of corporation recognized by tax authorities as subject to nondistribution constraints. Under U.S. law, corporations are "legal personalities". The largest category of nonprofit corporation in the U.S. are exempt from federal (and state) taxation, donations to which may be tax deductible under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code if they are nonpolitical, or 501(c)(4) if they engage in political activity [e]
  • Nonprofit organization [r]: An organization that is institutionalized, private, separate from government, not profit distributing, self-governing and voluntary, according to Lester Salamon. [e]
  • Not-for-profit organization [r]: A nonprofit organization. Some users try (so far unsuccessfully) to establish a generally acceptable definition of this term that distinguishes it from the more conventional nonprofit organization. Most of these efforts rely on drawing a subtle distinction (not making a profit vs. not intending to make a profit). Most authorities regard this as a false dichotomy (since nonprofit organizations are constrained from distributing profits, not making them) or as a distinction without a difference. [e]
  • Political association [r]: Term used by Alexis De Tocqueville in Democracy in America to differentiate political parties from other civil organizations. [e]
  • Political party [r]: An organization that seeks to advance the interests of its members by obtaining political power [e]
  • Professional association [r]: A membership association representing members of a particular occupation, particularly one requiring specialized knowledge or training, such as Law, Medicine, Social Work, Psychology or Engineering. [e]
  • Social movement [r]: Contentious performances, public displays and advocacy campaigns by ordinary people to assert collective claims for attention, redress of grievances and change, and the voluntary associations, formal organizations and emergent institutions that coordinate and direct them. [e]
  • Tong [r]: A Chinese association. Originally primarily mutual aid associations, tongs in some cities in China, the U.S., Australia and elsewhere, evolved into secret societies or criminal organizations. [e]
  • Trade union [r]: A modern organization of workers, arising in the second half of the 19th century and representing workers in a single occupation (e.g. steelworkers, miners or teachers) or a broader class of workers (e.g. office workers). [e]
  • Voluntary association [r]: A term used in the Tocqueville tradition in political science and sociology to refer to associations characterized by uncoerced participation, in which participants are free to join and leave at will, and for whom participation may be independent of incentives or expectations of gain or personal profit. See voluntary organisation. [e]
  • Waqf [r]: Please do not use this term in your topic list, because there is no single article for it. Please substitute a more precise term. See Waqf (disambiguation) for a list of available, more precise, topics. Please add a new usage if needed.