Distinctive Purposes

  • David E. Mason
Part of the Nonprofit Management and Finance book series (NOMA)


A distinctive characteristic of voluntary enterprises is that their purposes are other than profit-seeking. This does not mean that a voluntary enterprise does not have money. Some, like the Rockefeller Foundation, have greater financial resources than many corporations. But a distinctive feature is that their reason for being is not profit. Their purpose does not lie in producing goods or providing a service at a price greater than its cost to generate revenue for an owner or a stockholder. While the organization may be concerned about generating as much revenue as it can, the income itself is not the end purpose envisioned by the founders. Therefore, its objectives, values, results, and measures of success differ significantly from those of a business. It provides services for its constituency, or for society on behalf of its constituents.


Board Member Voluntary Organization Voluntary Sector Voluntary Enterprise Distinctive Purpose 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • David E. Mason
    • 1
  1. 1.Supportive Services, Inc.New OrleansUSA

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