Types of Nonprofits in Jamaica

Edij Opidal

Edij Opidal

Types of nonprofits in Jamaica
Types of nonprofits

There are many types of nonprofits in Jamaica, each with a unique mission and purpose. From environmental groups to animal rescue organizations, there is a nonprofit for everyone in Jamaica. This diversity is what makes the nonprofit sector so important in Jamaica.  The nonprofit sector in Jamaica is constantly growing, with new organizations appearing every year. This can be attributed to the fact that there are many opportunities for Jamaicans to make a difference in their communities through nonprofit work. However, it can also be confusing to know which type of nonprofit organization is right for you. In this blog post, we will explore the different types of nonprofits in Jamaica and what each one does.

We hope this information will help you decide which type of nonprofit organization (NPO) best suits your needs and goals. we will also take a closer look at some of the most common types of nonprofits in Jamaica. We will discuss their importance and the varieties of nonprofits that are operating in the country.


The varieties of NPOs in Jamaica

From a functional perspective, here are some of the different types of Nonprofit organizations in Jamaica:

 1. Development Organizations: Development organizations work to improve the economic and social conditions of a specific group or community. They provide services such as job training, financial assistance, and housing. Development organizations typically serve low-income populations.

2. Relief Organizations: Relief organizations provide aid in the wake of natural disasters or other emergencies. They may provide food, shelter, medical care, or other necessities to those affected by the disaster. Relief organizations typically serve anyone who has been affected by the disaster, regardless of income.

3. Religious Organizations: Religious organizations provide spiritual guidance and support to their members. They may also offer social services such as food pantries or clothes closets. Religious organizations typically serve anyone who is interested in their services, regardless of income. An example of a religious organization operating in Jamaica is Experience Mission.

4. Educational Institutions: Educational institutions provide education to their students. They may also offer extracurricular activities and support services such as tutoring or counseling. Educational institutions typically serve anyone who is interested in their services, regardless of income.


Types of Nonprofits in Jamaica

From a legal perspective, there are several types of nonprofits in Jamaica, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. The Charities Act, 2013 (the Act) passed in the Jamaican parliament in December 2013. Its main objective is to bring charitable organizations under one single umbrella. This Act provides an inclusive regime for the registration, monitoring, and tax treatment of charities.Per the 2013 Charities Act, the Department of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies (DCFS) is the authority that monitors and considers applications for charitable status.

There are three main types of nonprofits in Jamaica:  Unincorporated Associations, Trusts, and the Public Benefit Corporations.

1. Unincorporated Associations: In Jamaica, an unincorporated association is a group of people who have joined together for a common purpose. The association is not registered as a legal entity and does not have a separate legal identity from its members. This type of organization is often used for social, religious, or political purposes. There are several advantages and disadvantages to forming an unincorporated association. An unincorporated association does not have the same legal rights and responsibilities as a corporation. For example, an unincorporated association cannot own property in its own name or sue or be sued in court.

However, there are some advantages to being an unincorporated association. These include:
– Easy to form: There are no complicated legal requirements for forming an unincorporated association.
– Less expensive: Unincorporated associations do not have to pay taxes or fees to the government.
– More flexible: Unincorporated associations can change their rules and procedures more easily than corporations.

2. Trusts:  In Jamaica, a trust is formed for the benefit of members of the public. This is usually established where land or personal property is given in Trust to be used for a specific charitable purpose. Under the charities act, trusts in Jamaica are formed mainly for a charitable purpose. Its intention after being created would be to operate for the public benefit. A trust has the right to evolve into a perpetual trust. This means that it may continue without any stated closure period.

3. Public Benefit Corporations: These are for-profit entities that are required to create a positive impact on society and the environment. In Jamaica, this type of company must be registered with the Companies Office of Jamaica. The regulations governing public benefit corporations are set out in the Companies Act of 2004. Public benefit corporations are different from traditional businesses in that they are not solely focused on making a profit. Instead, these types of businesses seek to create a positive social or environmental impact. For example, a public benefit corporation might seek to reduce poverty in its community or to promote renewable energy use. Public benefit corporations are not without critics, however. Some argue that these types of businesses are nothing more than “greenwashing” efforts by traditional companies. Others argue that public benefit corporations are nothing more than marketing ploys designed to appeal to consumers who are interested in supporting socially responsible businesses.


Nonprofits play a vital role in any society, and Jamaica is no different. If you’re interested in supporting a good cause, there are many different types of nonprofits you can get involved with, each with its own unique mission and purpose. Choose one that aligns with your passions and skillset, and you’ll be making a positive impact on the lives of Jamaicans in no time! If you enjoyed reading this article but still have questions for us, please share your questions in the post section.


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