Gambia’s social and economic structure is largely shaped by the numerous types of nonprofit organizations. Even more, these entities have played a crucial role in shaping the country’s social landscape. It is safe to say that nonprofits will play a major role in the nation’s effort to achieve sustainable development.
In this article, we will consider the various types of nonprofits in the Gambia and their impact across communities.
- The various types of nonprofits have emerged as crucial delivery mechanisms for social services and the execution of various development initiatives
- The expertise and capacity of nonprofits can be tapped for the benefit of the public
- Undoubtedly, nonprofits may rival or even exceed the capacity of the government or the private sector in a given area.
What are the types of nonprofits in the Gambia?
Nonprofits in the Gambia can be grouped into three major classes. We will briefly outline each of these classes.
1. Private Company Limited by Guarantee
These types of nonprofits are formed to promote trade, art, science, religion, sports, culture, education, research, charity, or other similar objectives. Likewise, all of the company’s assets and earnings are to be used entirely for charitable purposes.
A private corporation limited by guarantee does not operate as a business to generate earnings for member distribution. Hence, no part of its income or property is to be paid or transferred, directly or indirectly, to any of its members. Exceptions are only given when approved by law and all assets must be used to advance its objectives.
These types of nonprofits are frequently utilized as a substitute for foundations. However, there are several important distinctions to be made. This is especially with respect to its legal form, asset ownership, and governing regulations.
According to the terms of the trust deed, one or more trustees are responsible for controlling and managing the trust’s assets. Likewise, the trustee is legally accountable for asset management and is required to operate in the beneficiary’s best interests.
3. Co-operative Societies
Cooperatives are grassroots organizations created by individuals to leverage the power of collective bargaining in the marketplace. These types of nonprofits may also be created with the primary purpose of conducting an economic activity in the community’s best interests.
In general, a cooperative society heavily relies on the cooperation of the individuals that make up the society. Building capacity helps employees at all management levels become more skilled, which results in improved societal governance. It also enhances the senior management’s capacity for leadership and decision-making.
How do the various types of nonprofits access funds?
Overall, NGOs in the Gambia are known to obtain funding from a variety of sources. While some nonprofits are locally funded, others receive external funding and international support.
However, fund sources are shrouded in a great deal of obscurity. It was astonishing to discover that the Gambian government is more open about its financing sources than NGOs. Both bilateral (Government to Government) and international donors such as World Bank and IMF provide development funds to the Gambia. However, due to a lack of openness in some groups, it has been exceedingly difficult to determine the entire aggregate aid flow.
Hence, in 2021, the European Union announced on its Twitter handle the launch of the CSO Watchdog to spur transparency and accountability. Among its objectives included the strengthening of nonprofits and fighting against corruption.
The various types of nonprofits have emerged as crucial delivery mechanisms for social services and the execution of various development initiatives. This is particularly in regions with poor or nonexistent government capability.
Likewise, the delivery of social services has been decentralized or even privatized in the Gambia due to economic and fiscal policy reforms. This in turn has led to an increase in the role of nonprofits.
The expertise and capacity of nonprofits can be tapped for the benefit of the public. Undoubtedly, they may rival or even exceed the capacity of the government or the private sector in a given area. This is especially with the rising expansion in knowledge and capacity of the non-profit sector.
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