Types of Nonprofits in Barbados

Cersai Stark

Cersai Stark

The diverse types of nonprofits in Barbados are known to serve the need and interests of both public and private parties. Likewise, these organizations function without the expectation of any commercial or financial profit. 

Oftentimes, NPOs undertake issues related to the environment, humanitarian help, animal protection, education, social issues, and most importantly, charities.

In this article, we will consider the various nonprofit groups in Barbados and their functions. 


Types of nonprofits
Types of nonprofits


  • The various types of nonprofits play a significant role in both society and the economy as a whole. 
  • One unique quality of NGOs is their ability to create connections and unite disparate people via their work.


What are the types of nonprofits in Barbados?

Barbados recognizes four types of nonprofits in the country. Each of these entities is also governed by an Act. We will provide a brief overview of the various classes. 

1. Company Limited by Guarantee

Although charities frequently adopt this corporate structure, not all firms limited by guarantee have a philanthropic purpose. Besides, these types of nonprofits are frequently used by clubs and membership organizations, particularly sports associations.

If a company limited by guarantee is a nonprofit, it must abide by the laws, regulations, and disclosure requirements established by the Charities Acts, the Charity SORP, and the Charity Commission.

In general, members are not eligible for dividends. Albeit, members typically participate in the company more out of a dedication to its goals than for financial gain. Since dividends are not allowed, payments to members can only be made in the form of compensation. The members also agree to contribute to the firm’s assets in the case of its dissolution. 

2. Society 

The capacity of a society, as well as the rights, powers, and privileges of an individual, are outlined in the Cooperative Societies Act. Generally, these types of nonprofits are distinguished by shared ownership and democratic governance.

To the extent that the laws of Barbados and that jurisdiction permit, a society has the authority to conduct its affairs, exercise its functions, and carry out its operations in any jurisdiction outside of Barbados.

In response to the need for the creation of cooperatives, the Co-operative Societies Act was first passed. The first cooperative, Shamrock Co-operative Credit Union Limited, existed before the Act was passed and is still operating well more than 60 years later.

3. Trusts 

The Trust Act defines the term “Trust” as a legal arrangement made when assets are given to a trustee for the benefit of a beneficiary or a predetermined purpose. These types of nonprofits in Barbados are governed by the laws of equity and common law. 

Prior to the Act, Barbados’ common law-based legal system did a good job of incorporating the idea of a trust. The English colony until 1966 operated the English common law and equitable principles as part of its legal system. 

Also, Barbados operates three different trusts: Offshore trusts, Domestic trusts, and International trusts. In all cases, the Trustee is responsible for overseeing and managing the Trust’s assets.

4. Foundations 

These types of nonprofits tend to appeal to people from civil law jurisdictions. Albeit, these individuals may be less at ease with the trust concept but more at ease with the company concept.

The legal framework establishes a foundation as a distinct legal entity. Hence,  the assets are given by the founder to the foundation. The assets are held for the benefit of the beneficiaries and the accomplishment of its goals in accordance with the charter and/or bylaws.

Generally, the legislation includes mobility provisions. This is to ensure that a foundation may be continued outside of Barbados and a foreign foundation may be continued into Barbados. By and large, a foundation may exist forever or for a specific amount of time. The value of assets owned by a foundation must be at least US$5,000. Likewise, information and papers kept in connection with a foundation are not made public.

How many nonprofits are in Barbados?

According to Invest Barbados, the economic development agency of the government of Barbados, over 1,400 registered nonprofits operate in the country. Also, a large number of diverse types of nonprofits are involved in agriculture, environmental heritage and conservation, health, and gender issues. Other areas of interest include social welfare, family, environmental sustainability, and special needs. 

The Barbados Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (BANGO) assists in the coordinated participation of civil society in problems of national and international concern. The organization also provides technical assistance and other forms of support for nonprofits. 


The various types of nonprofits play a significant role in both society and the economy as a whole. Hence, the importance of nonprofits in the economy cannot be overemphasized. One unique quality of NGOs is their ability to create connections and unite disparate people via their work. 

If you enjoyed reading this article, please share your comments and suggestions with us at the bottom of this post. 


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