The nonprofit sector has become a driving force in various economies globally. Also, the various types of nonprofits serve as dependable sources of services and information in the community and integral partners in the planning and execution of governmental initiatives. These entities have the knowledge, resources, and credibility to create a significant impact on their communities.
- Samoan NGOs provide input on government policy in their area of expertise
- NGOs are a crucial part of the community in Samoa
- The Samoans are known for their strong sense of community and support for one another
What are the types of nonprofits in Samoa?
Samoa’s legal system is founded on the fundamental concepts of the English common law system. There are three types of nonprofits recognized in the country:
1. Charitable Trusts
The Charitable Trust Act of 1965 governs charitable trust organizations in Samoa. Hence, these types of nonprofits must adopt the primary goal of the act which is to further charitable causes. In line with Section 2 of the Act, “Charitable Purpose” is defined as “every purpose which is charitable in accordance with the law of Samoa; and includes every purpose which is religious or educational, whether or not such purpose is charitable in accordance with the law of Samoa.”
A Foundation is a corporate body regulated by its bylaws. Generally, for these types of nonprofits, all assets belong to the organization. The Council of the Foundation, which may be under the supervision of a Supervisory Person, is in charge of running the day-to-day operations of the NGO. Also, an authorized Samoan Trust Company must serve as the resident agent for a foundation. These entities must have a purpose, which may be for specific individuals or causes, whether charitable or not. Foundations in Samoa are governed by the Foundations Act 2016.
3. Companies Limited by Guarantee
A company limited by guarantee often has members who serve as guarantors rather than share capital or shareholders. Also, these types of nonprofits are one of the most common categories of NGOs and are primarily distinguished by the absence of shareholders. The Companies Act 2001 governs the establishment and registration of all NGOs in Samoa.
Impacts of the Types of Nonprofits in Samoa
NGOs are a crucial part of the community in Samoa. Basically, the various types of nonprofits are known to campaign publicly for issues that affect the community. Samoan NGOs also provide input on government policy in their area of expertise which has helped in shaping the conversation.
Other nonprofit activities include raising community awareness of the electoral process, politics, and how the community can impact politics. Also, many of the social services offered by governments in other nations are provided by nonprofit organizations. This includes services for the disabled and mental health-related issues.
The Samoans are known for their strong sense of community and support for one another. Consequently, the various types of nonprofits play a crucial role in this area. Charitable organizations in Samoa stand out for their consistent support of regional initiatives and enterprises.
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