National Nonprofit Day

A diverse group of people wearing t-shirts with logos of various non-profit organizations, gathered in a park, smiling and holding hands..
National nonprofit day illustration

Buckle up, philanthropy fans, because it's time for a celebration of generosity that has nothing to do with finding a dollar in your old pair of jeans. That's right! It's an entire day devoted to recognizing and appreciating the work done by our non-profit organizations. National Nonprofit Day, everybody— give them a virtual round of applause!

When is Nonprofit Day?

It's national nonprofit day on the 17th August.

What is National Nonprofit Day?

National Nonprofit Day is a day of recognition for the organizations that sit on the silent scaffolding of our societies, working tirelessly to make this world a little bit better. These are the organizations who, in exchange for tax breaks, invest every penny back into improving lives. It's kind of like having a friendly neighborhood superhero, but instead of leaping over tall buildings, they're funding research, aiding the homeless, saving endangered species, and much more... you get the idea.

Internet History of National Nonprofit Day

Our data captured a total of 3082 online mentions of National Nonprofit Day. Let's raise the virtual roof for 17th August 2020, when the day received its most mentions. I guess during 2020's socially-distanced summer, everyone felt the need to give a shout-out to our silent heroes, the nonprofits. Can you blame them?

How to Celebrate?

This day bestows upon us the perfect time to rekindle our spirits of empathy and generosity. It's like your mom's spicy casserole, warming and sparking joy. Celebrate by donating to your favorite non-profit, or, to make it a fiesta, gather your friends and family for a joint donation towards a cause you all support. If you're not in a financial place to donate, why not volunteer a few hours? Remember, in the world of nonprofit, time is as precious as money.

History behind the term 'Nonprofit'


The Birth of Philanthropic Organizations

In 1891, the concept of nonprofit organizations came into existence, with the establishment of The Charity Organization Society in New York City. This society aimed to coordinate the efforts of different charitable groups in order to provide more efficient and effective support to those in need.


The Introduction of Tax Exemption

The idea of tax exemptions for nonprofit organizations emerged in 1917 when the U.S. Congress enacted the federal income tax law. Under this law, charitable organizations were granted tax-exempt status, allowing them to be free from paying federal income tax. This crucial development encouraged the growth of nonprofit organizations and facilitated their ability to serve the public.


The Birth of the Term 'Nonprofit'

The term 'nonprofit' officially entered the lexicon in 1950. It was introduced as an alternative designation to replace the previously used term 'not-for-profit.' The new term accurately emphasized the primary purpose of these organizations: to reinvest surplus revenues back into their mission, rather than generating profits for shareholders or owners. The shift in terminology helped establish a stronger identity for nonprofit organizations.


Establishment of IRS Guidelines for Nonprofits

In 1969, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidelines outlining the requirements for organizations to obtain tax-exempt status. These guidelines provided specific criteria that organizations had to meet in terms of their mission, governance, and financial practices. By setting clear standards, the IRS ensured that nonprofit organizations would be accountable and transparent in their operations.


Introduction of the National Nonprofit Day

In 1993, August 17th was designated as National Nonprofit Day in the United States. This day serves as an opportunity to recognize the important contributions of nonprofit organizations to society. It celebrates their tireless efforts in addressing social issues, supporting communities, and promoting positive change.


Thriving and Evolving Nonprofit Sector

Today, the term 'nonprofit' encompasses a diverse range of organizations, including charities, foundations, social enterprises, and more. The nonprofit sector plays a vital role in advancing causes, supporting underserved populations, and driving social impact. With their commitment to the greater good, nonprofits continue to adapt and evolve, shaping a better future for communities worldwide.

Did you know?

Did you know that there are more than 1.5 million non-profit organizations registered in the U.S. alone? That's a whole lot of goodness being spread!


community celebration empathy volunteer generosity nonprofit donate

First identified

17th August 2017

Most mentioned on

17th August 2020

Total mentions


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