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I need a word to define a set which includes companies, NGOs and faculties that sounds equally distant to those 3.

I am not a native English speaker so I might be wrong but "Corporation" sounds like it is favoring "companies" more, and "institution" evokes "faculties".

Is there a more natural generic term for those? What would you think about "foundation" or "establishment"?

edit: I was thinking what is common to those 3. They are all bodies with members. So how about calling them bodies? A bit too general, though. What about associations?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I suggest group or entity.

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thank you. i will pick entity as it is generic enough to cover all 3 but more specific than a group. – omat Feb 25 '11 at 21:26
That's funny, I would have thought it the other way around. A group is a more specific entity. After all, I am an entity, and not a group. :) – ghoppe Feb 25 '11 at 21:28
right, but it evokes legal entity and in that sense it is narrower and fits well. also in the context, which is a web platform with some social aspects, group maybe confused by a social group. thanks :) – omat Feb 25 '11 at 22:22

How about organization? Possibly close to NGO, but NGO is quite explicitly a limited subset. "Organization" is certainly the term I would use as an American English speaker.

The fact that NGO even has the meaning it does (American equivalent is "non-profit organization") suggests that "organization" has more specific connotations outside the US than I'm used to, though. If these make it unsuitable, the most generic alternate term I can think of is concern.

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thank you. i think organization suits well for 'company' and 'ngo' but i am not sure about calling 'faculty' an 'organization'. concern may be technically the best choice but its primary meaning may cause confusion. still, i may go with organization. – omat Feb 25 '11 at 20:18
The acronym "NGO" is not of American vintage? Really...huh. – Uticensis Feb 27 '11 at 1:52
@Billare: Nope, it's a bit mysterious to us. To an American who hasn't done business internationally, the term "non-governmental organization" seems to very handily encompass for-profit corporations and partnerships. It's an organization and it's not part of the government, and all. – chaos Feb 27 '11 at 2:00

syndicate, consortium, conglomerate, enterprise, outfit, league, band, organization, syndicate, class, society, legion, contingency, brigade, regiment, congregation, assembly, convoy, delegation, horde, outfit, party, committee, fraternity, assortment, band, crew, team, archetype, confederation, club, squad, collective, authority, association, affiliation, administration, coalition, clan, sect, guild, faction, division, fellowship, alliance, aggregate, corps, congress, ensemble, class, brotherhood, body, franchise

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Welcome to E&LU. Of all your suggestions, organization is the only hypernym; all the others would be inappropriate or imply formal membership in some group, which is not what was asked for. Additionally, I strongly encourage you to take the site tour and review the help center for guidance on how to use this site. – choster Jul 30 '15 at 15:29

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