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?


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. – onurmatik Feb 25 '11 at 21:26
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    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 :) – onurmatik 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. – onurmatik 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

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