Is there a word (or a combination of two) that signifies an organization which accepts donation (cash or kind) for social upliftment? Words like Acceptor, NGO, etc look too generic for this.


We are developing an app/site for donations. The organizations we'll be dealing with are mostly charitable organizations like the ones working for blind people, education and food for poor children, etc. A person donating will have to choose an organization tied up with us. I need a word for this input field, like

Choose a ________ to which you want to donate.

In future, we may also add actions like,

Register your ______, etc.

  • 2
    A charity or charitable organization if you like.
    – Egox
    Mar 4, 2016 at 4:12
  • Agree with @choster. Too little context to write an answer. Need an example sentence at least.
    – BiscuitBoy
    Mar 4, 2016 at 4:35
  • Hi, tabrez. "Is there any word/phrase?" type of question doesn't work well here. The following is the strict rule of this community. Questions on choosing an ideal word or phrase must include information on how it will be used in order to be answered. For help writing a good word or phrase request, see: About single word requests. Please edit your question accordingly.
    – user140086
    Mar 4, 2016 at 4:55
  • If there is a request for clarification, please edit the question itself instead of posting it as a comment. Then, you can ping them to let them know you edited your post.
    – user140086
    Mar 4, 2016 at 5:04
  • @choster, hope the update in question helps Mar 4, 2016 at 5:06

7 Answers 7


The word that is recognized by many and largely popular is charity

an organization set up to provide help and raise money for those in need.

[Oxford Dictionaries Online ]


Choose a charity to which you want to donate.

Register your charity/charitable trust

  • 4
    But note that charity has a specific legal definitions in different parts of the world, and you may have formulations like charitable organization, charitable foundation, and so on.
    – choster
    Mar 4, 2016 at 18:15

If you want to emphasize the social benefit of the organization, then charity is the right word. (You used "charitable organizations" yourself in writing this question.)

If you prefer to emphasize the organization's role in the transaction as the gift acceptor, then beneficiary would be the term to use (but only for the first sentence: "Choose the beneficiary of your donation").


non-profit / nonprofit [organization]

This is more general term than charity. Examples:

I spent the next six years working for small non-profits.


At the gathering, Obama praised a New Hampshire nonprofit that helps poor people buy fuel-efficient, reliable cars.

  • 3
    Nonprofit (or the more in-vogue not-for-profit) is "more general" than charity, but it is isn't a perfect superset, since there is such a thing as a for-profit charitable entity (so far, these are much more rare than not-for-profit charities, but they are increasing in number). Also, OP mentioned "social upliftment" and seems to be concentrating mainly if not wholly on charitable organizations.
    – John Y
    Mar 4, 2016 at 15:21

Unlike most of the other answers here, I would avoid charity on its own. That is a specific legal status (at least in the jurisdictions I know about). You may well want to allow "Friends of Histon Road Recreation Ground" to solicit donations on your web-site, but they are not a charity, and it would be misleading to describe them as such.

Non-profit [organization] is the right answer if you are aiming at North America.

Charity or community group is probably the best phrase for the UK.

  • I don't know. While OP hasn't exactly closed the door on entities that aren't charities, the text of the question does seem to at least emphasize "social upliftment" and "charitable organizations". Both charities and nonprofits have "specific legal status".
    – John Y
    Mar 4, 2016 at 15:27
  • 1
    I chose my example rather carefully. It's a real organization, you can join them, they help with the care of a local children's playground, and I think they fit "social upliftment". However they are not a charity, and probably aren't even a legal person (I think they are an unincorporated association). Mar 4, 2016 at 16:09
  • 1
    I know you chose your example carefully. But that's more care than is likely needed. The legal definition of charity is different everywhere, as is the legal definition of nonprofit organization. It may well be just as "misleading" to call your example a nonprofit. Also note that the Localgiving page for your example group has a box labeled "Charity information" with the name and phone number for that group.
    – John Y
    Mar 4, 2016 at 17:30

Not a single word, but you could use the term voluntarily funded organization. As @Martin Bonner's answer has already mentioned; an organization may not have charitable status.

Voluntarily funded organization could be used as a 'catch-all' term to encompass both charities and other similar groups.



eleemosynary [institution/organization]

el•ee•mos•y•nar•y (ˌɛl əˈmɒs əˌnɛr i, -ˈmɒz-, ˌɛl i ə-)


  1. involving charity or charitable donations.

  2. supported by or dependent upon charity: eleemosynary institutions.

[1610–20; < Medieval Latin eleēmosynārius= Late Latin eleēmosyn(a) charity (< Greek eleēmosýnē, derivative (with -synē n. suffix) of eleḗmōn merciful, derivative of eleeîn to show mercy]

Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary

not-for-profit [organization]

Not for profit is a type of organization that does not earn profits for its owners. All of the money earned by or donated to a not for profit organization is used in pursuing the organization's objectives. Typically not for profit organizations are charities or other types of public service organizations. Generally, not for profit organizations can apply for a tax exempt status so that the organization is not subject to most forms of taxation. Donations made to a tax exempt not for profit organization may also be tax-deductible for the donor.


  • 14
    I wouldn't use that word because not many people will understand it
    – NVZ
    Mar 4, 2016 at 5:09
  • @NVZ - Sometimes that's the intent.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 4, 2016 at 13:05

At least in the United States, charity is rather a large umbrella.

The IRS defines a number of different classifications, including public charities, private foundations, groups, fraternal societies, foreign-addressed organizations, supporting organizations, religious organizations, and government entities. (The list does go on.)

But the blanket term exempt organization is used to describe those who are eligible for tax-exempt donations.

Given that there is such a wide variety of qualifying organizations, please consider the following constructions:

Choose a recipient for your donation.

Register your exempt organization.

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