Catholic Charities Nonprofit Organization

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Catholic Charities Nonprofit Organization

Catholic Charities Nonprofit Organization

Catholic Charities is a worldwide network of charities whose aim is to "reduce poverty, support families, and empower communities." It is one of the largest charities in the United States. Catholic Charities traces its origin to an orphanage founded in 1727 in New Orleans, Louisiana by the French Ursulines Sisters.

Catholic Charities, USA (CCUSA), with headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, was founded in 1910 as the National Conference of Catholic Charities. More than 1,700 agencies, institutions and organizations make up the Catholic Charities network - including individual organizations of the dioceses, such as the Archdiocese of Chicago. Nearly 90 cents of every dollar donated to Catholic Charities agencies goes directly to programs and services. In 2008, Catholic Charities agencies served over 8 million individuals.

Together, with the local, diocesan associated Catholic Charities, it is the second largest social service provider in the United States, only surpassed by the Federal Government. Often, this means that the CCUSA network is able to provide assistance which other agencies are unable to provide or in circumstances where other assistance is insufficient to provide the necessary aid.

Nearly everyone is familiar with non-profit organizations, but understanding how to research non-profits is not as commonly discussed. This selective bibliography will define some of the terminology used to classify non-profits and will provide useful, annotated resources for researching specific non-profit organizations. It concentrates on three major types of non-profits:




Non-profit organizations, synonymously called not-for-profit organizations, are a large, vital component of society. These organizations represent a large sector of the US economy and employ millions of people. A recent publication estimates that non-profits represent almost 6 percent of all organizations in the USA, include 7.1 percent of all paid and voluntary employment, and have combined revenues of $665 billion (Weitzman et al., 2002). Most have received tax exemption from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are exempt from paying the United States Government federal income tax. Recognition as a tax-exempt organization by the IRS will often entitle the organization to exemptions from paying state and local taxes, such as property, state income and sales taxes. The majority of entities eligible for a federal tax exemption are set forth in Section 501(c) of the US code. This tax exemption is an important feature for researchers because it comes with the requirement that the organization must now disclose many of its financial and organization details.

Librarians may encounter many different types of questions about non-profits. Patrons often request assistance with areas such as where to make charitable donations, employment opportunities with non-profits, or locating and researching grant-making organizations. Patrons are often especially interested in seeing the fundraising, lobbying and administrative expenses of particular non-profits. It is usually not appreciated that most non-profits are required to disclose a large amount of organizational information. Often it is possible to obtain details such as an organization's income, expenses, the number of employees and the salaries of the highest-paid officers.

This article will discuss print sources, electronic databases, and Web sites which ...
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