Belgium has a growing and relatively flourishing non-profit sector. The various organisations have significant resources but are not managed profitably. The findings come from the study upon the “Development of the Non-Profit Landscape”, produced by the financial data organisation Graydon.
Currently Belgium has 150,247 organisations which are active in the non-profit sector. Of these, 97% have Belgian ASBL status, the rest being international non-profits or private foundations. Within the sector, Graydon notes the high growth in a series of large, even very large, organizations. Over ten years, this group has grown by 35%. In 2016, the sector employed 306,138 full-time staff.
Around a mere 1.48% of these organizations were classified “in a bad economic position” or “in the danger zone”.
The study indicates that the significant reserves of non-profits and foundations are not sufficiently invested for their development. “The organizations in the charity sector need to be operated professionally and to receive sound advice. In relation to the non-profits organisation which publish an annual report, Graydon notes a volume of €19.6 billion of investment in cash and other liquid assets.
The term “not-for-profit”, also used to refer to the ASBLs, has caused confusion as to whether they can make profits. A profit may be made as long as the money is reinvested in the organisation, and not distributed to members. Such a profit can be invested for organizational growth and the its continuity.