Central Banks: A central bank/monetary authority is defined as an entity created by or with delegated authority from a government to operate financial affairs on its behalf. These entities are public institutions that manage a state's currency, money supply and interest rates.
Clubs, Societies and Associations: A club is a non-incorporated, not-for-profit organisation such as a social club (e.g. book club or a sports club). A society is considered to be a group of people formed as a separate organisation that has a stated purpose either in regard to the public at-large or in regard to the common interests of the members, and which operates on a not-for-profit basis.
Embassies and High Commissions: The embassy is responsible for representing the home country abroad and handling major diplomatic issues, such as preserving the rights of citizens abroad. The ambassador is the highest official in the embassy and acting as the chief diplomat and spokesperson for the home government. Ambassadors are typically appointed by the highest level of the home government.
General Partnerships and Unincorporated Businesses: Typically, a partnership is an owner-managed business, therefore, some or all the partners can be considered equivalent to directors of an entity. In a partnership, the partners provide the capital and share the responsibility of running the business on agreement between its members. A general partnership may be established by two or more persons, or legal entities and does not require capital. The liability of the partners is not distributed as in a limited partnership, as all the partners are general and share full liability to the extent of their personal assets. A general partnership is distinguished from a private entity or a Limited Liability Company ("LLC") by its corporate legal form.
Governments, Public Authorities, State-Owned Companies and Supranational Organisations: A public authority includes, but is not limited to, government departments, local authorities, central banks, state supported schools, colleges, universities and government regulatory bodies.
A state-owned enterprise is a legal entity created by a government to undertake commercial activities such as transport or healthcare on behalf of the government. These entity types are not to be confused with public companies which may happen to have a level of state ownership through direct shareholdings by the government.
A supranational organisation is owned by a group of sovereign governments or created through treaties between sovereign governments e.g. the European Union ("EU"), the World Trade Organisation ("WTO").
Limited Liability Companies and Limited Partnerships: A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is an entity that is incorporated by a number of private individuals or corporate entities who may also be managers (‘managing members’) of the LLC. LLCs are a common legal form of entity in the US and are similar to Limited Partnerships in Europe.
Limited Partnerships (LP) generally have at least two members who can be natural or legal entities, with at least one member appointed as a general partner, having full liability for the companies' debts and obligations, and at least one member is a limited partner, his or her liability being limited to the amount of capital invested.
Pension Funds / Schemes: A pension fund / scheme is set up by individuals or employers to manage investments for the purpose of providing a pool of assets which may be drawn upon by retired individuals. It is important to verify the identity of the principal employer (or equivalent) providing the source of funds and, where appropriate, the identity of any influential trustees.
Private and Unlisted Companies: Incorporated entity whose securities/shares are not traded on an exchange or market. Examples: UK - Ltd, Germany - GmbH, France - S.à.r.l.
Private and Unlisted Companies - (Nordic: Oy, AB, AS, Aps, A/S): Private and unlisted entities in the Nordics.
Publicly Listed Companies: Publicly listed companies whose securities are admitted to public trading. Note that companies that are wholly or majority owned subsidiaries of a publicly listed entity are registered as "private and unlisted companies".
Regulated Credit of Financial Institutions: A regulated credit or financial institution is a bank, co-operative or other organisation that provides financial services (including banking, financing, brokerage and investment management) to the public and other institutions.
Sovereign Wealth Funds ("SWF"): A Sovereign Wealth Fund ("SWF") is defined as a special purpose investment fund or arrangement, owned by a national government and created for macro-economic purposes.
Special Purpose Vehicles ("SPV") or Entities ("SPE"): A Special Purpose Vehicle ("SPV") or Special Purposed Entity ("SPE") is a non-operating legal entity created for financing purposes.
Trusts and Foundations: Trusts and foundations are charities with private, sustainable income. In turn, trusts and foundations make grants to support individuals and other charitable organizations to achieve their goals.
The terms "trust" and "foundation" are often used interchangeably from a fundraiser's perspective. They do largely the same work, while the difference between the two lies in their constitution and legal status.