A non-profit organization is set up to support or engage in the activities that are related to public or private interest. Based on its name, it has no interest in monetary profit but when a non-profit organization earns a surplus (or monetary profit in profit-making organization), it will be retained by the organization for future use instead of distributing to the trustees of the organization.
Government does not necessarily play a part in setting up a non-profit organization. It is self-governed by a board of managing committees which comprise of individuals (or trustees) who will produce benefits for other individuals outside the membership of the organization.
In Singapore, a non-profit organization can be legally registered as a society, a public Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG) or as a charitable trust (foundation).