I am an avid golfer. I have been watching with interest the battle between the PGA and LIV. One of the greatest confusions regarding the PGA is it’s charitable status. People think that because it is a non-profit organization, that it must be open to everyone. That is not the case at all.
Non-profit means that the organization is not run with a profit motive for a specific person or group of people, the owners. A non-profit does not have a specific owner or owners.
There are many types of non-profit organizations, but most people think non-profits are charities. Charities are just one type of non-profit. They seek donations as their primary source of funding and are set up to assist the public.
Typically, when people think of these types of charitable organizations they think of religious organizations like churches, temples, mosque, or charities like St. Jude, the Shriners, Tunnels 2 Towers, since they are always soliciting for donations.
However, charitable organizations that help the public is just part of the non-profit world. A big part of non-profits are membership organizations. These non-profits are focused on doing things for the benefit of its members. Because they do not seek donations as their principal fundraising activity, these non-profits do not show up on peoples radars as much.
The PGA is set up as a membership non-profit organization. It is organized to help its membership first by controlling who is a member and what those members are responsible for. It also is responsible for organizing the tournaments that its membership participates in. Just because it is a non-profit, does not mean it is open to anyone or everyone. A person has to qualify for membership.
I belong to a local men’s golf club. This is a non-profit organization since its principal purpose is to organize tournaments for its members. I had to be approved by the membership in order to join. We pay dues each year and get a benefit of having a handicap index, prize pool, and people who organize the tournaments each week and process the scores. We do a couple of pools to help donate to charities, but raising money for charities is not purpose behind the club, playing golf is. If I do not follow the rules set in the clubs by-laws, I can be asked to or told to leave.
The PGA is just a bigger version of this.
People forget that one of the biggest rights we have is the right of association. This includes the right to not associate with someone. Just because something is organized as a non-profit, does not mean that it must except all comers. The PGA, by and threw its membership, decides who may be a member of the PGA.