Arts administration is a viable career path in many parts of the world, including most of North American, Asia, Europe and South America. The business models of the cultural organizations that arts administrators work within vary greatly across countries. In the United States, arts and cultural organizations, such as galleries, museums, theatres and orchestras, can be established as for-profit or non-profit entities, or a hybrid of the two. For-profit organizations are created to generate a profit, and non-profit organizations are mission-driven entities created to serve the public good. The revenue generated by non-profit organizations goes directly back into the organization for programs and services to drive the mission. Non-profits do not have owners and are governed by a board of directors. Some organizations, such as social enterprises (organizations raising money for important causes), may have hybrid business models.
According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), there are more than 1.56 million nonprofit organizations registered in the United States, including public charities, private foundations, and other nonprofit organizations, an increase of 10,4 percent from 2005.