A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization (NPO). It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on non-profit and philanthropic goals as well as social well-being (e.g. charitable, educational, religious, or other activities serving the public interest or common good).The legal definition of charitable organization (and of Charity) varies according to the country and in some instances the region of the country in which the charitable organization operates. The regulation, tax treatment, and the way in which charity law affects charitable organizations also varies.Financial figures (e.g., tax refund, revenue from fundraising, revenue from sale of goods and services or revenue from investment) are important indicators to assess the financial sustainability of a charity, especially to charity evaluators. This information can impact a charity's reputation with donors and societies, and thus, the charity's financial gains.Charitable organizations often depend partly on donations from for-profit-organizations. Such donations to charitable organizations represent a major form of corporate philanthropy.HistoryUntil the mid-18th century, charity was mainly distributed through parish relief, churches, almshouses and bequests from the rich. Charities were also responsible for education, health, housing and even prisons. Almshouses were established throughout Europe in the Early Middle Ages to provide a place of residence for poor, old and distressed people - the first recorded almshouse was founded in York by King Athelstan in the 10th century.