Quite simply, a contract is an agreement between two parties that can be enforced by a court. It involves an offer by one party to provide something of value to another party, followed by the other party’s acceptance of the offer and exchanging money or something else of value in consideration for the services or goods that are to be provided.
Nonprofits tend to view MOUs as a kinder gentler way to document their intentions. However, a contract is, at its core, an offer by one party to do something, an acceptance by the other party, and the promise to exchange something of value to seal the deal. Under this definition, the MOUs we see nonprofits create are almost always bare bones legal contracts.