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The Difference Between Nonprofit And Not-For-Profit

by Megan DeCosta

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between nonprofit and not-for-profit? Even some nonprofit leaders struggle with the question: Is my organization a nonprofit or not-for-profit?

Occasionally, you will hear organizations refer to themselves as not-for-profit. If the organization you work for has always referred to themselves as a nonprofit, this may be confusing. So what’s the difference between nonprofit and not-for-profit? Well, the answer may be a little anticlimactic because the truth is there’s not much difference. The two terms generally mean the same thing.

Knowing that, when is it appropriate to use the term not-for-profit? The minor difference is the term nonprofit simply describes the organization, while the term not-for-profit describes the activities it partakes in, so a nonprofit does things that are not for profit. But the majority of organizations around the world refer to themselves as nonprofits.

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1 comment

Nonprofit vs Charity vs Foundation - Aplos Academy May 26, 2017 - 4:26 pm

[…] our video from last year, we went over the difference between a nonprofit and a not-for-profit organization. […]


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