Nonprofits v. Not-for-Profits

Is there a difference between a nonprofit and a non-for-profit?  Some say so, some say no.   I revised the “Nonprofit v. Not-for-Profit” section of the Nonprofit Organizations entry to clarify the distinction.

As I understand it, some people think of a “nonprofit” as a tax-exempt organization with a charitable purpose, while a “not-for-profit” is a taxable entity that may make a profit but does not distribute the profit to its owners (see e.g., New York State’s Not-for-Profit Corporation law).     I’m not sure how much overlap there could be between the two concepts.

I’m even less sure how much “nonprofits” and “not-for-profits” overlap with “charities” and “tax-exempt organizations.”   I’ll sort it all out some day, when I retire and write Zimmerman’s Legal Research Dictionary.


About zimmermansguide

zimmermansguide is the WordPress username for Andy Zimmerman, the author of Zimmerman's Research Guide. Over the years people have asked me for a way to follow the changes to the Guide. The ZRG Blog is written for anyone who would really like to know.
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