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.

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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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