On the difference between nonprofit and not-for-profit

See on Scoop.itSustainability

“Distinguishing between non-profit and not-for-profit in use of language is particularly important for two reasons: Firstly, because of the way the game is set up in the U.S. where not-for-profit entities are often called ‘non-profits’ and that these generally represent the old-school model of grant-dependent organisations rather than functioning enterprises. Secondly because of the hermeneutics – In my experience, when people are presented with the words ‘non-profit’ they understandably think ‘no-profits’. When I say ‘not-for-profit’, there seems much more leeway to understand the ability to make profit, just for it to not be privatised profit. In this sense you’re right: ‘not-for-distributable-profit’ or ‘not-for-the-purpose-of-profit’ would be better ways to describe such groups. That said, non-profit will always remain too (as an important sub-division of a not-for-profit world)! Not everything in the not-for-profit umbrella will involve enterprise. Think of a protest rally, for example, where there are no fees for participation and no donations are taken. This can still build social capital but is actually a non-profit activity and, if it were in Australia and the organising committee for the rally has any recorded minutes, then the entity could actually be considered an unincorporated association (i.e. a not-for-profit that is non-profit!).

Danielle Uskovic‘s insight:

Who knew the slight variance in a name changed the meaning.

See on blog.p2pfoundation.net


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