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  4. Do the terms “non-profit” and “not-for-profit” mean the same thing?

Yes. Technically, they simply refer to the type of state law under which the entity was formed. In some states such as California, an organization would be formed as a “non-profit corporation,” whereas in New York it would be formed as a “not-for-profit corporation.”

Many people ascribe different meanings to the terms, but do so mistakenly. Indeed, the term “non-profit” is less descriptive than “not-for-profit,” yet it is used much more commonly. The Law Firm for Non-Profits naturally prefers the term “non-profit.”

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