We often start our lectures by quizzing the participants on their understanding of “nonprofits.” By show of hands, how many think the following organizations are nonprofits?
The Bill Gates Foundation; your church, synagogue, or mosque; the local United Way; the local community foundation; a major local university such as Harvard; a local social service organization; the Sierra Club; the local private golf club; the National Football League; the New York Stock Exchange.
We all think we know what we mean when we say “nonprofit.” But the key to understanding nonprofits is to understand that there are many different types of nonprofits. Different rules apply, depending upon the type of organization. An understanding of the difference is critical to understanding the world of nonprofit organizations.
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