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Companies that register as a 501(c)(3) are extremely different from for-profit businesses. They still try to make a profit as a business, but their structure and dedication to a cause is vastly different. One of the biggest arguments I would make regarding the differences between for-profit and nonprofit organizations are the use of volunteers. For-profit businesses hire employees for any job responsibility necessary to the production of their company. However, with non-profit organizations, its possible for the volunteers to outnumber the paid employees (Fritz, 2019). Volunteers can be utilized for short-term assignments, or as long-term supports for the organization. Within my organization, volunteers come to us with many different motivations such as student interns or with faith-based purposes. As volunteers are able to help mentor children, provide tutoring, support during events, it would not be possible to be as successful as we are in the community without the life force of our volunteers.

Another specific difference that I have encountered working for a nonprofit is the power of the donors and board members. If we have a donor that is interested in providing a financial investment in a specific way, our programs do their best to try to accommodate the wishes of the donors. Further, board members have authority within the organization without being compensated financially. Fritz (2017) asserts that “The responsibility of that board is to see that the organization fulfills its purpose” (p. 14). Upon first glace or on your first day working for a nonprofit, the differences between for-profit and nonprofit organizations may not be readily apparent, but overtime and with experience, it becomes clear the layers of differences.


Fritz, J. (2017). How is a nonprofit different from a for-profit business? Getting beyond the myths. The Balance. Retrieved from…

Worth, M. J. (2017). Nonprofit management: Principles and practices (4th ed.). Retrieved from

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