Difference Between For-profit Organization and Non-profit Organization

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 21, 2022


Difference Between For-profit Organization and Non-profit Organization Difference Between For-profit Organization and Non-profit Organization

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Many people assume that non-profit organizations do not make any money. It is a legend. And only for-profit businesses make a profit. The real difference is not in producing money, but in how they are managed. There are several sorts of organizations that can be discovered in the market when it comes to commerce and company. There are non-profit organizations that do not earn any profit for themselves, as well as for-profit enterprises that generate revenue from their operations. The term "organization" simply refers to people who work together in a group to accomplish a certain task that is directly tied to the fiscality of the firm. In this approach, an organization may be separated into for-profit and non-profit entities. Many people assume that non-profit organizations do not make any money. It is a legend. And only for-profit businesses make a profit.

For-Profit Organizations vs Non- Profit Organizations

The primary distinction between for-profit and non-profit organizations is that for-profit organizations seek profits primarily for their benefit, whereas non-profit organizations seek revenues to benefit society. The for-profit organization anticipates a profit on its investment. Non-profit organizations, on the other hand, solicit donations from people, foundations, and companies. The for-profit organization seeks to earn profit through activities and interests, as the name implies. It is critical in a capitalist or free-market economy since it not only helps the government boost corporate taxes by producing money but also offers jobs to the citizens of a country. Non-profits are organizations that have been given tax-exempt status, which has two major advantages: donations made to these organizations can be deducted from the donor's taxes, and the organization does not have to pay income or payroll taxes on any of its earnings.

The for-profit company model has the potential to produce enormous riches. While they are not motivated by a benevolent mission, these firms seek to transform excess revenue into profit and reward people who have invested in them, such as their owners, board of directors, and shareholders. Non-profit organizations are sometimes known as NPOs or 50(c)(3) organizations, after the part of the tax law that allows them to function. The only way to win public trust is to concentrate on their specific task, which is done for the benefit of society. Whatever the non-profit organization's assets and revenue are, they are intended to be re-invested in the organization and given.

Difference Between For-Profit Organizations and Non-Profit Organizations in Tabular Form

Table: For-Profit Organizations vs Non- Profit Organizations
Parameters of Comparison
For-Profit Organizations
Non-Profit Organization
To achieve personal fulfillment.
To benefit society.
Taxes must be paid.
Taxes are not payable.
supervised by
Sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations
Trustees are committees that do not have direct financial ownership in the organization.
By making an initial capital investment.
Contributions or Donations
Net earnings
Dividends were paid out.
Invested in the philanthropic mission again

What are For-Profit Organizations?

A for-profit company is another name for a for-profit organization. A for-profit corporation is one whose primary objective is to generate revenue and profit for its founders, management, and workers. After paying its bills and debts, the corporation distributes any remaining money among its various stakeholders in a set manner. Profit made by such businesses is either maintained in the firm, in the form of reserves or dispersed to the owners as a dividend. A sole proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, or company can be used as the business structure. This type of organization does not give only to the community.  

Non-profit organizations are often smaller in size than for-profit businesses. For-profit corporations, for example, employ millions of people, whereas non-profit organizations employ thousands. This is because for-profit businesses may benefit from their employees, but non-profit organizations cannot. This sort of organization is classified as private since it is not aided by the government and operates only for profit. As a result, they must pay taxes as required by law, but when a for-profit corporation gives to a non-profit organization, tax deductions may be available. Any actions that are not directly connected to their primary aim may be taxed. While for-profit corporations may have several objectives, their fundamental purpose is to produce profit and provide successful goods and services that consumers value. Companies provide goods and services that either directly fix an issue or boost overall efficiencies, such as mobile phones or self-driving cars. Establishing a consistent system for funding projects and operations is one of the most crucial components of operating an organization. For-profit organizations typically support their first efforts with bank loans, local investors, and sales income. A for-profit organization may have various budgets that depict their idea of their financial situation or how they want to function.

If a company's product or service is thought to have a high prospective market value, it may be able to obtain finance from national or worldwide investors such as angel investors and venture capitalists. A for-profit company's executive leadership is usually pretty evident. Leadership duties are spread among a chosen number of persons in any organization, whether it is a privately held small firm or a major corporation with boards and stakeholders. These individuals are not just regarded as leaders, but also have a financial stake in the organization's success, which typically results in incentives such as bonuses and profit-sharing. As a result, for-profit CEOs are preoccupied with profit and boosting income for the firm. In terms of personal motivations, greater profit equals more investment in the firm, which leads to faster growth. The majority of enterprises in the world are for-profit entities. The ideal buyers are targeted in the case of profit-making enterprises. Otherwise, the goal of marketing to the proper people will not be met. They must keep accurate books of accounts for tax and audit purposes. Furthermore, a fixed rate of tax is levied on commercial earnings.

What is a Non-Profit Organization?

As the name implies, a non-profit organization is a legal entity whose primary goal is to promote public benefit rather than profit. These are formed by a group of people who get together for the same goal, which is to give service to members and the general public. A non-profit organization's leadership committee is frequently a board of directors who receive no financial advantage from their association with the organization. Instead, they direct the organization by assessing how effectively it fulfills its objective and looking for methods to boost community outreach, recognition, and donations. A non-profit organization is often referred to as a non-commercial enterprise, a non-profit institution, or a not-for-profit organization. It is organized to benefit the public or society and to address societal issues such as poverty, education, and many more. For non-profit organizations, society comes first, followed by personal reasons. Nonprofits have an essential function that extends beyond charitable work. They uphold a high standard by offering transparency on how their funds are spent, so donors know where their money is going.

Non-profit organizations exist to further a cause. Nonprofit organizations employ different statements and reporting procedures than for-profit businesses, however, both will issue quarterly reports.  These organizations exist to assist those in need. Furthermore, for-profit businesses are concerned with servicing their consumers, whereas non-profit organizations engage with the entire public. Non-profit organizations are not entirely administered by volunteers, as the majority of them use paid employees. A non-profit’s staff may be vastly different from that of a for-profit firm. as these volunteers will usually be on the front lines communicating the objectives of the non-profit organization to possible future donors One of the most significant distinctions between for-profit and non-profit businesses is how they acquire funds for their endeavors. Non-profit organizations do make money and, in many circumstances, profit. The money they make, however, goes to other philanthropic projects that the group supports, and none of it goes back into the coffers of the organization's founders. Subscriptions, membership fees, donations, and so on are examples of revenue sources.

When discussing non-profit financial statements, cash flow statements, income statements, and balance sheets are utilized. Non-profit organizations are not required to pay taxes. Because profit-making companies create money for their advantage, the government taxes them. However, because non-profit organizations utilize their income to benefit society as a whole, they are exempt from paying taxes. A common misperception regarding non-profit organizations is that they cannot generate a profit while operating a fiscally prudent business. As a consequence, they appropriately manage their revenue and costs in the solar business. In this type of organization, it is necessary to have a successful mission to earn as much money as possible for the organization. A non-profit’s culture is generally more community-oriented, as employees are frequently required to confront and solve problems with minimal financial motivation. Employees at non-profit organizations are frequently seen lobbying for the organization outside of their job schedules in this community-oriented culture. Non-profit organizations serve a large number of people.

In most circumstances, anyone may join, contribute, and become a member on their own. Commitment, opportunities, and expertise are required for an effective mission.

Difference Between For-Profit Organization and Non-Profit Organization in Points

  • A for-profit organization develops items or services to profit from their sale. In contrast, a non-profit organization provides aid with human fundamental requirements to alleviate societal problems.
  • The for-profit corporation aims to create relationships with customers since they are primarily concerned with producing cash, but the non-profit organization seeks a broader audience such as funders, volunteers, and the general public, among others.
  • Organizational culture differs between non-profit and for-profit organizations, with the latter focusing on financial gain and rewarding individuals for their contributions to growing income. The non-profit organization is community-minded and supports the cause outside of its usual working hours.
  • Any excess created by a for-profit corporation is moved to a capital account, whereas the surplus generated by a non-profit organization is transferred to a capital fund.
  • A for-profit company's financial statements include a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. It is revenue and expenditure A/C, receipt and payment A/C, and balance sheet for the non-profit organization.
  • Profit is money made by the profit organization that is not transferred to the capital account. The surplus generated by the excess of revenue over costs, on the other hand, is transferred to the capital fund.
  • A profit organization can be a single proprietorship, partnership, or a body corporate, i.e., a business, whereas a non-profit organization is a group of people that can be a club, trust, public hospitals, cooperative societies, and so on.


Finally, it is possible to infer that both for-profit and non-profit institutions contribute to the well-being of the country. For-profit organizations provide jobs, which are directly related to GDP and economic growth, whereas non-profit organizations help society deal with difficulties. Profit organizations differ from non-profit organizations in several ways, including their fee-for-creation procedure, tax benefits granted to non-profit organizations but not to their counterpart for promoting public service, profit organizations are traded on stock exchanges, and ownership of a profit organization lies with the shareholders, whereas non-profit entities are not owned by anyone, including the founders. The basic line is that non-profit organizations and for-profit corporations are substantially different. A non-profit’s mission is to provide a public benefit, whereas a corporation’s goal is to generate money.

A non-profit does not have owners or investors who benefit financially from its activities; earnings can only be dispersed among members and employees provided they do not exceed what is required to keep the organization running. For-profit businesses, on the other hand, must record assets, liabilities, revenues, and costs, as well as any taxes owed and dividend payments paid to shareholders. For-profit organizations are structured in such a manner that they must be profit-oriented to produce revenues to pay dividends to owners/shareholders. Non-profit organizations, on the other hand, are more trustworthy, honest, and responsible to donors and founders, and are frequently utilized for charity, cooperatives, trusts, religious groups, advocacy, and environmental causes.

Even though profit-making companies maintain their profits for themselves, their products and services assist a large number of individuals. At the same time, even though non-profit organizations are formed to benefit society, the chairman of the trust may be paid a salary.


  • Nonprofit vs For-Profit Organizations | Top 7 Differences (wallstreetmojo.com)
  • For-Profit vs. Nonprofit: 9 Key Differences | Indeed.com


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"Difference Between For-profit Organization and Non-profit Organization." Diffzy.com, 2023. Mon. 27 Mar. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-for-profit-organization-and-non-profit-organization-651>.

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