Is It Time to Ditch the Word 'Nonprofit'?
Although philanthropists and social impact organizations differ in many ways—from their approaches to funding to their levels of transparency and innovation—the sector collectively seems to agree on one thing: The word “nonprofit” isn’t cutting it.
As Suzanne Perry wrote back in 2008, “Why should groups describe themselves by what they are not?” Nonprofit professionals, after all, don’t focus their energy on not enriching shareholders, as the word implies.
Speaker and nonprofit executive Dan Pallotta went further, writing: “The word ‘profit’ comes from the Latin noun ‘profectus’ for ‘progress’ and the verb ‘proficere’ for ‘to advance.’ ‘Nonprofit’ means, etymologically, ‘nonprogress.'”