Generally, "nonprofit" and "not-for-profit" have the same meaning. However, nonprofit, legal, academic communities do make subtle distinctions between the two terms.
Although the words can be used differently by different groups, the simplest way to distinguish between them is to think of "not-for-profit" as an activity, like reading a book. The term "nonprofit" refers to an organization that is not intended to make a profit, like an adult literacy group.
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