Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you know the difference between profit and nonprofit corporations?

Whether you’re working or volunteering for a nonprofit, it’s vital to understand the differences.

Listen to today’s episode for key differences between profit and nonprofit in American business.

American organizations

Aubrey shares that she formerly was an Operations Manager for a nonprofit.

She loved it and misses it.

She had to resign because she needs a schedule that has more flexibility.

Today’s episode is inspired by a listener’s question.

Today’s question

I am so happy to write this email, you guys have been my motivation since I got to the States 3 years ago, a loyal listener since then. I love the 4 of you, but I need to confess that Jessica is my fav😊. I am originally from Argentina and currently living in Oregon, with a previous time in Miami, a huge change I know., for good. The Columbia River Gorge is gorgeous😀 !!!

Getting to the point, l am having job interviews lately, trying to make a career change moving from a profit to a non-profit organization and I found it how hard can be when it comes to speaking the same language, many words that in a profit context are ok but not in an organization that the ultimate goal is not revenue or make money, such as outreach instead of a target. I already scrolled through the episodes but I couldn’t find one with this topic and I think maybe it’s a good idea if you can dig into the differences.

Wishing you the best!

Moira Josef

This is a great question!

The nonprofit industry is not talked about as much as for profit.

Listen in and learn useful vocabulary that you may need if you intend to volunteer or are interviewing for a nonprofit organization.

Profit vs nonprofit

A nonprofit organization is a group organized for purposes other than generating profit.

No part of the organization’s income is distributed to its members, directors, or officers.

Though you may not be working for a nonprofit, you have likely volunteered for one or will at some point so this is extremely useful vocabulary!

Here are three things to consider before volunteering or interviewing for a paid position with a nonprofit.

We’ll also share relevant vocabulary.

#1: Know the ultimate goal

Do research before the job and become familiar with the nonprofit’s ultimate goal.

This is the long-term end goal.

This might be a city without homelessness, or a world where no child goes hungry.

They will likely want to know if you are passionate about this goal.

#2: Know the mission

This might be outreach or providing services.

You need to be passionate and excited about the mission of the organization.

Here is an example of the mission of One Small Step, the nonprofit Aubrey worked for:

We help children, families, and individuals living in poverty to attain a more productive life by providing quality clothes, shoes, and other support services.

  • outreach: an organization’s involvement with or activity in the community, especially in the context of social welfare.

There are many types of outreach.

  • Educational outreach
  • Homeless outreach
  • Volunteer outreach
  • Email outreach

#3: Make it personal

When working for a nonprofit, you can’t just be in it for the paycheck.

Your heart has to be in it more than many jobs at for profit organizations

You’d often here the word ‘volunteer’ which means a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service

As a volunteer, you may do fundraising, as most funds for nonprofits come from private donors.

  • fundraising: verb that means to engage in the organized activity of raising funds to support a cause or a campaign

In addition to fundraising, nonprofit organizations seek grants to fund their efforts.

  • grant: a sum of money given by a government or other organization for a particular purpose

‘Grant’ is also a verb that means to agree to give or allow something requested.


There is a lot of specific vocabulary used in the nonprofit sector whether you’re volunteering or considering a paid position.

Lindsay and Aubrey have touched on several in today’s episode.

Use these words and tips to be able to talk about volunteer work and things you are passionate about.

This can help you share that your passions align with a nonprofit so you can dedicate yourself to a good cause you believe in!

What are nonprofits you know about and what are their missions?

We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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