The Difference between For-Profit Org. and Non-Profit Org.

“Foreign NGOs must not engage in or fund for-profit activities or political activities, and must not illegally engage in religious activities or illegally fund religious activities” (Foreign NGO Management Law, Article 25, Prohibited areas)


In my opinion, the absolute prohibition of “For-Profit Activities” hinders the development of foreign NGO’s humanitarian aid to China.

Non-profit organizations are not supposed to be “non-profit”. The design of programs, advertising of programs, implementing of programs and organizational administration and so on, every unit must cause corresponding expenses. Non-profit organizations have to be profitable. In this sense, the purpose of Non-profit organization must be “Non-profit”, while the process must be profitable.

Therefore, the activities which NGOs engage in must be “for-profit”, while the programs NGOs fund are supposed to be “non-profit”. Here, we must distinguish activities from programs.

The most significant difference between NGOs and “for-profit” organizations is that NGOs use their funds for a common/public good, while “for-profit” orgs. use their funds to expand reproduction to satisfy a certain group’s needs.

The most common thing is that they all engage in raising money through “for-profit” activities.

According to the analysis of difference and common ground between NGOs and FPOs, we should not put such hard prohibition on their activities; however, we should focus more on scrutiny of how they distribute their funds, providing sufficient assistance and convenience with their implementing their programs.

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