Anyone who has thought about it for more than a nanosecond agrees that "nonprofit" is about the worst possible summary we could give of ourselves and our work.
As I [Dan Pallotta] wrote recently, the word "profit" comes from the Latin noun profectus for "progress" and the verb proficere for "to advance." Thus, "nonprofit" means, etymologically, nonprogress. This is not a simple case of mistaken meaning. It is a dangerous unconscious statement of intent, or lack of it. The term has its roots in the Puritan conviction that the self was depraved and must be negated. Charity, as the Puritans constructed the concept, became the epicenter for this negation. No advance. No progress.
Read further on: Let's Call It the Humanity Sector - Dan Pallotta - Harvard Business Review