When David Lawrence was the CEO and board chair of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, his organization investigated whether consumers cared that Kaiser Permanente is a nonprofit. Its finding? “It didn’t make a bit of difference in [their] healthcare decisions,” says Lawrence.

A possible explanation for consumers’ apathy is given in an article published in the December 2004 issue of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly: One-third of Americans don’t know what a nonprofit is....

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