According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, "A nonprofit organization is one that qualifies for tax-exempt status by the IRS because its mission and purpose are to further a social cause and provide a public benefit. Nonprofit organizations include hospitals, universities, national charities, and foundations." (You can read more on their site.)
NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) is generally the term used for nonprofits outside of the United States.
When you're just getting started with your research, it might be a good idea to do a general news search to get an idea of what's going on within your 'industry' and/or the geographic area wherein you might like to operate.