Over the years I’ve gotten used to the question, “Who owns C-SPAN?” My answer evolved into a mini lesson in non-profit corporation law: “Nobody owns C-SPAN—it is a non-profit, nonstock District of Columbia corporation. If you insist that there be an ‘owner,’ I guess it would be the people of Washington, D.C., but that amounts to a legal fiction. The cable television industry created C-SPAN, and a board of cable executives manages it from around the country.”
I wasn’t always that pedantic in answering, but I made the point that you can’t “own” a non-profit company. Some people are a bit surprised when they first hear it, but they tend to quickly understand that, of course, a “non-profit” company is not supposed to make money for anyone, so why would there ever be an “owner” of, say, a controlling interest in the local food bank? And, how would you “own” it if there was no stock to buy? The lesson is learned and becomes an obvious fact.