Types of Nonprofits

Types of Nonprofits


There are many types of nonprofits that are registered by the IRS. The one many people have in mind when they refer to a nonprofit is the charitable organization that is registered with the IRS known as a 501(c)(3) organization. According to Internal Revenue Service tax code, charitable organizations must operate only for the purpose for which they receive a tax exemption. These purposes can include aid to poor people, religious purposes, education or scientific advancement, erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works, eliminating prejudice and discrimination, or defending human and civil rights.

The special status of the 501(c)(3) organization means that it is tax exempt and donations to it are also tax deductible. There are many other types of nonprofits registered with the IRS. Below is a list of other types nonprofits and their IRS classifications*:

  • 501(c)(2) Title holding corporations
  • 501(c)(3) Corporations, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports, or prevention of cruelty for children or animals
  • 501(c)(4) Civic leagues, social welfare organizations
  • 501(c)(5) Labor, agricultural, or horticultural organizations
  • 501(c)(6) Business leagues, chambers of commerce, etc.
  • 501(c)(7) Social clubs
  • 501(c)(8) Fraternal beneficiary societies, orders, or associations
  • 501(c)(9) Voluntary employees’ beneficiary associations
  • 501(c)(10) Domestic fraternal societies, orders, etc.
  • 501(c)(12) Benevolent life insurance associations, mutual ditch or irrigation companies, mutual or cooperative telephone companies
  • 501(c)(13) Cemetery companies
  • 501(c)(15) Mutual insurance companies or associations
  • 501(c)(17) Trusts providing for the payment of supplemental unemployment compensation benefits
  • 501(c)(19) A post, organization, auxiliary unit, etc. of past or present members of the Armed Forces of the United States
  • 501(c)(25) Title holding corporation or trusts
  • 501(e) Cooperative hospital service organization
  • 501(f) Cooperative service organization of operating educational organizations
  • 501(k) Certain organizations providing child care
  • 501(n) Charitable risk pools
  • 501(q) Credit counseling organizations.

*Source: “Publication 557 (10/2011), Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization.” Publication 557 (10/2011), Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization. Internal Revenue Service, n.d. Web. 21 July 2013.