5 Types of Nonprofit Organizations: What You Need to Know

When it comes to nonprofit organizations, there are many different types that can be classified under the 501 (c) umbrella. These include charitable organizations, churches and religious organizations, private foundations, political organizations, and other diverse non-profit organizations. Each type of organization has its own unique purpose and restrictions, so it's important to understand the differences between them before deciding which type is best for your organization. Charitable organizations are the most common type of nonprofit organization.

These organizations are typically focused on providing services or goods to those in need. Donations made to 501 (c) (1) charitable organizations are tax deductible. Funds obtained by a 501 (c) (1) charitable organization must be reserved and issued (in the form of shares or deposits) to national building and lending associations, nonprofit cooperative banks, or mutual savings banks. Churches and religious organizations are also included in the 501 (c) category. These organizations are typically focused on providing spiritual guidance and services to their members.

There is no application form for this type of nonprofit organization, but 501 (c) (1) religious organizations must submit Form 990 or 990EZ annually. Private foundations are another type of nonprofit organization. These foundations focus on finding worthy nonprofit organizations to support through donations and guidance. Private foundations are typically funded by a single individual or family. Political organizations are also included in the 501 (c) category. These organizations are typically focused on advocating for a particular political cause or candidate.

Donations made to 501 (c) (4) political organizations are not tax deductible. Finally, other diverse non-profit organizations can also be included in the 501 (c) category. The purpose of these non-profit organizations is to organize activities that generate pleasure, recreation, and socialization. Examples of these types of nonprofits include credit unions, insurance companies, charitable venture funds, hospital service organizations, and retirement funds. When choosing the type of nonprofit organization to apply for, it's important to consider the mission of the organization, who it serves, and who organized it. With dozens of 501 tax-exempt states, it can be difficult to decide which type is best for your entity.

The IRS has published a long list of the types of nonprofit organizations that may qualify for 501 (c) status. To make things easier when deciding what's the best option for your entity, consider your mission, who organizes the organization, and who the nonprofit organization will serve. Some well-known examples of 501 (c) (non-profit) organizations are the Knights of Columbus and the Shriners.

Carly Babiracki
Carly Babiracki

Devoted burrito evangelist. Award-winning food guru. Amateur social media maven. Hipster-friendly zombie scholar. Unapologetic tv junkie. Passionate pizza buff.

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