How Many Types of Nonprofit Organizations Are There?

Nonprofit organizations are diverse and can be classified into several types based on their missions, activities, and tax-exempt statuses. The most common types of nonprofit organizations include:

  1. **501(c)(3) Organizations:** These organizations are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are primarily engaged in charitable, educational, religious, scientific, or literary activities. This category includes charitable foundations, educational institutions, religious organizations, and many charitable nonprofits.
  1. **501(c)(4) Organizations:** These organizations are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(4) and are typically involved in social welfare activities. They may engage in advocacy, lobbying, and some political activities. Civic leagues and social welfare organizations fall into this category.
  1. **501(c)(6) Organizations:** These organizations are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(6) and are often associated with business or industry groups, trade associations, and professional organizations. Chambers of commerce and trade associations are examples of 501(c)(6) organizations.
  1. **501(c)(7) Organizations:** These organizations are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(7) and are typically social clubs or recreational groups. Examples include private golf clubs and social fraternities or sororities.
  1. **501(c)(8) and 501(c)(10) Organizations:** These are fraternal beneficiary societies and domestic fraternal societies, respectively. They are tax-exempt under sections 501(c)(8) and 501(c)(10) and provide insurance and other benefits to their members.
  1. **501(c)(19) Organizations:** These are veterans’ organizations, such as American Legion posts, that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(19).
  1. **501(c)(5) Organizations:** Labor unions and agricultural/horticultural organizations are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(5).
  1. **501(c)(12) Organizations:** These are benevolent life insurance associations, mutual ditch or irrigation companies, and mutual or cooperative telephone companies.
  1. **501(c)(13) Organizations:** Cemetery companies and associations are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(13).
  1. **501(c)(17) Organizations:** These are supplemental unemployment benefit trusts.
  1. **501(c)(21) Organizations:** Black lung benefit trusts are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(21).
  1. **501(c)(27) Organizations:** State-sponsored high-risk health coverage organizations.
  1. **Nonprofit Corporations:** Many nonprofits are organized as nonprofit corporations under state laws. They can have various missions and purposes, including education, healthcare, arts, and social services.
  1. **Community Foundations:** These organizations manage charitable funds and make grants to support local nonprofits and community projects.
  1. **Private Foundations:** Private foundations are typically endowed by a single source or family and provide grants to other charitable organizations. They can be operating foundations or grantmaking foundations.
  1. **Religious Organizations:** Churches, mosques, temples, and other religious entities are often recognized as tax-exempt nonprofits.
  1. **Public Charities:** Public charities are 501(c)(3) organizations that receive a substantial portion of their financial support from the general public. They include a wide range of charitable and educational organizations.
  1. **Healthcare Organizations:** Hospitals, clinics, and health-related nonprofits work to provide healthcare services and promote wellness.
  1. **Educational Institutions:** Schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations fall into this category.
  1. **Arts and Cultural Organizations:** These nonprofits focus on promoting arts, culture, and creativity in various forms, including museums, theaters, and arts education programs.

These are some of the common types of nonprofit organizations, but there are many other niche and specialized nonprofits that serve unique missions and causes. The specific type of nonprofit designation and activities can vary by country, as nonprofit laws and classifications differ globally. Check