Religious, Educational, Charitable, Scientific, Literary, Testing for Public Safety, to Foster National or International Amateur Sports Competition, or Prevention of Cruelty to Children or Animals Organizations. 

A 501(c)(3) is a non-profit organization that is tax-exempt that serves the public through one or more of the following exempt purposes : 


(a) Religious,

(b) Charitable,

(c) Scientific,

(d) Testing for public safety,

(e) Literary,

(f) Educational, or

(g) Prevention of cruelty to children or animals.


The IRS regulates and regularly reviews exempt organizations to ensure that they are following the regulations and that the organization continues to do the work that led to its exempt status. Failing to follow the IRS guidelines can lead to fines and, in some cases, the loss of 501(c)(3) status.


501(c)(3) non-profit organizations must be mindful of the following guidelines: 


  • The Non-profit Cannot Make Monetary Contributions to any Political Campaign.


  • The Non-profit Can Only Engage in Political Lobbying in Limited Amounts.


  • The Non-profit Cannot Distribute Its Profits to Directors, Officers, or Members.


  • The Non-profit Must Pay Income Taxes on Profits Unrelated to Its State Purpose or Activities.

  • The Non-profit Cannot Receive "Substantial" Profits from Unrelated Activities.

  • The Non-profit Must Distribute All of Its Assets to Another Tax-Exempt Group on Dissolution.

Follow these links for more information about 501(c)(3) Non-Profits: 

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This website provides general information about non-profits and the non-profit industry. This website does not provide legal advice and the Non-Profit Assistance Corp. is not a law firm. No attorney-client or confidential relationship exists or will be formed between you and the Non-Profit Assistance Corp. or any of our Consultants.