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Charitable Organizations

Federal law recognizes several different forms of charitable organizations. Charitable organizations are often referred to as Section 501(c)(3) organizations, named after the section of the IRC section under which these organizations are formed. The definition of charitable has been developed through the promulgation of tax regulations and tax rulings, as well as through federal and state judicial cases. The following list includes the purposes that are generally recognized as charitable:

  • Relief of poverty
  • Relief of the distressed
  • Advancement of religion
  • Advancement of education
  • Advancement of science
  • Lessening the burdens of government (e.g., erecting a public building)
  • Community beautification and maintenance
  • Promotion of health
  • Promotion of social welfare
  • Promote environmental conservation
  • Promotion of patriotism
  • Promotion of the arts

Inside Charitable Organizations