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Many Types of Nonprofits

501(c)(3) nonprofits, which are charities like the Easter Seals, the Boys & Girls Club and, well, ProPublica, are exempt from paying most federal income tax, and donations to them are exempt from tax. There are many varieties of nonprofit organizations beyond 501(c)(3)’s, such as 501(c)(5)’s, which include labor unions, and 501(c)(4)’s, which include social welfare organizations. Each type has its own rules about things like eligibility, lobbying, electioneering and whether donations to them are tax deductible, and each is covered by a different subsection of the 501(c) section of the tax code.

Type Description and Purpose Contributions Deductible?
501(c)(1) Corporations organized under acts of Congress, which includes federal credit unions, and serve as instrumentalities of the United States Yes
501(c)(2) Corporations created to hold titles for property owned by another nonprofit No
501(c)(3) Organizations for any of the following purposes: religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition (as long as it doesn’t provide athletic facilities or equipment), or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals Yes
501(c)(4) Civic leagues, social welfare organizations and local associations of employees, created to promote community welfare for charitable, educational or recreational purposes No
501(c)(5) Labor, agricultural and horticultural organizations that are educational or instructive, including unions, created for the purpose of improving conditions of work, and products of efficiency No
501(c)(6) Business leagues, chambers of commerce, real estate boards, etc, created for the improvement of business conditions No
501(c)(7) Social and recreational clubs No
501(c)(8) Fraternal beneficiary societies and associations, which provide payment of life, sickness, accident or other benefits to members Yes
501(c)(9) Voluntary employees beneficiary associations, which provide payment of life, sickness, accident or other benefits to members No
501(c)(10) Domestic fraternal societies and associations, which devote its net earnings to charitable, fraternal and other specified purposes, but NOT to provide life, sickness, or accident benefits to its members Yes
501(c)(11) Teachers' retirement fund associations No
501(c)(12) Benevolent life insurance associations, irrigation companies, telephone companies, etc., which have a mutually beneficial nature No
501(c)(13) Cemetery companies Yes
501(c)(14) State-chartered credit unions and mutual reserve funds No
501(c)(15) Mutual insurance companies or associations which provide insurance to members substantially at cost No
501(c)(16) Cooperative organizations to finance crop operations, also in conjunction with activities of marketing or purchasing associations No
501(c)(17) Supplemental unemployment benefit trusts No
501(c)(18) Employee funded pension trusts created before June 25, 1959 No
501(c)(19) Post or organization of past or present members of the armed forces No
501(c)(21) Black lung benefit trusts, funded by coal mine operators to satisfy their liability for disability or death due to black lung diseases No
501(c)(22) Withdrawal liability payment funds, which providing funds to meet the liability of employers withdrawing from a multiemployer pension fund No
501(c)(23) Veterans' organizations created before 1880, to provide insurance and other benefits to veterans No
501(c)(25) Title holding corporations or trusts with multiple parent corporations, which holds titles and paying over income from property to 35 or fewer parents or beneficiaries No
501(c)(26) State-sponsored organizations providing health coverage for high-risk individuals No
501(c)(27) State-sponsored workers' compensation reinsurance organizations No
501(c)(28) National railroad retirement investment trust, which manages and invests the assets of the Railroad Retirement Account No
501(c)(29) Qualified health insurance issuer that has received a loan or grant under the CO-OP program No
4947(a)(1) Non-exempt charitable trusts No

About This Data

Nonprofit Explorer includes summary data for nonprofit tax returns and full Form 990 documents, in both PDF and digital formats.

The summary data contains information processed by the IRS during the 2012-2019 calendar years; this generally consists of filings for the 2011-2018 fiscal years, but may include older records. This data release includes only a subset of what can be found in the full Form 990s.

In addition to the raw summary data, we link to PDFs and digital copies of full Form 990 documents wherever possible. This consists of separate releases by the IRS of Form 990 documents processed by the agency, which we update regularly.

We also link to copies of audits nonprofit organizations that spent $750,000 or more in Federal grant money in a single fiscal year since 2016. These audits are copied from the Federal Audit Clearinghouse.

Which Organizations Are Here?

Every organization that has been recognized as tax exempt by the IRS has to file Form 990 every year, unless they make less than $200,000 in revenue and have less than $500,000 in assets, in which case they have to file form 990-EZ. Organizations making less than $50,000 don’t have to file either form but do have to let the IRS they’re still in business via a Form 990N "e-Postcard."

Nonprofit Explorer has organizations claiming tax exemption in each of the 27 subsections of the 501(c) section of the tax code, and which have filed a Form 990, Form 990EZ or Form 990PF. Taxable trusts and private foundations that are required to file a form 990PF are also included. Small organizations filing a Form 990N "e-Postcard" are not included in this data.

Types of Nonprofits

There are 27 nonprofit designations based on the numbered subsections of section 501(c) of the tax code. See the list »

Get the Data

For those interested in acquiring the original data from the source, here’s where our data comes from:

  • Raw filing data. Includes EINs and summary financials as structured data.
  • Exempt Organization profiles. Includes organization names, addresses, etc. You can merge this with the raw filing data using EIN numbers.
  • Form 990 documents. Prior to 2017, these documents were obtained and processed by and ProPublica. Bulk PDF downloads since 2017 are available from the IRS.
  • Form 990 documents as XML files. Includes complete filing data (financial details, names of officers, tax schedules, etc.) in machine-readable format. Only available for electronically filed documents. Electronic data released prior to October 2021 is also available through Amazon Web Services.
  • Audits. PDFs of single or program-specific audits for nonprofit organizations that spent $750,000 or more in Federal grant money in a single fiscal year. Available for fiscal year 2015 and later.


The data powering this website is available programmatically, via an API. Read the API documentation »