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What Is a 501(c)(3) Charity?


Food Bank For NYC Provides Food Pantry And Soup Kitchen To Harlem Families
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The most common type of nonprofit organization, this IRS category covers a lot of ground.

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit is exempt from federal income tax if it has these purposes:

charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fosters amateur sports competition, prevents cruelty to children or animals.

Examples of qualifying organizations include old-age homes, parent-teacher associations, charitable hospitals, alumni associations, schools, chapters of the Red Cross or Salvation Army, Boys' or Girl's clubs, and churches.

501(c)(3) organizations may receive grants from foundations; and donations to them are tax-deductible for the donors.

IRS publication 557 contains information on qualifying for and applying for 501(c)(3) status.

Alternate Spellings: 501c3

Examples: The organization is a 501(c)(3) charity and is exempt from federal and state taxes.

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