501c3 Classification

501c3starWhat is a 501c3?
Section 501(c)(3) is the portion of the US Internal Revenue Code that allows for federal tax exemption of nonprofit organizations, specifically those that are considered public charities, private foundations or private operating foundations. It is regulated and administered by the US Department of Treasury through the Internal Revenue Service. (www.501c3.org)
Qualifications
The basic qualification is that your organization operates as a not-for-profit. For complete qualifications please continue reading the below information and visit the links provided.
Advantages
There are several advantages to achieve 501c3 status for your charity. Here are a few to list (www.501c3go.com):
  • Receiving donations and granting tax-deductions
  • Lower nonprofit postage rates
  • Access to highly discounted or free public service announcements
  • Limited liability
  • Perpetual existence (shared trait of all corporations)
  • Access to government and private grants

Again, there are more advantages to list, but it is crucial that you fully understand the IRS’s requirements for operation, classification, and maintenance of your charity.

Applying for 501c3 status

The specific form you are required to fill out is the IRS Form 1023. There are specific requirements that vary by organization. In order to receive the best clarification of achieving 501c3 status, you should visit the IRS 501c3 Application Process. Here, you will find step-by-step directions on what requirements are needed to become an official 501c3. NOTE: once you’ve achieved 501c3 status, it is important that you maintain the requirements specified by the IRS to continue operating as a 501c3.

Be sure to thoroughly review the IRS tax information on charitable organizations.

Lastly, please visit your state government’s website for specific information on 501c3 organizations and to view the below video regarding charitable contributions by the IRS.