NCCS Community Platform

Nonprofit Organizations: Overview

Nonprofit organizations include everything from neighborhood associations that meet a couple of times a year and have no assets to Harvard University and the Gates Foundation, each with tens of billions in assets. They include soup kitchens and traditional "charities" that serve the poor as well as your local church, the Chamber of Commerce, the Sierra Club, the United Steel Workers labor union, and the Metropolitan Opera. As you can see, there's no "one-size-fits-all" way to think about nonprofit organizations.

So we categorize. Nonprofit organizations can be divided by the subsection of the United States Internal Revenue Code 501(c) under which they fall. Click on the categories below to learn more:

US Nonprofit Organizations 2015

501(c)(3) Organizations

501(c)(3) Public Charities

1,076,309 organizations

Large orgs

(Form 990 filers)
  • Hospitals
  • Colleges
  • Human services
  • Museums
  • Community foundations
  • Many others

Small Orgs

(Below revenue/asset threshold to file 990)
  • Community theaters
  • Neighborhood orgs
  • New organizations
  • Many others


(Registration optional)

501(c)(3) Private Foundations

103,430 organizations

Grantmaking foundations

Family, corporate, & individual foundations

Operating foundations

501(c)(4) Social Welfare Orgs

83,768 organizations

  • Civic associations
  • Service clubs
  • Advocacy orgs
  • HMOs & managed care plans
  • Many others

501(c)(6) Business Leagues

63,468 organizations

  • Chambers of commerce
  • Business associations
  • Boards of trade
  • Professional sports leagues

501(c)(5) Agricultural, Horticultural & Labor Orgs

46,348 organizations

  • Farm bureaus
  • Labor unions
  • Labor organizations
  • Many others

501(c)(7) Social & Recreation Clubs

47,594 organizations

  • Country & golf clubs
  • Fraternities & sororities
  • Athletic clubs
  • Alumni clubs
  • Many others

501(c)(8) Fraternal Beneficiary Societies & Associations

45,898 organizations

  • Fraternal organizations
  • Lodges
  • Benefit providers
  • Insurers
  • Many others

501(c)(10) Domestic Fraternal Societies & Associations

16,258 organizations

501(c)(13) Cemetery Companies

8,972 organizations

501(c)(19) Post or Organization of War Veterans

29,588 organizations

Other Exempt Organizations

27,663 organizations

Unregistered Organizations

Total Unknown