A supporting organization is a charity that carries out its exempt purposes by supporting other exempt organizations, usually other public charities. This classification is important because it is one means by which a charity can avoid classification as a private foundation, a status that is subject to a more restrictive regulatory regime. Of course, supporting another public charity is not enough by itself to warrant status as a public charity – many private foundations support public charities as well. A supporting organization generally warrants public charity status because it has a relationship with its supported organization sufficient to ensure that the supported organization is effectively supervising or paying particular attention to the operations of the supporting organization. A supporting organization is a Type I, Type II or Type III supporting organization depending on the relationship it has with its supported organization(s). A Type III supporting organization is either functionally integrated (FISO) or non-functionally integrated (non-FISO). This distinction is important because of additional restrictions that apply to contributions and certain grants made to non-FISOs. Change in Status An organization wishing to change its public charity classification in IRS records, including a supporting organization requesting a determination as to whether it is a Type I, II or III supporting organization, must file Form 8940, Request for Miscellaneous Determination. Additional Information Annual Filing Requirements for Supporting Organizations Reliance Criteria for Private Foundations and Organizations Sponsoring Donor-Advised Funds Making Grants to Supporting Organizations Final and temporary regulations - Type III supporting organizations Publication 557, Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization Report to Congress on Supporting Organizations and Donor Advised Funds (December 2011) Special rules apply to excess benefit transactions for certain supporting organizations. Code section 4943 excess business holdings rules apply to certain supporting organizations.