Organizations organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, educational, or other specified purposes and that meet certain other requirements are tax exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).
Churches and religious organizations, like many other charitable organizations, may qualify for exemption from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3).
Every organization that qualifies for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) is classified as a private foundation unless it meets one of the exceptions listed in Section 509(a). Private foundations typically have a single major source of funding (usually gifts from one family or corporation rather than funding from many sources) and most have as their primary activity the making of grants to other charitable organizations and to individuals, rather than the direct operation of charitable programs.
A political organization subject to Section 527 is a party, committee, association, fund or other organization (whether or not incorporated) organized and operated primarily for the purpose of directly or indirectly accepting contributions or making expenditures, or both, for an exempt function.
Organizations that meet specified requirements may qualify for exemption under subsections other than 501(c)(3). These include social welfare organizations, civic leagues, social clubs, labor organizations and business leagues.