A section of the Internal Revenue code that provides exemption from federal income tax to organizations required to devote their resources to educational, religious, scientific, or other charitable activities. Contributions to a 501(c)(3) are deductible from a donor’s federal income tax. A 501(c)(3) organization is strictly forbidden from engaging in any political activity on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate for public office. 501(c)(3) organizations are divided into two categories: public charities and private foundations. Public charities may engage in a limited amount of lobbying, whereas private foundations are taxed on any money spent for lobbying. Examples: public charities include Alliance for Justice and Sierra Club Foundation; private foundations include The Ford Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
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