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Publication 557
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200114

Private Foundations
and Public Charities(p30)

rule
It is important that you determine if your organization is a private foundation. Most organizations exempt from income tax (as organizations described in section 501(c)(3)) are presumed to be private foundations unless they notify the IRS within a specified period of time that they meet the requirements of section 509(a) to be treated as other than a private foundation. This notice requirement applies to most section 501(c)(3) organizations regardless of when they were formed.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200115

Private Foundations(p30)

rule
Every organization that qualifies for tax exemption as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) is a private foundation unless it falls into one of the categories specifically excluded from the definition of that term (referred to in sections 509(a)(1), 509(a)(2), 509(a)(3), or 509(a)(4)). In effect, the definition divides these organizations into two classes, namely private foundations and public charities. Public charities are discussed later.
Organizations that fall into the excluded categories are generally those that either have broad public support or actively function in a supporting relationship to those organizations. Organizations that test for public safety also are excluded.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200116

Application to IRS.(p30)

rule
Even if an organization falls within one of the categories excluded from the definition of private foundation, it will be presumed to be a private foundation, with some exceptions, unless it files a timely Form 1023 with the IRS showing it is not a private foundation. This application requirement applies to an organization regardless of when it was organized. The only exceptions to this requirement are those organizations that are excepted from the requirement of filing Form 1023 as discussed, earlier, under Organizations Not Required To File Form 1023.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200117
When to file application.(p30)
If an organization has to file the application, it must do so within 27 months from the end of the month in which it was organized.
If your organization is newly applying for recognition of exemption as an organization described in this chapter (a section 501(c)(3) organization) and you wish to establish that your organization is a public charity rather than a private foundation, you must complete the applicable lines of Part X of Form 1023 (however, see Notice 1382 about changes to Part X). See Application for Recognition of Exemption, earlier in this chapter, for more information.
In determining the date on which a corporation is organized for purposes of applying for recognition of section 501(c)(3) status, the IRS looks to the date the corporation came into existence under the law of the state in which it is incorporated. For example, where state law provides that existence of a corporation begins on the date its articles are filed by a certain state official in the appropriate state office, the corporation is considered organized on that date. Later nonsubstantive amendments to the enabling instrument will not change the date of organization, for purposes of the filing requirement.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200118
Application filed late.(p30)
An organization that states it is a private foundation when it files its application for recognition of exemption after the 27-month period will be treated as a section 501(c)(3) organization and as a private foundation only from the date it files its application, rather than the date that it was created or first became described in section 501(c)(3). The organization may obtain retroactive exemption, however, if it establishes that it qualifies for relief from the 27-month deadline.
An organization that states it is a publicly supported charity when it files its application for recognition of exemption after the 27-month period cannot be treated as a section 501(c)(3) organization before the date it files the application, except as discussed above. Financial support received before that date cannot be used for purposes of determining whether the organization is publicly supported. However, an organization that can reasonably be expected to meet the support requirements (discussed later under Public Charities) when it applies for tax-exempt status will be classified as a publicly supported charity and not a private foundation.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200119

Excise taxes on private foundations.(p30)

rule
There is an excise tax on the net investment income of most domestic private foundations. See Chapter 5 for more information on excise taxes.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200120

Governing instrument.(p30)

rule
A private foundation cannot be tax exempt nor will contributions to it be deductible as charitable contributions unless its governing instrument contains special provisions in addition to those that apply to all organizations described in section 501(c)(3).
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200121
Sample governing instruments.(p30)
The following samples of governing instrument provisions illustrate the special charter requirements that apply to private foundations. Draft A is a sample of provisions in articles of incorporation; Draft B, a trust indenture.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200122

Draft A(p30)

rule
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200123

General(p30)

rule
  1. The corporation will distribute its income for each tax year at a time and in a manner as not to become subject to the tax on undistributed income imposed by section 4942 of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
  2. The corporation will not engage in any act of self-dealing as defined in section 4941(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
  3. The corporation will not retain any excess business holdings as defined in section 4943(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
  4. The corporation will not make any investments in a manner as to subject it to tax under section 4944 of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
  5. The corporation will not make any taxable expenditures as defined in section 4945(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200124

Draft B(p31)

rule
Any other provisions of this instrument notwithstanding, the trustees shall distribute its income for each tax year at a time and in a manner as not to become subject to the tax on undistributed income imposed by section 4942 of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
Any other provisions of this instrument notwithstanding, the trustees will not engage in any act of self-dealing as defined in section 4941(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code; nor retain any excess business holdings as defined in section 4943(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code; nor make any investments in a manner as to incur tax liability under section 4944 of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code; nor make any taxable expenditures as defined in section 4945 (d) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200125

Effect of state law.(p31)

rule
A private foundation's governing instrument will be considered to meet these charter requirements if valid provisions of state law have been enacted that:
  1. Require it to act or refrain from acting so as not to subject the foundation to the taxes imposed on prohibited transactions, or
  2. Treat the required provisions as contained in the foundation's governing instrument.
The IRS has published a list of states with this type of law. The list is in Revenue Ruling 75-38, 1975-1 C.B. 161 (or later update).
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200126

Public Charities(p31)

rule
A private foundation is any organization described in Section 501(c)(3), unless it falls into one of the categories specifically excluded from the definition of that term in section 509(a), which lists four basic categories of exclusions. These categories are discussed under the Section 509(a)(1), 509(a)(2), 509(a)(3), and 509(a)(4) Organizations headings that follow this introduction. See Section 509(a)(1) Organizations, etc.
If your organization falls into one of these categories, it is not a private foundation and you should state this in Part X of your application for recognition of exemption (Form 1023).
If your organization does not fall into one of these categories, it is a private foundation and is subject to the applicable rules and restrictions until it terminates its private foundation status. Some private foundations also qualify as private operating foundations; these are discussed near the end of this chapter.
Generally speaking, a large class of organizations excluded under section 509(a)(1) and all organizations excluded under section 509(a)(2) depend upon a support test. This test is used to assure a minimum percentage of broad-based public support in the organization's total support pattern. Thus, in the following discussions, when the one-third support test (see Qualifying as Publicly Supported, later) is referred to, it means the following fraction normally must equal at least one-third.
 Qualifying support 
 Total support 
EIC
Including items of support in qualifying support (the numerator of the fraction) or excluding items of support from total support (the denominator of the fraction) may decide whether an organization is excluded from the definition of a private foundation, and thus from the liability for certain excise taxes. It is very important to classify items of support correctly.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200129

Section 509(a)(1) Organizations(p31)

rule
Section 509(a)(1) organizations include:
  1. A church or a convention or association of churches,
  2. An educational organization such as a school or college,
  3. A hospital or medical research organization operated in conjunction with a hospital,
  4. Endowment funds operated for the benefit of certain state and municipal colleges and universities,
  5. A governmental unit, and
  6. A publicly supported organization.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200130

Church.(p31)

rule
The characteristics of a church are discussed earlier in this chapter under Religious Organizations.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200131

Educational organizations.(p31)

rule
An educational organization is one whose primary function is to present formal instruction that normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and that normally has a regularly enrolled body of pupils or students in attendance at the place where it regularly carries on its educational activities. The term includes institutions such as primary, secondary, preparatory, or high schools, and colleges and universities. It includes federal, state, and other publicly supported schools that otherwise come within the definition. It does not include organizations engaged in both educational and noneducational activities, unless the latter are merely incidental to the educational activities. A recognized university that incidentally operates a museum or sponsors concerts is an educational organization. However, the operation of a school by a museum does not necessarily qualify the museum as an educational organization.
An exempt organization that operates a tutoring service for students on a one-to-one basis in their homes, maintains a small center to test students to determine their need for tutoring, and employs tutors on a part-time basis is not an educational organization for these purposes. Nor is an exempt organization that conducts an internship program by placing college and university students with cooperating government agencies an educational organization.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200132

Hospitals and medical research organizations.(p31)

rule
A hospital is an organization whose principal purpose or function is to provide hospital or medical care or either medical education or medical research. A rehabilitation institution, outpatient clinic, or community mental health or drug treatment center may qualify as a hospital if its principal purpose or function is providing hospital or medical care. If the accommodations of an organization qualify as being part of a skilled nursing facility, that organization may qualify as a hospital if its principal purpose or function is providing hospital or medical care. A cooperative hospital service organization that meets the requirements of section 501(e) will qualify as a hospital.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200133
Exceptions.(p31)
The term hospital does not include convalescent homes, homes for children or the aged, or institutions whose principal purpose or function is to train handicapped individuals to pursue a vocation. An organization that mainly provides medical education or medical research will not be considered a hospital, unless it is also actively engaged in providing medical or hospital care to patients on its premises or in its facilities, on an in-patient or out-patient basis, as an integral part of its medical education or medical research functions.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200134
Hospitals participating in provider-sponsored organizations.(p31)
An organization can be treated as organized and operated exclusively for a charitable purpose even if it owns and operates a hospital that participates in a provider-sponsored organization, whether or not the provider-sponsored organization is tax exempt. For section 501(c)(3) purposes, any person with a material financial interest in the provider-sponsored organization is treated as a private shareholder or individual with respect to the hospital.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000293955
New Requirements for section 501(c)(3) Hospitals Under the Affordable Care Act.(p31)
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), enacted March 23, 2010, added new requirements that hospital organizations must satisfy in order to be described in section 501(c)(3), as well as new reporting and excise taxes.
Because many of these provisions are effective for tax years beginning after the date of enactment, revision of the core Form 990, the Form 990 Schedule H and instructions has been a priority for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
As the IRS develops the new forms and guidance to implement the ACA, the IRS goals will be to:
New Requirements for Charitable section 501(c)(3) Hospitals. Section 501(r), added to the Code by the ACA, imposes new requirements on section 501(c)(3) organizations that operate one or more hospital facilities (hospital organizations). Each section 501(c)(3) hospital organization is required to meet four general requirements on a facility-by-facility basis:
Notice 2010-39, 2010-24 I.R.B. 756, described the new requirements and solicited public comments. See Notice 2010-39. Notice 2011-52, 2011-30 I.R.B. 60 addresses the CHNA requirements described in section 501(r)(3) of the Code. See Notice 2011-52.
On June 22, 2012, the Service issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that addresses the new requirements enacted by the ACA applicable to section 501(c)(3) hospital organizations, except for the CHNA requirement (see "Additional Requirements for Tax-Exempt Hospitals"). See Notice of Proposed Rulemaking due to the ACA for sec. 501(c)(3) hospitals.
The ACA also added new section 4959, which imposes an excise tax for failure to meet the CHNA requirements, and added reporting requirements under section 6033(b) related to sections 501(r) and 4959.
On April 3, 2013, the Service issued proposed regulations on the CHNA requirements. The proposed regulations also discuss the related reporting and excise tax requirements for charitable hospitals and the consequences for failure to satisfy the section 501(r) requirements.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200135
Medical research organization.(p32)
A medical research organization must be directly engaged in the continuous active conduct of medical research in conjunction with a hospital, and that activity must be the organization's principal purpose or function.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200136
Publicly supported.(p32)
A hospital or medical research organization that wants the additional classification of a publicly supported organization (described later in this chapter under Qualifying As Publicly Supported) can specifically request that classification. The organization must establish that it meets the public support requirements of section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi).
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200137

Endowment funds.(p32)

rule
Organizations operated for the benefit of certain state and municipal colleges and universities are endowment funds. They are organized and operated exclusively to:
  1. Receive, hold, invest, and administer property for a college or university, and
  2. Make expenditures to or for the benefit of a college or university.
The college or university must be:
  1. An agency or instrumentality of a state or political subdivision, or
  2. Owned or operated by:
    1. A state or political subdivision, or
    2. An agency or instrumentality of one or more states or political subdivisions.
The phrase "expenditures to or for the benefit of a college or university" includes expenditures made for any one or more of the normal functions of a college or university. These expenditures include those for:
  1. Acquiring and maintaining real property comprising part of the campus area,
  2. Erecting (or participating in erecting) college or university buildings,
  3. Acquiring and maintaining equipment and furnishings used for, or in conjunction with, normal functions of colleges and universities,
  4. Libraries,
  5. Scholarships, and
  6. Student loans.
The organization must normally receive a substantial part of its support from the United States or any state or political subdivision, or from direct or indirect contributions from the general public, or from a combination of these sources.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200138
Support.(p32)
Support does not include income received in the exercise or performance by the organization of its charitable, educational, or other purpose or function constituting the basis for exemption.
In determining the amount of support received by an organization for a contribution of property when the value of the contribution by the donor is subject to reduction for certain ordinary income and capital gain property, the fair market value of the property is taken into account.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200139
Indirect contribution.(p32)
An example of an indirect contribution from the public is the receipt by the organization of its share of the proceeds of an annual collection campaign of a community chest, community fund, or united fund.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200140

Governmental units.(p32)

rule
A governmental unit includes a state, a possession of the United States, or a political subdivision of either of the foregoing, or the United States or the District of Columbia.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200141

Publicly supported organizations.(p32)

rule
An organization is a publicly supported organization if it is one that normally receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or from the general public.
Types of organizations that generally qualify are:
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200142

Qualifying as Publicly Supported(p32)

rule
An organization will qualify as publicly supported if it passes the one-third support test. If it fails that test, it may qualify under the facts and circumstances test.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200143

One-third support test.(p32)

rule
An organization will qualify as publicly supported if it normally receives at least one-third of its total support from governmental units, from contributions made directly or indirectly by the general public, or from a combination of these sources. For a definition of support, see Support, later.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200144
Definition of normally for one-third support test.(p32)
An organization will be considered as normally meeting the one-third support test for its current tax year and the next tax year if, for the current tax year and the 4 tax years immediately before the current tax year, the organization meets the one-third support test on an aggregate basis. See also Computation period for public support (Special computation period for new organizations) later, in this discussion.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200145

Facts and circumstances test.(p32)

rule
The facts and circumstances test is for organizations failing to meet the one-third support test. If your organization fails to meet the one-third support test, it may still be treated as a publicly supported organization if it normally receives a substantial part of its support from governmental units, from direct or indirect contributions from the general public, or from a combination of these sources. To qualify, an organization must meet the ten-percent-of-support requirement and the attraction of public support requirement. These requirements establish, under all the facts and circumstances, that an organization normally receives a substantial part of its support from governmental units or from direct or indirect contributions from the general public. The organization also must be in the nature of a publicly supported organization, taking into account five different factors. See Additional requirements (the five public support factors), later.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200146
Ten-percent-of-support requirement.(p33)
The percentage of support normally received by an organization from governmental units, from contributions made directly or indirectly by the general public, or from a combination of these sources must be substantial. An organization will not be treated as normally receiving a substantial amount of governmental or public support unless the total amount of governmental and public support normally received is at least 10% of the total support normally received by that organization.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200147
Attraction of public support requirement.(p33)
An organization must be organized and operated in a manner to attract new and additional public or governmental support on a continuous basis. An organization will meet this requirement if it maintains a continuous and bona fide program for solicitation of funds from the general public, community, or membership group involved, or if it carries on activities designed to attract support from governmental units or other charitable organizations described in section 509(a)(1). In determining whether an organization maintains a continuous and bona fide program for solicitation of funds from the general public or community, consideration will be given to whether the scope of its fundraising activities is reasonable in light of its charitable activities. Consideration also will be given to the fact that an organization may, in its early years of existence, limit the scope of its solicitation to persons who would be most likely to provide seed money sufficient to enable it to begin its charitable activities and expand its solicitation program.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200148
Definition of normally for facts and circumstances test.(p33)
An organization will normally meet the requirements of the facts and circumstances test for its current tax year and the next tax year if, for the current tax year and the 4 tax years immediately before the current tax year, the organization meets the ten-percent-of-support and the attraction of public support requirements on an aggregate basis and satisfies a sufficient combination of the factors discussed later. The combination of factors that an organization normally must meet does not have to be the same for each 4-year period as long as a sufficient combination of factors exists to show compliance.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200151
Additional requirements (the five public support factors).(p33)
In addition to the two requirements of the facts and circumstances test, the following five public support factors will be considered in determining whether an organization is publicly supported. However, an organization generally does not have to satisfy all of the factors. The factors relevant to each case and the weight accorded to any one of them may differ depending upon the nature and purpose of the organization and the length of time it has existed. The combination of factors that an organization normally must meet does not have to be the same for each 4-year period as long as a sufficient combination of factors exists to show that the organization is publicly supported.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200152
1. Percentage of financial support factor.(p33)
When an organization normally receives at least 10% but less than one-third of its total support from public or governmental sources, the percentage of support received from those sources will be considered in determining whether the organization is publicly supported. As the percentage of support from public or governmental sources increases, the burden of establishing the publicly supported nature of the organization through other factors decreases, while the lower the percentage, the greater the burden.
If the percentage of the organization's support from the general public or governmental sources is low because it receives a high percentage of its total support from investment income on its endowment funds, the organization will be treated as complying with this factor if the endowment fund was originally contributed by a governmental unit or by the general public. However, if the endowment funds were originally contributed by a few individuals or members of their families, this fact will increase the burden on the organization of establishing compliance with other factors. Facts pertinent to years before the 4 tax years immediately before the current tax year also may be considered.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200153
2. Sources of support factor.(p33)
If an organization normally receives at least 10% but less than one-third of its total support from public or governmental sources, the fact that it receives the support from governmental units or directly or indirectly from a representative number of persons, rather than receiving almost all of its support from the members of a single family, will be considered in determining whether the organization is publicly supported. In determining what is a representative number of persons, consideration will be given to the type of organization involved, the length of time it has existed, and whether it limits its activities to a particular community or region or to a special field that can be expected to appeal to a limited number of persons. Facts pertinent to years before the 4 tax years immediately before the current tax year also may be considered.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200154
3. Representative governing body factor.(p33)
The fact that an organization has a governing body that represents the broad interests of the public rather than the personal or private interest of a limited number of donors will be considered in determining whether the organization is publicly supported.
An organization will meet this requirement if it has a governing body composed of:
  1. Public officials acting in their public capacities,
  2. Individuals selected by public officials acting in their public capacities,
  3. Persons having special knowledge or expertise in the particular field or discipline in which the organization is operating, and
  4. Community leaders, such as elected or appointed officials, members of the clergy, educators, civic leaders, or other such persons representing a broad cross-section of the views and interests of the community.
In a membership organization, the governing body also should include individuals elected by a broadly based membership according to the organization's governing instrument or bylaws.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200155
4. Availability of public facilities or services factor.(p33)
The fact that an organization generally provides facilities or services directly for the benefit of the general public on a continuing basis is evidence that the organization is publicly supported. Examples are: The fact that an educational or research institution regularly publishes scholarly studies widely used by colleges and universities or by members of the general public is also evidence that the organization is publicly supported.
Similarly, the following factors are also evidence that an organization is publicly supported.
  1. Participating in, or sponsoring, the programs of the organization by members of the public having special knowledge or expertise, public officials, or civic or community leaders.
  2. Maintaining a definitive program by the organization to accomplish its charitable work in the community, such as slum clearance or developing employment opportunities.
  3. Receiving a significant part of its funds from a public charity or governmental agency to which it is in some way held accountable as a condition of the grant, contract, or contribution.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200156
5. Additional factors pertinent to membership organizations.(p33)
The following are additional factors in determining whether a membership organization is publicly supported.
  1. Whether the solicitation for dues-paying members is designed to enroll a substantial number of persons in the community or area, or in a particular profession or field of special interest (taking into account the size of the area and the nature of the organization's activities).
  2. Whether membership dues for individual (rather than institutional) members have been fixed at rates designed to make membership available to a broad cross section of the interested public, rather than to restrict membership to a limited number of persons.
  3. Whether the activities of the organization will be likely to appeal to persons having some broad common interest or purpose, such as educational activities in the case of alumni associations, musical activities in the case of symphony societies, or civic affairs in the case of parent-teacher associations.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000246834
Special rule.(p34)
The fact that an organization has normally met the one-third support test requirements for a current tax year, but is unable normally to meet the requirements for a later tax year, will not in itself prevent the organization from meeting the requirements of the facts and circumstances test for the later tax year.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000246835

Example.(p34)

X is recognized as an organization described in section 501(c)(3). On the basis of support received during tax years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, it meets the one-third support test for tax year 2014 (the current tax year). X also meets the one-third support test for 2015, as the immediately succeeding tax year.
In tax years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, in the aggregate, X does not receive at least one-third of its support from governmental units referred to in section 170(c)(1), from contributions made directly or indirectly by the general public, or from a combination of these sources. X still meets the one-third support test for tax year 2015 based on the aggregate support received for tax years 2010 through 2014.
In tax years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, in the aggregate, X does not receive at least one-third of its support from governmental units referred to in section 170(c)(1), from contributions made directly or indirectly by the general public, or from a combination of these sources. X does not meet the one-third support test for tax year 2016.
Based on the aggregate support and other factors listed in Regulations section 1.170A-9(f)(3)(iii)(A) through (E) for tax years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, X meets the facts and circumstances test for tax year 2015 and for tax year 2016 (as the immediately succeeding tax year). Therefore, X is still an organization described in section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) for tax year 2016, even though X did not meet the one-third support test for that year.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000246837

Special computation period for new organizations (Computation period for public support).(p34)

rule
If, at the time of applying for tax-exempt status, an organization can reasonably be expected to meet the one-third support test or the facts and circumstances test during its first 5 tax years, the organization will qualify as publicly supported for its first 5 years. The organization will be classified as a public charity for its first 5 years, regardless of the public support actually received during this period. Beginning with the organization's sixth tax year, the organization will qualify as publicly supported if it meets the one-third support test or the facts and circumstances test for its sixth year (based on support received in its second through sixth tax years), or as a carryover for its fifth tax year (based on support received in its first through fifth tax years). If the organization is required to file Form 990 or 990-EZ, it must establish that it meets the public support test each year on Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ).
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000246838
Reasonable expectation of public support.(p34)
An organization that can reasonably be expected to meet the one-third support test or the facts and circumstances test during its first 5 years is one that can show that its organizational structure, current or proposed programs and activities, and actual or intended method of operation can reasonably be expected to attract the type of broadly based support from the general public, public charities, and governmental units that is necessary to meet the public support requirements discussed earlier under Qualifying As Publicly Supported.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000246839
Example.(p34)
Organization Y was formed in January 2010 and uses a December 31 tax year. After September 9, 2010, and before December 31, 2010, Organization Y filed a Form 1023 requesting recognition of exemption as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) and in sections 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) and 509(a)(1). In its application, Organization Y established that it can reasonably be expected to meet the one-third support test. Organization Y receives a determination letter that it is an organization described in section 501(c)(3) and sections 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) and 509(a)(1) effective as of the date of formation.
Organization Y is described in sections 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) and 509(a)(1) for its first 5 tax years (tax years ending December 31, 2010, through December 31, 2014). Organization Y can qualify as a public charity beginning with the tax year ending December 31, 2015, if Organization Y meets the one-third support test or facts and circumstances test for the tax years ending December 31, 2011, through December 31, 2015, or for the tax years ending December 31, 2010, through December 31, 2014.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000246840
Rulings or determinations of public support status.(p34)
An organization may request a ruling or determination letter that it is described in section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi). This request is made on Form 1023, or at such other time as the organization believes it is described in section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi). The IRS may revoke the section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) ruling or determination letter if, on examination, the organization has not met the requirements. The IRS may also revoke the section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) ruling or determination letter if the organization's application for a ruling or determination contained a material misstatement of fact.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000246841
Reliance by grantors or contributors.(p34)
Grantors or contributors may rely on a determination or ruling letter that an organization is described in section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) until notice of change of status of the organization is made to the public (such as by publication in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, or former Publication 78, Cumulative List of Organizations described in Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, either of which can be searched at IRS.gov. This publication will no longer be published in paper format. See Exempt Organizations Select Check now for this data.) See Revenue Procedure 2011-33, 2011-25 I.R.B. 887, Revenue Procedure 2011-33. See also Exempt Organizations Select Check. This revenue procedure advises that the IRS will no longer publish a paper version of Publication 78. Revenue Procedure 82-39, 1982-2 C.B. 759, and Revenue Procedure 2009-32, 2009-28 I.R.B. 142 were modified and superseded by Revenue Procedure 2011-33. However, this will not apply if the grantor or contributor was responsible for, or aware of, the act or failure to act that resulted in the organization's loss of classification as a publicly supported organization.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200164

Support.(p34)

rule
For purposes of publicly supported organizations, the term support includes (but is not limited to):
  1. Gifts, grants, contributions, or membership fees,
  2. Net income from unrelated business activities, whether or not those activities are carried on regularly as a trade or business,
  3. Gross investment income,
  4. Tax revenues levied for the benefit of an organization and either paid to or spent on behalf of the organization, and
  5. The value of services or facilities furnished by a governmental unit to an organization without charge (except services or facilities generally furnished to the public without charge).
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200165
Amounts that are not support.(p34)
The term support does not include:
  1. Any amount received from the exercise or performance by an organization of the purpose or function constituting the basis for its exemption (in general, these amounts include amounts received from any activity the conduct of which is substantially related to the furtherance of the exempt purpose or function, other than through the production of income), or
  2. Contributions of services for which a deduction is not allowed.
These amounts are excluded from both the numerator and the denominator of the fractions in determining compliance with the one-third support test and ten-percent-of-support requirement. The following discusses an exception to this general rule.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200166
Organizations dependent primarily on gross receipts from related activities.(p34)
Organizations will not satisfy the one-third support test or the ten-percent-of-support requirement if they receive:
  1. Almost all support from gross receipts from related activities, and
  2. An insignificant amount of support from governmental units (without regard to amounts referred to in (3) in the list of items included in support) and contributions made directly or indirectly by the general public.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200167

Example.(p34)

Z, an organization described in section 501(c)(3), is controlled by Thomas Blue, its president. Z received $500,000 during the current tax year and the 4 tax years immediately before its current tax year under a contract with the Department of Transportation, under which Z engaged in research to improve a particular vehicle used primarily by the Federal Government. During the same period, the only other support received by Z was $5,000 in small contributions primarily from Z's employees and business associates. The $500,000 is gross receipts from a related activity and not support from a governmental unit, because the services are provided to serve the direct and immediate needs of the payor rather than primarily to confer a direct benefit on the public. Because of this fact, and because Z's contributions from the public are insignificant, Z does not meet the one-third support test or the ten-percent-of-support requirement.
For the rules that apply to organizations that fail to qualify as section 509(a)(1) publicly supported organizations because of these provisions, see Section 509(a)(2) Organizations, later. See also Gross receipts from a related activity in the discussion on section 509(a)(2) organizations.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200168
Membership fees.(p35)
Membership fees are included in the term support if they are paid to provide support for the organization rather than to buy admissions, merchandise, services, or the use of facilities.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200169

Support from a governmental unit.(p35)

rule
For purposes of the one-third support test and the ten-percent-of-support requirement, the term support from a governmental unit includes any amounts received from a governmental unit, including donations or contributions and amounts received on a contract entered into with a governmental unit for the performance of services, or from a government research grant. However, these amounts are not support from a governmental unit for these purposes if they constitute amounts received from the exercise or performance of the organization's exempt functions.
Any amount paid by a governmental unit to an organization will not be treated as received from the exercise or performance of its exempt function if the purpose of the payment is primarily to enable the organization to provide a service to, or maintain a facility for, the direct benefit of the public (regardless of whether part of the expense of providing the service or facility is paid for by the public), rather than to serve the direct and immediate needs of the payor. This includes:
  1. Amounts paid to maintain library facilities that are open to the public,
  2. Amounts paid under government programs to nursing homes or homes for the aged to provide health care or domiciliary services to residents of these facilities, and
  3. Amounts paid to child placement or child guidance organizations under government programs for services rendered to children in the community.
These payments are mainly to enable the recipient organization to provide a service or maintain a facility for the direct benefit of the public, rather than to serve the direct and immediate needs of the payor. Furthermore, any amount received from a governmental unit under circumstances in which the amount would be treated as a grant will generally constitute support from a governmental unit. See the discussion of Grants, later, under Section 509(a)(2) Organizations.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200170
Medicare and Medicaid payments.(p35)
Medicare and Medicaid payments are received from contracts entered into with state and federal governmental units. However, payments are made for services already provided to eligible individuals, rather than to encourage or enable an organization to provide services to the public. The individual patient, not a governmental unit, actually controls the ultimate recipient of these payments by selecting the health care organization. As a result, these payments are not considered support from a governmental unit. Medicare and Medicaid payments are gross receipts derived from the exercise or performance of exempt activities and, therefore, are not included in the term support.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200171

Support from the general public.(p35)

rule
In determining whether the one-third support test or the ten-percent-of-support requirement is met, include in your computation support from direct or indirect contributions from the general public. This includes contributions from an individual, trust, or corporation but only to the extent that the total contributions from the individual, trust, or corporation, during the current tax year and the 4-year period immediately before the current tax year, are not more than 2% of the organization's total support for the same period.
Thus, a contribution by any one individual will be included in full in the denominator of the fraction used in the one-third support test or the ten-percent-of-support requirement. However, the contribution will be included in the numerator only to the extent that it is not more than 2% of the denominator. In applying the 2% limit, all contributions made by a donor and by any person in a special relationship to the donor (certain Disqualified persons discussed under Absence of control by disqualified persons, later) are considered made by one person. The 2% limit does not apply to support received from governmental units or to contributions from other publicly supported charities, except as provided under Grants from public charities, later.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200172
Indirect contributions.(p35)
The term indirect contributions from the general public includes contributions received by the organization from organizations (such as publicly supported organizations) that normally receive a substantial part of their support from direct contributions from the general public, except as provided under Grants from public charities, next.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200173
Grants from public charities.(p35)
Contributions received from a governmental unit or from a publicly supported organization (including a church that meets the requirements for being publicly supported) are not subject to the 2% limit unless the contributions represent amounts either expressly or impliedly earmarked by a donor to the governmental unit or publicly supported organization as being for, or for the benefit of, the particular organization claiming a publicly supported status.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200174

Example 1.(p35)

M, a national foundation for the encouragement of the musical arts, is a publicly supported organization. George Spruce gives M a donation of $5,000 without imposing any restrictions or conditions upon the gift. M later makes a $5,000 grant to X, an organization devoted to giving public performances of chamber music. Since the grant to X is treated as being received from M, it is fully includible in the numerator of X's support fraction for the tax year of receipt.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200175

Example 2.(p35)

Assume M is the same organization described in Example 1. Tom Grove gives M a donation of $10,000, but requires that M spend the money to support organizations devoted to the advancement of contemporary American music. M has complete discretion as to the organizations of the type described to which it will make a grant. M decides to make grants of $5,000 each to Y and Z, both being organizations described in section 501(c)(3) and devoted to furthering contemporary American music. Since the grants to Y and Z are treated as having been received from M, Y and Z each may include one of the $5,000 grants in the numerator of its support fraction. Although the donation to M was conditioned upon the use of the funds for a particular purpose, M was free to select the ultimate recipient.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200176

Example 3.(p35)

N is a national foundation for the encouragement of art and is a publicly supported organization. Grants to N are permitted to be earmarked for particular purposes. O, which is an art workshop devoted to training young artists and which is claiming status as a publicly supported organization, persuades C, a private foundation, to make a grant of $25,000 to N. C is a disqualified person with respect to O. C makes the grant to N with the understanding that N would be bound to make a grant to O in the sum of $25,000, in addition to a matching grant of N's funds to O in the sum of $25,000. Only the $25,000 received directly from N is considered a grant from N. The other $25,000 is an indirect contribution from C to O and is to be excluded from the numerator of O's support fraction to the extent it exceeds the 2% limit.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200177

Unusual grants.(p35)

rule
In applying the 2% limit to determine whether the one-third support test or the ten-percent-of-support requirement is met, exclude contributions that are considered unusual grants from both the numerator and denominator of the appropriate percent-of-support fraction. Generally, unusual grants are substantial contributions or bequests from disinterested parties if the contributions:
  1. Are attracted by the publicly supported nature of the organization,
  2. Are unusual or unexpected in amount, and
  3. Would adversely affect, because of the size, the status of the organization as normally being publicly supported. (The organization must otherwise meet the support test in that year without benefit of the grant or contribution.)
For a grant (see Grants, later) that meets the requirements for exclusion, if the terms of the granting instrument require that the funds be paid to the recipient organization over a period of years, the amount received by the organization each year under the terms of the grant may be excluded for that year. However, no item of gross investment income (defined under Section 509(a)(2) Organizations, later) may be excluded under this rule.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200178
Characteristics of an unusual grant.(p36)
A grant or contribution will be considered an unusual grant if the previous three factors apply and if it has all of the following characteristics. If these factors and characteristics apply, then even without the benefit of an advance ruling, grantors or contributors have assurance that they will not be considered responsible for substantial and material changes in the organization's sources of support.
  1. The grant or contribution is not made by a person (or related person) who created the organization or was a substantial contributor to the organization before the grant or contribution.
  2. The grant or contribution is not made by a person (or related person) who is in a position of authority, such as a foundation manager, or who otherwise has the ability to exercise control over the organization. Similarly, the grant or contribution is not made by a person (or related person) who, because of the grant or contribution, obtains a position of authority or the ability to otherwise exercise control over the organization.
  3. The grant or contribution is in the form of cash, readily marketable securities, or assets that directly further the organization's exempt purposes, such as a gift of a painting to a museum.
  4. The donee organization has received a final ruling or determination letter classifying it as a publicly supported organization and the organization is actively engaged in a program of activities in furtherance of its exempt purpose.
  5. No material restrictions or conditions have been imposed by the grantor or contributor upon the organization in connection with the grant or contribution.
  6. If the grant or contribution is intended for operating expenses, rather than capital items, the terms and amount of the grant or contribution are expressly limited to 1 year's operating expenses.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200179
Ruling request.(p36)
Before any grant or contribution is made, a potential grantee organization can request a ruling as to whether the grant or contribution may be excluded as an unusual grant. This request can be filed by the grantee organization with the Manager, EO Determinations, for its area. The organization must submit all information necessary to make a determination, including information relating to the factors and characteristics listed in the preceding paragraphs. If a favorable ruling is issued, the ruling can be relied upon by the grantor or contributor of the particular contribution in question. The issuance of the ruling will be at the sole discretion of the IRS. The potential grantee organization should follow the procedures set out in Revenue Procedure 2011-4, Section 7 in general (or any later update) to request a ruling.
Grants and contributions that fail to qualify for exclusion will affect the way the support tests are applied. See Additional requirements (the five public support factors), earlier.
If a ruling is requested, in addition to the characteristics listed earlier under Characteristics of an unusual grant, the following factors may be considered by the IRS in determining if the grant or contribution is an unusual grant.
  1. Whether the contribution was a bequest or a transfer while living. A bequest will be given more favorable consideration than a transfer while living.
  2. Whether, before the receipt of the contribution, the organization has carried on an active program of public solicitation and exempt activities and has been able to attract a significant amount of public support.
  3. Whether, before the year of contribution, the organization met the one-third support test without benefit of any exclusions of unusual grants.
  4. Whether the organization may reasonably be expected to attract a significant amount of public support after the contribution. Continued reliance on unusual grants to fund an organization's current operating expenses (as opposed to providing new endowment funds) may be evidence that the organization cannot reasonably be expected to attract future support from the general public.
  5. Whether the organization has a representative governing body.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200186

Comprehensive Examples(p36)

rule
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200187

Example 1.(p36)

M is recognized as an organization described in section 501(c)(3). For the years 2009 through 2013 (the applicable period for the tax year 2013 under Regulations section 1.170A-9(f)(3)), M received support (as defined in paragraphs Regulations section 1.170A-9(f)(6) through (8)) of $600,000 from the following sources:
Investment Income $300,000
City Y (a governmental unit described in section 170(c)(1))
40,000
United Way (an organization described in section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi))
40,000
Contributions 220,000
Total support$600,000
  
For tax year 2013, M's public support is computed as follows:
One-third of total support$200,000
Support from a governmental unit described in section 170(c)(1)$40,000
Indirect contributions from the general public (United Way)40,000
Contributions by various donors (no one having made contributions that total more than $12,000—2% of total support)50,000
Six contributions (each in excess of $12,000—2% of total support) 6 × $12,00072,000
 $202,000
  
M's support from governmental units and from direct and indirect contributions from the general public for the 2013 tax year normally exceeds one-third of M's total support ($202,000/$600,000 = 33.67 percent) for the applicable period (2009 through 2013). M meets the one-third support test for 2013 and is therefore publicly supported for the tax years 2013 and 2014.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200190

Example 2.(p36)

N is recognized as an organization described in section 501(c)(3). It was created to maintain public gardens containing botanical specimens and displaying statuary and other art objects. The facilities, works of art, and a large endowment were all contributed by a single contributor. The members of the governing body of the organization are unrelated to its creator. The gardens are open to the public without charge and attract many visitors each year. For the current tax year and the 4 tax years preceding the current tax year, 95% of the organization's total support was received from investment income from its original endowment. N also maintains a membership society that is supported by members of the general public who wish to contribute to the upkeep of the gardens by paying a small annual membership fee. Over the 5-year period in question, these fees from the general public constituted the remaining 5% of the organization's total support. Under these circumstances, N does not meet the one-third support test for its current tax year. Furthermore, since only 5% was received from the general public, N does not satisfy the 10 percent support limitation under Regulations section 1.170A-9(f)(3)(i), and therefore does not qualify as publicly supported under the facts and circumstances test. Because N has failed to satisfy the 10 percent support limitation, none of the other requirements or factors in Regulations section 1.170A-9(f)(3)(iii)(A) through (E) can be considered in determining whether N qualifies as a publicly supported organization. For its current tax year, N is not an organization described in section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi).
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200191

Example 3.(p36)

O, an art museum, is recognized as an organization described in section 501(c)(3). In 1930, O was founded in S City by members of a single family to collect, preserve, interpret, and display to the public important works of art. O is governed by a Board of Trustees that originally consisted almost entirely of members of the founding family. However, since 1945, members of the founding family or persons standing in relationship to the members of that family described in section 4946(a)(1)(C) through (G) have annually constituted less than one-fifth of the Board of Trustees. The remaining board members are citizens of S City from a variety of professions and occupations who represent the interests and views of the people of S City in the activities carried on by the organization rather than the personal or private interests of the founding family. O solicits contributions from the general public, and for the current tax year and each of the 4 tax years immediately preceding the current tax year, O has received total contributions (in small sums of less than $100, none of which exceeds 2 percent of O's total support for such period) in excess of $10,000. These contributions from the general public represent 25 percent of the organization's total support for that 5-year period. For the same period, investment income from several large endowment funds has constituted 75 percent of O's total support. O expends substantially all of its annual income for its exempt purposes and thus depends on the funds it annually solicits from the public as well as its investment income in order to carry out its activities on a normal and continuing basis and to acquire new works of art. O has, for the entire period of its existence, been open to the public and more than 300,000 people (from S City and elsewhere) have visited the museum in the current tax year and the 4 years immediately preceding the current tax year.
Under these circumstances, O does not meet the one-third support test for its current year because it has received only 25 percent of its total support for the applicable 5-year period from the general public. However, under the facts set forth, O has met the 10 percent support limitation under Regulations section 1.170A-9(f)(3)(i), as well as the requirements of Regulations section 1.170A-9(f)(3)(ii). Under all of the facts set forth, O is considered as meeting the requirements of the facts and circumstances test on the basis of satisfying Regulations section 1.170A-9(f)(3)(iii)(A) through (D). O is therefore publicly supported for its current tax year and the immediately succeeding tax year.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200192

Example 4.(p37)

In 1960, the P Philharmonic Orchestra was organized in T City by a local music society and a local women's club to present to the public a wide variety of musical programs intended to foster music appreciation in the community. P is recognized as an organization described in section 501(c)(3). The orchestra is composed of professional musicians who are paid by the association. Twelve performances, open to the public, are scheduled each year. A small admission charge is made for each of these performances. In addition, several performances are staged annually without charge.
During the current tax year and the 4 tax years immediately preceding the current tax year, P received separate contributions of $200,000 each from A and B (not members of a single family) and support of $120,000 from the T Community Chest, a public federated fundraising organization operating in T City. P depends on these funds to carry out its activities and will continue to depend on contributions of this type to be made in the future. P has also begun a fundraising campaign in an attempt to expand its activities for the coming years.
P is governed by a Board of Directors composed of five individuals. A faculty member of a local college, the president of a local music society, the head of a local banking institution, a prominent doctor, and a member of the governing body of the local Chamber of Commerce currently serve on the Board and represent the interests and views of the community in the activities carried on by P.
For P's current tax year, its sources of support are computed on the basis of the current tax year and the 4 immediately preceding tax years, as follows.
Contributions$520,000
Receipts from performances100,000
 $620,000
Less: 
Receipts from performances (excluded, see Support)100,000
Total support$520,000
T Community Chest (indirect support from the general public)$120,000
Two contributions (each over $10,400—2% of total support) 2 × $10,40020,800
Total support from general public$140,800
  
P's support from the general public, directly and indirectly, does not meet the one-third support test ($140,800/$520,000 = 27% of total support). However, because P receives 27 percent of its total support from the general public, it meets the 10 percent support limitation under Regulations section 1.170A-9(f)(3)(i). P also meets the requirements of Regulations section 1.170A-9(f)(3)(ii). As a result of satisfying these requirements and factors, P is considered to meet the facts and circumstances test and therefore qualifies as a publicly supported organization for its current tax year and the immediately succeeding tax year.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200194

Example 5.(p37)

Q is recognized as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) and it is a philanthropic organization. Q was founded in 1965 by C for the purpose of making annual contributions to worthy charities. C created Q as a charitable trust by transferring $500,000 worth of appreciated securities to Q.
Under the trust agreement, C and two other family members are the sole trustees of Q and are vested with the right to appoint successor trustees. In each of the current tax year and the 4 tax years immediately preceding the current tax year, Q received $12,000 in investment income from its original endowment. Each year Q solicits funds by operating a charity ball at C's residence. Guests are invited and asked to make contributions of $100 per couple. During the 5-year period involved, $15,000 was received from the proceeds of these events. C and his family have also made contributions to Q of $25,000 over the 5-year period at issue. Q makes disbursements each year of substantially all of its net income to the public charities chosen by the trustees.
Q's sources of support for the current tax year and the 4 tax years immediately preceding the current tax year are as follows:
Investment income$60,000
Contributions$40,000
Total support$100,000
Contributions from the general public$15,000
One contribution (over $2,000—2% of total support) 1 × $2,0002,000
Total support from general public$17,000
Q's support from the general public does not meet the one-third support test ($17,000/$100,000 = 17% of total support). Even though it does meet the ten-percent-of-support requirement, its method of solicitation makes it questionable whether Q satisfies Regulations section 1.170A-9(f)(3)(ii). Because of its method of operating, Q also has a greater burden of establishing its publicly supported nature. Based on these facts and on Q's failure to receive favorable consideration under the remaining factors of Regulations section 1.170A-9(f)(3)(iii), Q does not satisfy the facts and circumstances test and therefore does not qualify as a publicly supported organization.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200196

Community Trusts(p37)

rule
Community trusts are often established to attract large contributions of a capital or endowment nature for the benefit of a particular community or area. Often these contributions come initially from a small number of donors. While the community trust generally has a governing body composed of representatives of the particular community or area, its contributions are often received and maintained in the form of separate trusts or funds that are subject to varying degrees of control by the governing body.
To qualify as a publicly supported organization, a community trust must meet the one-third support test, explained earlier under Qualifying as Publicly Supported. If it cannot meet that test, it must be organized and operated so as to attract new and additional public or governmental support on a continuous basis sufficient to meet the facts and circumstances test, also explained earlier. Community trusts are generally able to satisfy the attraction of public support requirement (as contained in the facts and circumstances test) if they seek gifts and bequests from a wide range of potential donors in the community or area served, through banks or trust companies, through attorneys or other professional persons, or in other appropriate ways that call attention to the community trust as a potential recipient of gifts and bequests made for the benefit of the community or area served. A community trust, however, does not have to engage in periodic, community-wide, fundraising campaigns directed toward attracting a large number of small contributions in a manner similar to campaigns conducted by a community chest or a united fund.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200197

Separate trusts or funds.(p37)

rule
Any community trust may be treated as a single entity for public support purposes, rather than as an aggregation of separate funds, in which case all qualifying funds associated with that organization (whether a trust, not-for-profit corporation, unincorporated association, or a combination thereof) will be treated as component parts of the organization for public support purposes.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200198
Single entity.(p37)
To be treated as a single entity for public support purposes, a community trust must meet all of the following requirements.
  1. The organization must be commonly known as a community trust, fund, foundation, or other similar name conveying the concept of a capital or endowment fund to support charitable activities in the community or area it serves.
  2. All funds of the organization must be subject to a common governing instrument (or a master trust or agency agreement) that may be embodied in a single (or several) document(s) containing common language.
  3. The organization must have a common governing body (or distribution committee) that either directs or, in the case of a fund designated for specified beneficiaries, monitors the distribution of all funds exclusively for charitable purposes. The governing body must have the power in the governing instrument, the instrument of transfer, the resolutions or bylaws of the governing body, a written agreement, or otherwise—
    1. To modify any restriction or condition on the distribution of funds for any specified charitable purposes or to specified organizations if in the sole judgment of the governing body (without the necessity of the approval of any participating trustee, custodian, or agent), the restriction or condition becomes, in effect, unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment, or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the community or area served,
    2. To replace any participating trustee, custodian, or agent for breach of fiduciary duty under state law, and
    3. To replace any participating trustee, etc., for failure to produce a reasonable return of net income over a reasonable period of time. (The governing body will determine what is reasonable.)
  4. The organization must prepare periodic financial reports treating all of the funds that are held by the community trust, either directly or in component parts, as funds of the organization.
A community trust can meet the requirement in (3) above even if its exercise of the powers in (3)(a), (b), or (c) is reviewable by an appropriate state authority.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200199
Component part.(p38)
To be treated as a component part of a community trust (rather than as a separate trust or a not-for-profit corporation for public support purposes), a trust or fund:
  1. Must be created by gift, bequest, legacy, devise, or other transfer to a community trust that is treated as a single entity (described above), and
  2. May not be directly or indirectly subjected by the transferor to any material restriction or condition with respect to the transferred assets.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200200

Grantors and contributors.(p38)

rule
Grantors, contributors, or distributors to a community trust may rely on the public charity status, which the organization has claimed in a timely filed notice, on or before the date the IRS informs the public (through such means as publication in the Internal Revenue Bulletin) that such reliance has expired. However, if the grantor, contributor, or distributor acquires knowledge that the IRS has notified the community trust that it has failed to establish that it is a public charity, then reliance on the claimed status expires at the time such knowledge is acquired.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200201

Section 509(a)(2) Organizations(p38)

rule
Section 509(a)(2) excludes certain types of broadly based, publicly supported organizations from private foundation status. Generally, an organization described in section 509(a)(2) may also fit the description of a publicly supported organization under section 509(a)(1). There are, however, two basic differences.
  1. For section 509(a)(2) organizations, the term support includes items of support discussed earlier (under Support., in the discussion of Section 509(a)(1) Organizations) and income from activities directly related to their exempt function. This income is not included in meeting the support test for a publicly supported organization under section 509(a)(1).
  2. Section 509(a)(2) places a limit on the total gross investment income and unrelated business taxable income (in excess of the unrelated business tax) an organization may have, while section 509(a)(1) does not.
To be excluded from private foundation treatment under section 509(a)(2), an organization must meet two support tests.
  1. The one-third support test.
  2. The not-more-than-one-third support test.
Both these tests are designed to ensure that an organization excluded from private foundation treatment is responsive to the general public, rather than to the private interests of a limited number of donors or other persons.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200202

One-third support test.(p38)

rule
The one-third support test will be met if an organization normally receives more than one-third of its support in each tax year from any combination of:
  1. Gifts, grants, contributions, or membership fees, and
  2. Gross receipts from admissions, sales of merchandise, performance of services, or furnishing facilities in an activity that is not an unrelated trade or business, subject to certain limits, discussed below under Limit on gross receipts, later.
For this purpose, the support must be from permitted sources, which include:
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Limit on gross receipts.(p38)
In computing the amount of support received from gross receipts under (2) above, gross receipts from related activities received from any person or from any bureau or similar agency of a governmental unit are includible in any tax year only to the extent the gross receipts are not more than the greater of $5,000 or 1% of the organization's total support in that year.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200204

Not-more-than-one-third support test.(p38)

rule
This test will be met if an organization normally receives no more than one-third of its support in each tax year from the total of:
  1. Gross investment income, and
  2. The excess (if any) of unrelated business taxable income from unrelated trades or businesses acquired after June 30, 1975, over the tax imposed on that income.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200205
Gross investment income.(p38)
Gross investment income means the gross amount of income from interest, dividends, payments with respect to securities loans, rents, and royalties, but it does not include any income that would be included in computing tax on unrelated business income from trades or businesses.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200206
Definition of normally.(p38)
Both support tests are computed on the basis of the nature of the organization's normal sources of support. An organization will be considered to have normally met both tests for its current tax year and the tax year immediately following, if it meets those tests on the basis of the total support received for the current tax year and the 4 tax years immediately before the current tax year.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000246842

Computation period for public support.(p38)

rule
If at the time of applying for tax-exempt status, an organization can reasonably be expected to meet the one-third support test and the not-more-than-one-third support test during its first 5 tax years, the organization will qualify for classification as a public charity under section 509(a)(2) for its first 5 years. Beginning with the organization's sixth tax year, the organization will be described in section 509(a)(2) if it meets the one-third support test and not-more-than-one-third support test for its sixth year (based on support received in its second through sixth tax years) or as a carryover for its fifth tax year (based on support received in its first through fifth tax years). If the organization is required to file Form 990 or 990-EZ, it must establish that it meets the one-third support test and not-more-than-one-third support test each year on Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ).
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000246843
Reasonable expectation of public support.(p38)
An organization that can reasonably be expected to meet the one-third support test and not-more-than-one-third support test under section 509(a)(2) during its first 5 years is one that can show that its organizational structure, current or proposed programs and activities, and actual or intended method of operation can reasonably be expected to attract the type of broadly based support from the general public, public charities, and governmental units that is necessary to meet these tests. The facts that are relevant to this determination and the weight accorded each fact may differ from case to case. An organization cannot reasonably be expected to meet the one-third support test and the not-more-than-one-third support test when the facts indicate that an organization is likely during its first 5 tax years to receive less than one-third of its support from permitted sources or to receive more than one-third of its support from gross investment income and unrelated business taxable income.
All pertinent facts and circumstances are taken into account in determining whether the organizational structure, programs, or activities, and method of operation of an organization will give that organization a reasonable expectation that it will meet the support tests. Some pertinent factors considered are:
  1. Whether the organization has or will have a governing body that is composed of persons having special knowledge in the particular field in which the organization is operating or of community leaders, such as elected officials, members of the clergy, and educators, or, in the case of a membership organization, of individuals elected under the organization’s governing instrument or bylaws by a broadly based membership,
  2. Whether a substantial part of the organization’s initial funding is to be provided by the general public, by public charities, or by government grants rather than by a limited number of grantors or contributors who are disqualified persons with respect to the organization,
  3. Whether a substantial proportion of the organization’s initial funds are placed, or will remain, in an endowment and whether the investment of those funds is unlikely to result in more than one-third of its total support being received from gross investment income and from unrelated business taxable income in excess of the tax imposed on that income,
  4. Whether an organization that carries on fundraising activities has developed a concrete plan for solicitation of funds on a community or area-wide basis,
  5. Whether an organization that carries on community service activities has a concrete program to carry out its work in the community,
  6. Whether membership dues for individual (rather than institutional) members of an organization that carries on education or other exempt activities for or on behalf of members have been fixed at rates designed to make membership available to a broad cross section of the public rather than to restrict membership to a limited number of persons, and
  7. Whether an organization that provides goods, services, or facilities is or will be required to make its services, facilities, performances, or products available (regardless of whether a fee is charged) to the general public, public charities, or governmental units rather than to a limited number of persons or organizations.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200210

Unusual grants.(p39)

rule
An unusual grant can be excluded from the support test computation if it:
  1. Was attracted by the publicly supported nature of the organization,
  2. Was unusual or unexpected in amount, and
  3. Would, because of its size, adversely affect the status of the organization as normally meeting the one-third support test. (The organization must otherwise meet the test in that year without benefit of the grant or contribution.)
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200211
Characteristics of an unusual grant.(p39)
A grant or contribution will be considered an unusual grant if the above three factors apply and it has all of the following characteristics. If these factors and characteristics apply, then even without the benefit of an advance ruling, grantors or contributors have assurance that they will not be considered responsible for an act that results in an organization's change of support status.
  1. The grant or contribution is not made by a person (or related person) who created the organization or was a substantial contributor to the organization before the grant or contribution.
  2. The grant or contribution is not made by a person (or related person) who is in a position of authority, such as a foundation manager, or who otherwise has the ability to exercise control over the organization. Similarly, the grant or contribution is not made by a person (or related person) who, because of the grant or contribution, obtains a position of authority or the ability to otherwise exercise control over the organization.
  3. The grant or contribution is in the form of cash, readily marketable securities, or assets that directly further the organization's exempt purposes, such as a gift of a painting to a museum.
  4. The donee organization has received either an advance or final ruling or determination letter classifying it as a publicly supported organization and, except for an organization operating under an advance ruling or determination letter, the organization is actively engaged in a program of activities in furtherance of its exempt purpose.
  5. No material restrictions or conditions have been imposed by the grantor or contributor upon the organization in connection with the grant or contribution.
  6. If the grant or contribution is intended for operating expenses, rather than capital items, the terms and amount of the grant or contribution are expressly limited to one year's operating expenses.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200212
Ruling request.(p39)
If there is any doubt that a grant or contribution can be excluded as an unusual grant, the grantee organization can request a ruling, submitting all of the necessary information for making a determination to the Manager, EO Determinations. The IRS has the sole discretion of issuing a ruling, but if a favorable ruling is issued, it can be relied on by the grantor or contributor for purposes of a charitable contributions deduction and by the organization for purposes of the exclusion for unusual grants. The organization should follow the procedures set out in Revenue Procedure 2013-4, 2013-1 I.R.B. 126, (or later update) to request a ruling on an unusual grant.
In addition to the characteristics listed above, the following factors may be considered by the IRS in determining if the grant or contribution is an unusual grant.
  1. Whether the contribution was a bequest or a transfer while living. A bequest will ordinarily be given more favorable consideration than a transfer while living.
  2. Whether, before the contribution, the organization carried on an actual program of public solicitation and exempt activities and was able to attract a significant amount of public support.
  3. Whether the organization may reasonably be expected to attract a significant amount of public support after the contribution. Continued reliance on unusual grants to fund an organization's current operating expenses can be evidence that the organization cannot attract future support from the general public.
  4. Whether the organization met the one-third support test in the past without the benefit of any exclusions of unusual grants.
  5. Whether the organization has a representative governing body.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200213

Example 1.(p39)

Y, an organization described in section 501(c)(3), was created by Marshall Pine, the holder of all the common stock in M corporation, Lisa, Marshall's wife, and Edward Forest, Marshall's business associate. The purpose of Y was to sponsor and equip athletic teams composed of underprivileged children in the community. Each of the three creators makes small cash contributions to Y. Marshall, Lisa, and Edward have been active participants in the affairs of Y since its creation. Y regularly raises small amounts of contributions through fundraising drives and selling admission to some of the sponsored sporting events. The operations of Y are carried out on a small scale, usually being restricted to the sponsorship of two to four baseball teams of underprivileged children.
In 2011, M Corporation recapitalizes and creates a first and second class of 6 percent nonvoting preferred stock, most of which is held by Marshall and Lisa. In 2012, Marshall contributes 49 percent of his common stock in M to Y. Marshall's contribution of M's common stock was substantial and constitutes 90 percent of Y's total support for 2012. A combination of the facts and circumstances of the determining factors preclude Marshall's contribution of M's common stock in 2012 from being excluded as an unusual grant under Temporary Regulations section 1.509(a)-3T(c)(3) for purposes of determining whether Y meets the one-third support test under section 509(a)(2).
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200214

Example 2.(p39)

M was organized in 2011 to promote the appreciation of ballet in a particular region of the United States. Its principal activities consist of erecting a theater for the performance of ballet and the organization and operation of a ballet company. M receives a determination letter that it is an organization described in section 501(c)(3) and that it is a public charity described in section 509(a)(2). The governing body of M consists of nine prominent unrelated citizens residing in the region who have either an expertise in ballet or a strong interest in encouraging appreciation of the art form.
In 2012, Z, a private foundation, proposes to make a grant of $500,000 in cash to M to provide sufficient capital for M to commence its activities. Although Albert Cedar, the creator of Z, is one of the nine members of M's governing body, was one of M's original founders, and continues to lend his prestige to M's activities and fundraising efforts, Albert does not, directly or indirectly, exercise any control over M. By the close of its first tax year, M also has received a significant amount of support from a number of smaller contributions and pledges from members of the general public. M charges admission to the ballet performances to the general public.
Although the support received in 2012 will not impact M's status as a public charity for its first 5 tax years, it will be relevant to the determination of whether M meets the one-third support test under section 509(a)(2) for the 2016 tax year, using the computation period 2012 through 2016. Within the appropriate timeframe, M may submit a request for a private letter ruling that the $500,000 contribution from Z qualifies as an unusual grant.
Under the above circumstances, even though Albert was a founder and member of the governing body of M, M may exclude Z's contribution of $500,000 in 2012 as an unusual grant under Reg. section 1.509(a)-3T(c)(3) for purposes of determining whether M meets the one-third support test under section 509(a)(2) for 2016.
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Gifts, contributions, and grants distinguished from gross receipts.(p40)

rule
In determining whether an organization normally receives more than one-third of its support from permitted sources, include all gifts, contributions, and grants received from permitted sources in the numerator of the support fraction in each tax year. However, gross receipts from admissions, sales of merchandise, performance of services, or furnishing facilities, in an activity that is not an unrelated trade or business, are includible in the numerator of the support fraction in any tax year only to the extent that the amounts received from any person or from any bureau or similar agency of a governmental unit are not more than the greater of $5,000 or 1% of support.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000248246
Rulings or determinations of public support status.(p40)
An organization may request a ruling or determination letter that it is described in section 509(a)(2). This request is made on Form 1023, or at such other time as the organization believes it is described in section 509(a)(2). The IRS may revoke the section 509(a)(2) ruling or determination letter if, upon examination, the organization has not met the requirements. The IRS may also revoke the section 509(a)(2) ruling or determination letter if the organization’s application for a ruling or determination contained a material misstatement of fact.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000248247
Reliance by grantors or contributors.(p40)
Grantors or contributors may rely on a determination or ruling letter that an organization is described in section 509(a)(2) until notice of change of status of the organization is made to the public (such as by publication in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, or Exempt Organizations Select Check, either of which can be searched at IRS.gov.). See Revenue Procedure 2011-33.. Exempt Organizations Select Check is only available online. However, this will not apply if the grantor or contributor was responsible for, or aware of, the act or failure to act that resulted in the organization's loss of classification as a publicly supported organization.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200220
Gifts and contributions.(p40)
Any payment of money or transfer of property without adequate consideration is considered a gift or contribution. When payment is made or property is transferred as consideration for admissions, sales of merchandise, performance of services, or furnishing facilities to the donor, the status of the payment or transfer under section 170(c) determines whether and to what extent the payment or transfer is a gift or contribution as distinguished from gross receipts from related activities.
The amount includible in computing support from gifts, grants, or contributions of property or use of property is the fair market or rental value of the property at the date of the gift or contribution.
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Example.(p40)

P is a local agricultural club and is an organization described in section 501(c)(3). It makes awards at its annual fair for outstanding specimens of produce and livestock to encourage interest and proficiency by young people in farming and raising livestock. Most of these awards are cash or other property donated by local businessmen. When the awards are made, the donors are given recognition for their donations by being identified as the donor of the award. The recognition given to donors is merely incidental to the making of the award to worthy youngsters. For these reasons, the donations are contributions. The amount includible in computing support is equal to the cash contributed or the fair market value of other property on the dates contributed.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200222
Grants.(p40)
Grants often contain certain terms and conditions imposed by the grantor. Because of the imposition of terms and conditions, the frequent similarity of public purposes of grantor and grantee, and the possibility of benefit to the grantor, amounts received as grants for carrying on exempt activities are sometimes difficult to distinguish from amounts received as gross receipts from carrying on exempt activities.
In distinguishing the term gross receipts from the term grants, the term gross receipts means amounts received from an activity that is not an unrelated trade or business, if a specific service, facility, or product is provided to serve the direct and immediate needs of the payor rather than primarily to confer a direct benefit on the general public. In general, payments made primarily to enable the payor to realize or receive some economic or physical benefit as a result of the service, facility, or product obtained will be treated as gross receipts by the payee.
For example, a profit-making organization, primarily for its own betterment, contracts with a nonprofit organization for a service from that organization. Any payments received by the nonprofit organization (whether from the profit-making organization or from another nonprofit) for similar services are primarily for the benefit of the payor and are therefore gross receipts, rather than grants.
Research leading to the development of tangible products for the use or benefit of a payor generally will be treated as a service provided to serve the direct and immediate needs of the payor, while basic research or studies carried on in the physical or social sciences generally will be treated as primarily to confer a direct benefit upon the general public.
Medicare and Medicaid payments are gross receipts from the exercise or performance of an exempt function. The individual patient, not a governmental unit, actually controls the ultimate recipient of these payments. Therefore, Medicare and Medicaid receipts for services provided to each patient are included as gross receipts to the extent they are not more than the greater of $5,000 or 1% of the organization's total support for the tax year.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200223

Membership fees distinguished from gross receipts.(p40)

rule
The fact that a membership organization provides services, admissions, facilities, or merchandise to its members as part of its overall activities will not, in itself, result in the classification of fees received from members as gross receipts subject to the $5,000 or 1% limit rather than membership fees. However, if an organization uses membership fees as a means of selling admissions, merchandise, services, or the use of facilities to members of the general public who have no common goal or interest (other than the desire to buy the admissions, merchandise, services, or use of facilities), the fees are not membership fees but are gross receipts.
On the other hand, to the extent the basic purpose of the payment is to provide support for the organization rather than to buy admissions, merchandise, services, or the use of facilities, the payment is a membership fee.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200224

Bureau defined.(p40)

rule
The term bureau or similar agency of a governmental unit for determining amounts subject to the $5,000 or 1% limit means a specialized operating unit of the executive, judicial, or legislative branch of government in which business is conducted under certain rules and regulations. Since the term bureau refers to a unit functioning at the operating, as distinct from the policy-making, level of government, it normally means a subdivision of a department of government. The term would not usually include those levels of government that are basically policy-making or administrative, such as the office of the Secretary or Assistant Secretary of a department, but would consist of the highest operational level under the policy-making or administrative levels.
Amounts received from a unit functioning at the policy-making or administrative level of government are treated as received from one bureau or similar agency of the unit. Units of a governmental agency above the operating level are combined and considered a separate bureau for this purpose. Thus, an organization that has gross receipts from both a policy-making or administrative unit and an operational unit of a department will be treated as having gross receipts from two bureaus. For this purpose, the Departments of Air Force, Army, and Navy are separate departments and each has its own policy-making, administrative, and operating units.
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Example 1.(p41)

The Bureau for Africa and the Bureau for Latin America are considered separate bureaus. Each is an operating unit under the Administrator of the Agency for International Development, a policy-making official. If an organization had gross receipts from both of these bureaus, the amount of gross receipts from each would be subject to the greater of $5,000 or the 1% limit.
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Example 2.(p41)

A bureau is an operating unit under the administrative office of the Executive Director. The subdivisions of the bureau are Geographic Areas and Project Development Staff. If an organization had gross receipts from these subdivisions, the total gross receipts from these subdivisions would be considered gross receipts from the same bureau and would be subject to the greater of $5,000 or the 1% limit.
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Grants from public charities.(p41)

rule
For purposes of the one-third support test, grants received from a section 509(a)(1) organization (public charity) are generally includible in full in computing the numerator of the support fraction for that tax year.
However, if the amount received is considered an indirect contribution from one of the public charity's donors, it will retain its character as a contribution from the donor, and if, for example, the donor is a substantial contributor to the ultimate recipient, the amount is excluded from the numerator of the support fraction. If a public charity makes both an indirect contribution from its donor and an additional grant to the ultimate recipient, the indirect contribution is treated as made first.
An indirect contribution is one that is expressly or impliedly earmarked by the donor as being for, or for the benefit of, a particular recipient rather than for a particular purpose.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200228

Method of accounting.(p41)

rule
An organization's support is determined under the same accounting method that it uses in keeping its books and that it otherwise uses to report on its Form 990 or 990-EZ, if it is required to file Form 990 or 990-EZ. For example, if a grantor makes a grant to an organization payable over a term of years, the grant will be includible in the support fraction of the grantee organization under the accounting method it regularly uses in keeping its books.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200229

Gross receipts from a related activity.(p41)

rule
When the charitable purpose of an organization described in section 501(c)(3) is accomplished through furnishing facilities for a rental fee or loans to a particular class of persons, such as aged, sick, or needy persons, the support received from those persons will be considered gross receipts from a related exempt activity rather than gross investment income or unrelated business taxable income.
However, if the organization also furnishes facilities or loans to persons who are not members of a particular class and furnishing the facilities or funds does not contribute importantly to accomplishing the organization's exempt purposes, the support received from furnishing the facilities or funds will be considered rents or interest and will be treated as gross investment income or unrelated business taxable income.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200230

Example.(p41)

X, an organization described in section 501(c)(3), is organized and operated to provide living facilities for needy widows of deceased servicemen. X charges the widows a small rental fee for the use of the facilities. Since X is accomplishing its exempt purpose through the rental of the facilities, the support received from the widows is considered gross receipts from a related exempt activity. However, if X rents part of its facilities to persons having no relationship to X's exempt purpose, the support received from these rentals will be considered gross investment income or unrelated business taxable income.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200231

Section 509(a)(3) Organizations(p41)

rule
Section 509(a)(3) excludes from the definition of private foundation those organizations that meet all of the three following requirements.
  1. The organization must be organized and operated exclusively for the benefit of, to perform the functions of, or to carry out the purposes of one or more specified organizations as described in sections 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2). These section 509(a)(1) and 509(a)(2) organizations are commonly called publicly supported organizations.
  2. The organization has one of three types of relationships with one or more organizations described in sections 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2). It must be:
    1. Operated, supervised, or controlled by one or more section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) organizations (Type I supporting organization),
    2. Supervised or controlled in connection with one or more section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) organizations (Type II supporting organization), or
    3. Operated in connection with one or more section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) organizations (Type III supporting organization).
  3. The organization must not be controlled directly or indirectly by disqualified persons (defined later) other than foundation managers and other than one or more organizations described in section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2).
Section 509(a)(3) differs from the other provisions of section 509 that describe a publicly supported organization. Instead of describing an organization that conducts a particular kind of activity or that receives financial support from the general public, section 509(a)(3) describes organizations that have established certain relationships in support of section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) organizations. Thus, an organization can qualify as other than a private foundation even though it may be funded by a single donor, family, or corporation (with certain exceptions described in Organizations controlled by donors, later). This kind of funding ordinarily would indicate private foundation status, but a section 509(a)(3) organization has limited purposes and activities and gives up a significant degree of independence.
More than one type of relationship may exist between a supporting organization and a publicly supported organization. Any relationship, however, must ensure that the supporting organization will be responsive to the needs or demands of, and will be an integral part of or maintain a significant involvement in, the operations of one or more publicly supported organizations.
The Type I and Type II relationships rely on majority control of the governing body of the supporting organization by the publicly supported organization. They have the same rules for meeting the tests under requirement (1) and are discussed in Category one, below. The operated in connection with relationship requires that the supporting organization be responsive to and have operational relationships with publicly supported organizations. This third relationship has different rules for meeting the requirement (1) tests and is discussed separately in Category two, later.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200232

Supported organizations.(p41)

rule
Supported organizations are organizations described in section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) for whose benefit the supporting organization is organized and operated. A section 501(c)(4), (c)(5), or (c)(6) organization that would be described in section 509(a)(2) if it were a 501(c)(3) organization may be treated as a 509(a)(2) organization for purposes of these rules, and therefore may be a supported organization as well, subject to certain restrictions. See Supporting other than section 501(c)(3) organizations, later.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200233

Organizations controlled by donors.(p41)

rule
Generally, if a Type I or Type III supporting organization supports an organization that is controlled by a donor, the supporting organization is treated as a private foundation (rather than as a public charity). Type I and Type III organizations may not accept any gifts or contributions from:
  1. Any person (other than an organization described in section 509(a)(1), (2), or (4)) who controls, directly or indirectly, either alone or together with persons listed in (2) or (3) below, the governing body of a supported organization;
  2. A family member of a person described in (1), above; or
  3. A 35-percent controlled entity.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200234

Category one- Type I and Type II supporting organizations.(p41)

rule
This category includes organizations either operated, supervised, or controlled by (Type I) or supervised or controlled in connection with (Type II) organizations described in section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) (which can be either domestic or foreign).
These kinds of organizations have a governing body that either includes a majority of members elected or appointed by one or more publicly supported organizations (Type I) or that consists of the same persons that control or manage the publicly supported organizations (Type II). If an organization is to qualify under this category, it also must meet an organizational test and an operational test, and must not be controlled by disqualified persons. These requirements are covered later in this discussion.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200235
Type I - Operated, supervised, or controlled by.(p42)
The Type I relationship presupposes a substantial degree of direction over the policies, programs, and activities of a supporting organization by its supported organizations. The relationship required is comparable to that of a parent and subsidiary, in which the subsidiary is under the direction of, and is accountable or responsible to, the parent organization. This relationship is typically established when the supported organization(s) may regularly appoint or elect a majority of the directors or trustees of the supporting organization.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200236
Type II - Supervised or controlled in connection with.(p42)
An organization that is supervised or controlled in connection with one or more section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) organizations is a Type II supporting organization. The control or management of the supporting organization must be vested in the same persons that control or manage the publicly supported organization. In order for an organization to be supervised or controlled in connection with a supported organization, common supervision or control by the persons supervising or controlling both organizations must exist to ensure that the supporting organization will be responsive to the needs and requirements of the supported organization. This relationship is typically established when a majority of the directors or trustees of the supporting organization also serve as directors or trustees of one or more supported organizations.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200237

Organizational and operational tests.(p42)

rule
Like all supporting organizations, Type I and II supporting organizations must be both organized and operated exclusively for the purposes set out in requirement (1) at the beginning of this section. If an organization fails to meet either the organizational or the operational test, it cannot qualify as a supporting organization.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200238
Organizational test.(p42)
An organization is organized exclusively for one or more of the purposes specified in requirement (1) only if its articles of organization:
  1. Limit the purposes of the organization to one or more of those purposes,
  2. Do not expressly empower the organization to engage in activities that are not in furtherance of those purposes,
  3. Specify (as explained later under Specified organizations) the publicly supported organizations on whose behalf the organization is operated, and
  4. Do not expressly empower the organization to operate to support or benefit any organization other than the ones specified in item (3).
In meeting the organizational test, the organization's purposes as stated in its articles can be as broad as, or more specific than, the purposes set forth in requirement (1) at the beginning of the discussion of Section 509(a)(3) Organizations. Therefore, an organization that by the terms of its articles is formed for the benefit of one or more specified publicly supported organizations will, if it otherwise meets the other requirements, be considered to have met the organizational test.
For example, articles stating that an organization is formed to perform the publishing functions of a specified university are enough to comply with the organizational test. A Type I or Type II supporting organization meets these requirements if the purposes set forth in its articles are similar to but no broader than the purposes set forth in the articles of its controlling organizations. However, a Type I or Type II supporting organization that supports a publicly supported section 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), or 501(c)(6) organization (see Supporting other than section 501(c)(3) organizations, later) meets these requirements if its articles require it to carry on charitable, etc., activities within the meaning of section 170(c)(2).
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200239
Limits.(p42)
An organization is not organized exclusively for the purposes specified in requirement (1) if its articles expressly permit it to operate to support or to benefit any organization other than the specified publicly supported organizations. It will not meet the organizational test even though the actual operations of the organization have been exclusively for the benefit of the specified publicly supported organizations.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200240
Specified organizations.(p42)
All supporting organizations must ensure that their supported organizations are specified in their articles. However, Type I and Type II supporting organizations have greater flexibility regarding how their supported organizations may be "specified".
Type I and Type II supporting organizations may specify their supported organizations:
  1. By name,
  2. By class or purpose designated in a manner sufficient to identify the supported organizations, or
  3. By demonstrating that the supporting organization and its supported organization(s) have a historic and continuing relationship, because of which a substantial identity of interests has developed between or among the organizations.
The articles of a Type I or Type II supporting organization may also:
  1. Permit the substitution of one publicly supported organization within a designated class for another publicly supported organization either in the same or a different class designated in the articles,
  2. Permit the supporting organization to operate for the benefit of new or additional publicly supported organizations of the same or a different class designated in the articles, or
  3. Permit the supporting organization to vary the amount of its support among different publicly supported organizations within the class or classes of organizations designated by the articles.
See also the rules considered under the Organizational test, in the later discussion for organizations in Category two - Type III supporting organizations..
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200241
Operational test — permissible beneficiaries.(p42)
A supporting organization must engage solely in activities that support or benefit its specified supported organizations. These activities may include making payments to or for the use of, or providing services or facilities for, individual members of the charitable class benefited by its supported organization(s).
For example, a supporting organization may make a payment indirectly through another unrelated organization to a member of a charitable class benefited by a specified publicly supported organization, but only if the payment is a grant to an individual rather than a grant to an organization. Similarly, a supporting organization may support or benefit a section 501(c)(3) organization, other than a private foundation, that is operated, supervised, or controlled directly by or in connection with its supported organization(s). However, a supporting organization's activities may not further its purpose other than supporting or benefiting its supported organization(s).
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200242
Operational test — permissible activities.(p42)
A supporting organization may make payments to its supported organization(s) or to permissible beneficiaries, or may carry on independent activities or programs that support or benefit its supported organization(s). All such support, however, must be limited to permissible beneficiaries described earlier. The supporting organization also may engage in fundraising activities, such as solicitations, fundraising dinners, and unrelated trade or business, to raise funds for its supported organization(s) or for the permissible beneficiaries.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200243

Absence of control by disqualified persons.(p42)

rule
The third requirement an organization must meet to qualify as a supporting organization requires that the organization not be controlled directly or indirectly by one or more disqualified persons (other than foundation managers or one or more publicly supported organizations).
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200244
Disqualified persons.(p42)
For the purposes of the rules discussed in this publication, the following persons are considered disqualified persons:
  1. All substantial contributors to the foundation.
  2. All foundation managers of the foundation.
  3. An owner of more than 20% of:
    1. The total combined voting power of a corporation that is (during such ownership) a substantial contributor to the foundation,
    2. The profits interest of a partnership that is (during such ownership) a substantial contributor to the foundation, or
    3. The beneficial interest of a trust or unincorporated enterprise that is (during such ownership) a substantial contributor to the foundation.
  4. A member of the family of any of the individuals just listed.
  5. A corporation of which more than 35% of the total combined voting power is owned by persons just listed.
  6. A partnership of which more than 35% of the profits interest is owned by persons described in (1), (2), (3), or (4).
  7. A trust, or estate, of which more than 35% of the beneficial interest is owned by persons described in (1), (2), (3), or (4).
Remember, however, that foundation managers and publicly supported organizations are not disqualified persons for purposes of this control requirement.
If a person who is a disqualified person with respect to a supporting organization, such as a substantial contributor, is appointed or designated as a foundation manager of the supporting organization by a supported organization to serve as its representative, that person is still a disqualified person.
An organization is considered controlled for this purpose if the disqualified persons, by combining their votes or positions of authority, can require the organization to perform any act that significantly affects its operations or can prevent the organization from performing the act. This includes, but is not limited to, the right of any substantial contributor or spouse to designate annually the recipients from among the supported organizations of the income from his or her contribution. Except as explained under Proof of independent control, next, a supporting organization will be considered to be controlled directly or indirectly by one or more disqualified persons if the voting power of those persons is 50% or more of the total voting power of the organization's governing body, or if one or more of those persons have the right to exercise veto power over the actions of the organization.
Thus, if the governing body of a foundation is composed of five trustees, none of whom has a veto power over the actions of the foundation, and no more than two trustees are at any time disqualified persons, the foundation is not considered controlled directly or indirectly by one or more disqualified persons by reason of this fact alone. However, all pertinent facts and circumstances (including the nature, diversity, and income yield of an organization's holdings, the length of time particular stocks, securities, or other assets are retained, and its manner of exercising its voting rights with respect to stocks in which members of its governing body also have some interest) are considered in determining whether a disqualified person does in fact indirectly control an organization.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200245
Proof of independent control.(p43)
An organization is permitted to establish to the satisfaction of the IRS that disqualified persons do not directly or indirectly control it. For example, in the case of a religious organization operated in connection with a church, the fact that the majority of the organization's governing body is composed of lay persons who are substantial contributors to the organization will not disqualify the organization under section 509(a)(3) if a representative of the church, such as a bishop or other official, has control over the policies and decisions of the organization.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200246

Category two - Type III supporting organizations.(p43)

rule
This category includes organizations operated in connection with one or more organizations described in section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2).
All supporting organizations must be responsive to the needs and demands of, and must constitute an integral part of or maintain significant involvement in, their supported organizations. Type I and Type II supporting organizations are deemed to accomplish these responsiveness and integral part requirements by virtue of the control relationships discussed earlier. However, a Type III supporting organization is not subject to the same level of control by its supported organization(s). Therefore, Type III supporting organizations must pass separate responsiveness and integral part tests, in addition to the organizational and operational tests applicable to all supporting organizations. Type III supporting organizations must not be controlled by disqualified persons (as described earlier), and may not receive contributions from certain controlling donors (see Contributions from controlling donors, later). In addition, a Type III supporting organization may not support any organization not organized in the United States.
Functional Integration. A Type III supporting organization may be "functionally-integrated" or "non-functionally integrated" depending on the manner in which it meets the integral part test (see Integral part test - functionally-integrated, and Integral part test - non-functionally integrated, later). Type III functionally-integrated supporting organizations are subject to fewer restrictions and requirements than Type III non-functionally integrated supporting organizations. In particular, distributions from private foundations to Type III non-functionally integrated supporting organizations are not qualifying distributions for purposes of satisfying a private foundation's required annual distributions under section 4942, and may be taxable expenditures under section 4945.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200248
Organizational test.(p43)
The organizational test for a Type III supporting organization is generally the same as for a Type I or Type II supporting organization (described earlier). However, Type III supporting organizations are more limited regarding how their supported organizations must be "specified" in their articles. A Type III supporting organization's articles must specify its supported organization(s) by name, or the organization must demonstrate that the supporting organization and its supported organization(s) have a historic and continuing relationship, because of which a substantial identity of interests has developed between or among the organizations. "Class or purpose" designations do not satisfy the organizational test for Type III supporting organizations. However, a Type III supporting organization's articles may:
  1. Permit a publicly supported organization that is designated by class or purpose rather than by name to be substituted for the publicly supported organization or organizations designated by name in the articles, but only if the substitution is conditioned upon the occurrence of an event that is beyond the control of the supporting organization, such as loss of exemption, substantial failure or abandonment of operations, or dissolution of the organization or organizations designated in the articles,
  2. Permit the supporting organization to operate for the benefit of an organization that is not a publicly supported organization, but only if the supporting organization is currently operating for the benefit of a publicly supported organization and the possibility of its operating for the benefit of other than a publicly supported organization is remote, or
  3. Permit the supporting organization to vary the amount of its support between different designated organizations, as long as it meets the requirements of the integral-part test (discussed later) with respect to at least one beneficiary organization.
If the remote possibility referred to in (2) comes to pass and the supporting organization thereafter operates for the benefit of an organization that is not a publicly supported organization, it will no longer qualify under section 509(a)(3).


Operational test. The operational rules described earlier for Type I and Type II supporting organizations apply as well to Type III supporting organizations (see Operational test - permissible beneficiaries, and Operational test - permissible activities, earlier). In addition, a Type III supporting organization must operate in a manner consistent with the requirements of the responsiveness test and the integral part test, discussed later.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200250

Responsiveness test.(p43)

rule
A Type III supporting organization must be responsive to the needs or demands of its supported organization(s). To meet this test, the supported organizations must (1) elect one or more officers, directors, or trustees; (2) have one or more officers, directors, or trustees of the supported organization(s) serving simultaneously as officers, directors, or trustees of the supporting organization; or (3) maintain a close and continuous working relationship with the officers, directors, or trustees of the supporting organization. In addition, as a result of this representation or close working relationship, the supported organization(s) must have a significant voice in the investment policies of the supporting organization, the timing of grants and the manner of making them, the selection of recipients, and generally the use of the income or assets of the supporting organization.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200251
Notification requirement.(p43)
In each tax year, the Type III supporting organization must notify each supported organization of its support and provide a copy of the supporting organization's most recently filed Form 990 or 990-EZ and copies of any amendments to its articles, bylaws, or other governing documents.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000195481
Integral part test - functionally integrated.(p43)
A Type III supporting organization may satisfy the integral part test as functionally-integrated in one of three ways:
  1. Engaging in activities substantially all of which directly further the exempt purposes of its supported organization(s) and which, but for the supporting organization's involvement, the supported organization would normally engage in;
  2. Being the parent of, appointing a majority of the directors or trustees of, and exercising a substantial degree of direction over the policies, programs, and activities of its supported organizations; or
  3. Supporting a governmental entity.
Direct furtherance activities. For purposes of the test in item (1), activities "directly further" a supported organization's exempt purposes only if conducted by the supporting organization itself. Direct furtherance activities include holding title to and managing exempt-use assets, but not fundraising or investing and managing non-exempt-use assets. Grantmaking may qualify as direct furtherance activities if the requirements of Reg. 1.509(a)-4(i)(4)(ii)(D) are met.
Integral part test - non-functionally integrated. A Type III supporting organization that does not satisfy the integral part test as functionally-integrated will still qualify as a Type III non-functionally integrated supporting organizations if it satisfies a distribution requirement and an attentiveness requirement. Alternatively, certain trusts established before November 20, 1970 may qualify if they meet the requirements of Reg. 1.509(a)-4(i)(5)(i)(9).
Distribution Requirement. A Type III non-functionally integrated supporting organization must distribute a certain amount annually to or for the benefit of its supported organization(s). Under 2012 temporary regulations (T.D. 9605), that amount is equal to the greater of 85% of the organization's adjusted net income and 3.5 percent of the fair market value of the organization's non-exempt-use assets (with certain adjustments). See Reg. 1.509(a)-4T for more information regarding the distribution requirement and valuation of non-exempt-use assets. See Reg. 1.509(a)-4(i)(6) for more information regarding what distributions or expenditures count towards the distribution requirement.
Attentiveness Requirement. Each year, a Type III non-functionally integrated supporting organization must distribute one-third or more of the amount that it must distribute that year to one or more supported organizations that are attentive to the operations of the supporting organization and to which the supporting organization is responsive. A supported organization is "attentive" for these purposes if the amount received by the supported organization from the supporting organization:
  1. Equals at least 10 percent of the supported organization's total support for the year in question;
  2. was necessary to avoid interruption of a particular function or activity of the supported organization; or
  3. was, based on all facts and circumstances (including evidence of actual attentiveness), a sufficient part of the supported organization's total support to ensure attentiveness.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000246844

Supporting other than section 501(c)(3) organizations.(p44)

rule
An organization operated in conjunction with a social welfare organization, labor or agricultural organization, business league, chamber of commerce, or other organization described in section 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), or 501(c)(6) may qualify as a supporting organization under section 509(a)(3) and therefore not be classified as a private foundation if both the following conditions are met.
  1. The supporting organization must meet all the requirements previously specified (the organizational tests, the operational test, and one of the relationship tests and not be controlled by disqualified persons).
  2. The section 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), or 501(c)(6) organization would be described in section 509(a)(2) if it was a charitable organization described in section 501(c)(3). This provision allows separate charitable funds of certain noncharitable organizations to be described in section 509(a)(3) if the noncharitable organizations receive their support and otherwise operate in the manner specified by section 509(a)(2).
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200254

Special rules of attribution.(p44)

rule
To determine whether an organization meets the not-more-than-one-third support test in section 509(a)(2), amounts received by the organization from an organization that seeks to be a section 509(a)(3) organization because of its support of the organization are deemed gross investment income (rather than gifts or contributions) to the extent they are gross investment income of the distributing organization. (This rule also applies to amounts received from a charitable trust, corporation, fund, association, or similar organization that is required by its governing instrument or otherwise to distribute, or that normally does distribute, at least 25% of its adjusted net income to the organization, and whose distribution normally comprises at least 5% of its adjusted net income.) All income that is gross investment income of the distributing organization will be considered distributed first by that organization. If the supporting organization makes distributions to more than one organization, the amount of gross investment income considered distributed will be prorated among the distributees.
Also, treat amounts paid by an organization to provide goods, services, or facilities for the direct benefit of an organization seeking section 509(a)(2) status (rather than for the direct benefit of the general public) in the same manner as amounts received by the latter organization. These amounts will be treated as gross investment income to the extent they are gross investment income of the organization spending the amounts. An organization seeking section 509(a)(2) status must file a separate statement with its annual information return, Form 990 or 990-EZ, listing all amounts received from supporting organizations.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200255

Relationships created for avoidance purposes.(p44)

rule
If a relationship between an organization seeking section 509(a)(3) status and an organization seeking section 509(a)(2) status is established or used to avoid classification as a private foundation with respect to either organization, then the character and amount of support received by the section 509(a)(3) organization will be attributed to the section 509(a)(2) organization for purposes of determining whether the latter meets the support tests under section 509(a)(2). If this type of relationship is established or used between an organization seeking 509(a)(3) status and two or more organizations seeking 509(a)(2) status, the amount and character of support received by the former organization will be prorated among the latter organizations.
In determining whether a relationship exists between an organization seeking 509(a)(3) status (supporting organization) and one or more organizations seeking 509(a)(2) status (beneficiary organizations) for the purpose of avoiding private foundation status, all pertinent facts and circumstances will be taken into account. The following facts may be used as evidence that such a relationship was not established or availed of to avoid classification as a private foundation.
  1. The supporting organization is operated to support or benefit several specified beneficiary organizations.
  2. The beneficiary organization has a substantial number of dues-paying members who have an effective voice in the management of both the supporting and the beneficiary organizations.
  3. The beneficiary organization is composed of several membership organizations, each of which has a substantial number of members, and the membership organizations have an effective voice in the management of the supporting and beneficiary organizations.
  4. The beneficiary organization receives a substantial amount of support from the general public, public charities, or governmental grants.
  5. The supporting organization uses its funds to carry on a meaningful program of activities to support or benefit the beneficiary organization and, if the supporting organization were a private foundation, this use would be sufficient to avoid the imposition of the tax on failure to distribute income.
  6. The operations of the beneficiary and supporting organizations are managed by different persons, and each organization performs a different function.
  7. The supporting organization is not able to exercise substantial control or influence over the beneficiary organization because the beneficiary organization receives support or holds assets that are disproportionately large in comparison with the support received or assets held by the supporting organization.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200256

Effect on 509(a)(3) organizations.(p44)

rule
If a beneficiary organization fails to meet either of the support tests of section 509(a)(2) due to these provisions, and the beneficiary organization is one for whose support the organization seeking section 509(a)(3) status is operated, then the supporting organization will not be considered to be operated exclusively to support or benefit one or more section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) organizations and therefore would not qualify for section 509(a)(3) status.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000246836

Request change in public charity classification.(p45)

rule
A section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization seeking to change its public charity classification from a section 509(a)(3) supporting organization to a section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) organization must file Form 8940, Request for Miscellaneous Determination. See the Instructions to Form 8940 for more information regarding supporting material and applicable user fees.
For more information about applying for section 501(c)(3) status see Life Cycle of a Private Foundation at IRS.gov.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200257

Classification under section 509(a).(p45)

rule
If an organization is described in section 509(a)(1), and is also described in either Section 509(a)(2) or Section 509(a)(3), it will be treated as a section 509(a)(1) organization. The organization should file Form 8940, Request for Miscellaneous Determination, if it wishes to receive a letter showing a change in classification.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200258

Reliance by grantors and contributors.(p45)

rule
Once an organization has received a ruling or determination letter classifying it as an organization described in Section 509(a)(1), Section 509(a)(2), or Section 509(a)(3), the treatment of grants and contributions and the status of grantors and contributors to the organization will generally not be affected by reason of a later revocation by the IRS of the organization's classification until the date on which notice of change of status is made to the public (generally by publication in the Internal Revenue Bulletin) or another applicable date, if any, specified in the public notice. In appropriate cases, however, the treatment of grants and contributions and the status of grantors and contributors to an organization described in Section 509(a)(1), Section 509(a)(2), or Section 509(a)(3) may be affected pending verification of the continued classification of the organization. Notice to this effect will be made in a public announcement by the IRS. In these cases, the effect of grants and contributions made after the date of the announcement will depend on the statutory qualification of the organization as an organization described in section Section 509(a)(1), Section 509(a)(2), or Section 509(a)(3).
EIC
The preceding paragraph shall not apply if the grantor or contributor:
  1. Had knowledge of the revocation of the ruling or determination letter classifying the organization as an organization described in section 509(a)(1), 509(a)(2), or 509(a)(3), or
  2. Was in part responsible for, or was aware of, the act, the failure to act, or the substantial and material change on the part of the organization that gave rise to the revocation.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200260

Section 509(a)(4) Organizations(p45)

rule
Section 509(a)(4) excludes from classification as private foundations those organizations that qualify under section 501(c)(3) as organized and operated for the purpose of testing products for public safety. Generally, these organizations test consumer products to determine their acceptability for use by the general public.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000257513

Loss of qualification as public charity(p45)

rule
If your public charity no longer qualifies as a public charity under section 501(a)(1)-(4), it becomes a private foundation. You must file Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation or Section 4947(a)(1) Trust Treated as a Private Foundation.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200261

Private Operating Foundations(p45)

rule
Some private foundations qualify as private operating foundations. These are types of private foundations that, although lacking general public support, make qualifying distributions directly for the active conduct of their educational, charitable, and religious purposes, as distinct from merely making grants to other organizations for these purposes.
Most of the restrictions and requirements that apply to private foundations also apply to private operating foundations. However, there are advantages to being classified as a private operating foundation. For example, a private operating foundation (as compared to a private foundation) can be the recipient of grants from a private foundation without having to distribute the funds received currently within 1 year, and the funds nevertheless may be treated as qualifying distributions by the donating private foundation; charitable contributions to a private operating foundation qualify for a higher charitable deduction limit on the donor's tax return; and the excise tax on net investment income does not apply to an exempt operating foundation (a private operating foundation that meets certain additional requirements - see Exempt operating foundations, later).
A private operating foundation is any private foundation that meets the assets test, the support test, or the endowment test, and makes qualifying distributions directly, for the active conduct of its activities for which it was organized, of substantially all (85% or more) of the lesser of its:
  1. Adjusted net income, or
  2. Minimum investment return.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200263
Assets test.(p45)
A private foundation will meet the assets test if substantially more than half (65% or more) of its assets are:
  1. Devoted directly to the active conduct of its exempt activity, to a functionally related business, or to a combination of the two,
  2. Stock of a corporation that is controlled by the foundation (by ownership of at least 80% of the total voting power of all classes of stock entitled to vote and at least 80% of the total shares of all other classes of stock) and substantially all (at least 85%) the assets of which are devoted as provided above, or
  3. Any combination of (1) and (2).
This test is intended to apply to organizations such as museums and libraries.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200264
Support test.(p45)
A private foundation will meet the support test if:
  1. Substantially all (at least 85%) of its support (other than gross investment income) is normally received from the general public and five or more unrelated exempt organizations,
  2. Not more than 25% of its support (other than gross investment income) is normally received from any one exempt organization, and
  3. Not more than 50% of its support is normally received from gross investment income.
This test is intended to apply to special-purpose foundations, such as learned societies and associations of libraries.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200265
Endowment test.(p45)
A foundation will meet the endowment test if it normally makes qualifying distributions directly for the active conduct of its exempt function of at least two-thirds of its minimum investment return.
The minimum investment return for any private foundation for any tax year is 5% of the excess of the total fair market value of all assets of the foundation (other than those used directly in the active conduct of its exempt purpose) over the amount of indebtedness incurred to acquire those assets.
In determining whether the amount of qualifying distributions is at least two-thirds of the organization's minimum investment return, the organization is not required to trace the source of the expenditures to determine whether they were derived from investment income or from contributions.
This test is intended to apply to organizations such as research organizations that actively conduct charitable activities but whose personal services are so great in relationship to charitable assets that the cost of those services cannot be met out of small endowments.
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200266
Exempt operating foundations.(p45)
The excise tax on net investment income does not apply to an exempt operating foundation. An exempt operating foundation for the tax year is any private foundation that:
  1. Is an operating foundation, as described previously,
  2. Has been publicly supported for at least 10 tax years or was an operating foundation on January 1, 1983, or for its last tax year ending before January 1, 1983,
  3. Has a governing body that, at all times during the tax year, is broadly representative of the general public and consists of individuals no more than 25% of whom are disqualified individuals, and
  4. Does not have any officer, at any time during the tax year, who is a disqualified individual.
The foundation must obtain a determination letter from the IRS recognizing this special status (see Existing organization, later).
taxmap/pubs/p557-022.htm#en_us_publink1000200267

New organization.(p46)

rule
If you are applying for recognition of exemption as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) and you wish to establish that your organization is a private operating foundation, you should complete Part X of your exemption application (Form 1023).
Existing organization. If you are an existing organization seeking reclassification as a private operating foundation or as an exempt operating foundation, you must file Form 8940,Request for Miscellaneous Determination.
Proposed regulations on “good faith determinations.” Proposed regulations modify standards for making a good faith determination that a foreign organization is a charitable organization, grants to which may be qualifying distributions and not taxable expenditures. The proposed regulations identify a broader class of tax practitioners upon whose written advice a private foundation may base a "good faith determination."Prop. Regs. on Good Faith Determinations.