501(c)(3) Public Charities


More than half of all nonprofit organizations are 501(c)(3) public charities. Public charities include most organizations active in the arts, education, health care, and human services. They are what most people mean when they use the term nonprofit organization. The nation’s approximately 350,000 religious congregations are also considered public charities, but they are not required to register with the IRS, although about half have chosen to do so.

Registered public charities with more than $25,000 in gross receipts are required to file a Form 990 annually with the Internal Revenue Service. Revenues and assets below are for these reporting public charities only.

Click here to see the largest and some examples of smaller organizations.

The Numbers (United States)

  • The number of organizations registered with the IRS changed by 0 percent from 951,363 in 2002 to 1,205,264 in 2012.
  • The number of organizations reporting to the IRS changed -1 percent from 0 in 2002 to 395,375 in 2012.
  • Total revenues for reporting organizations changed by -1 percent from 0 in 2002 to $2,185,999,122,605 in 2012.
  • Total assets for reporting organizations changed by -1 percent from 0 in 2002 to 4,091,673,708,393 in 2012.

(Note: Financial data have not been adjusted for inflation.)

Statistical Tables

Registered Organizations

Organizations That File Annually with the IRS

These organizations must have at least $25,000 in gross receipts.

Registered users can create their own custom tables to view organizations in multiple dimensions or explore other information that we have on these organizations. Click here to learn more.