Scope of the Arizona Nonprofit Sector

Glossary and Sources



  Definition Source
Congregation A generic term that refers to all churches and religious organizations. Religious organizations that are not churches typically include nondenominational ministries, interdenominational and ecumenical organizations, and other entities whose principal purpose is the study or advancement of religion. Churches and religious organizations may be legally organized in a variety of ways under state law, such as unincorporated associations, nonprofit corporations, corporations sole, and charitable trusts. IRS tax guide for Churches and Religious Organizations. Publication
Community Foundation A community foundation is a tax-exempt, nonprofit, autonomous, publicly supported, nonsectarian philanthropic institution with a long term goal of building permanent, named component funds established by many separate donors to carry out their charitable interests and for the broad-based charitable interest of and for the benefit of residents of a defined geographic area, typically no larger than a state. Council on Foundations / Community Foundations
NTEE Codes (National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities) The National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) system is used by the IRS and NCCS to classify nonprofit organizations. It is also used by the Foundation Center to classify both grants and grant recipients (typically nonprofits or governments). NCCS and the IRS use the NTEE-CC system, described below, while the Foundation Center uses a slightly different version with more codes, as well as "population/beneficiary" codes to indicate the type of population served and "auspice" codes to indicate religious or governmental affiliation. IRS and Guidestar
Private Foundation Foundations that derive most of their funding from a single source which can be a family, an individual, or a corporation. According to the IRS: "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 section 509(a))", in which case it will be eligible to be treated as a public charity. IRS / Private Foundations
Private Operating Foundation A private operating foundation is any private foundation that spends at least 85 percent of its adjusted net income or its minimum investment return, whichever is less, directly for the active conduct of its exempt activities (the income test). In addition, the foundation must meet one of the following tests: the assets test, the endowment test, or the support test. IRS / Private Operating Foundations
Private Grantmaking Foundation Also known as Private Non-Operating Foundation or Independent Foundation. According to the IRS, "a private foundation that is neither a private operating foundation nor an exempt operating foundation is sometimes referred to as a grant-making foundation or a private non-operating foundation." IRS / Private Grant-making Foundations
Public Charity

Generally, organizations that are classified as public charities are those that:

  • Are churches, hospitals, qualified medical research organizations affiliated with hospitals, schools, colleges and universities,
  • Have an active program of fundraising and receive contributions from many sources, including the general public, governmental agencies, corporations, private foundations or other public charities,
  • Receive income from the conduct of activities in furtherance of the organization’s exempt purposes, or
  • Actively function in a supporting relationship to one or more existing public charities.
IRS / Public Charities
Public Foundation A public charity whose primary purpose is grantmaking to multiple individuals or organizations and whose sources of support are predominantly private rather than governmental. Different from a community foundation, the public foundations' focus is not a geographic area but instead on a population group (such as ethnic or racial group or gender) or a common affinity - religious, cultural or philosophical. There is however a significant gray area in this definition. For this reason this report presents both Community and Public Foundations combined in one single category. United Philanthropy Forum
Supporting Organization or Single Organization Support Supporting organizations are charities that carry out their exempt purposes by supporting other exempt organizations, usually other public charities. The classification is important because it is one means by which a charity can avoid classification as a private foundation, a status that is subject to a much more restrictive regulatory regime. The key feature of a supporting organization is a strong relationship with an organization it supports. The strong relationship enables the supported organization to oversee the operations of the supporting organization. Therefore, the supporting organization is classified as a public charity, even though it may be funded by a small number of persons in a manner similar to a private foundation. IRS / Supporting Organization



Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) makes a number of files available through its Charities and nonprofits page. These files provide information about organizations that hold tax-exempt status from the IRS.

The most recent information about tax-exempt organizations in Arizona is found in the Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract (EO BMF).

Additional financial data about these organizations is found in Form 990, 990ez, and 990pf data found here. Three year of this data is downloaded and the most recent data for each Arizona organization is linked via the organization’s Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Organizations that have had their tax-exempt status revoked are identified through the Automatic Revocation of Exemption List, which is found on the Tax Exempt Organization Search Bulk Data Downloads page.

Composite information about charitable giving by Arizona taxpayers who itemize their deductions can be found on the SOI tax stats - Historic Table 2 page.

GuideStar Some organizations that were missing NTEE classification information in the IRS data were given the NTEE codes found at

IPUMS USA is a product of Steven Ruggles, et al, at the University of Minnesota. This service compiles Public Use Microdata Sample from the American Community Survey (ACS) conducted by the United States Census Bureau and makes it downloadable in a form that is amenable to analysis with SPSS statistical software. Rather than the pre-formatted tables often associated with the census, microdata is analogous to seeing the complete survey form as completed by each respondent. This allows detailed views of the workforce across many factors, e.g. younger females with college education working in nonprofit healthcare organizations. However, there are several trade-offs that are required with this data. To protect the confidentiality of respondents and maintain statistical integrity, microdata is not released for geographies with fewer than 100,000 population. Because of this restriction, several of the smaller counties in Arizona are combined so that their total population exceeds the minimum amount. Additionally, we use Census data collected over a five-year time span. The loss of the point-in-time specificity provided by one-year estimates is offset by the increased accuracy of results when looking at small segments of the workforce.   In a limited number of cases were longitudinal analysis required, 1-year samples were used.

Participation in the nonprofit workforce was determined by respondent’s answer to question 42: “Which one of the following best describes this person’s employment last week or the most recent employment in the past 5 years?” Those who chose, “Non-profit organization (including tax-exempt and charitable organizations),” were assigned to the nonprofit sector. The healthcare, postsecondary education, and religion subsectors were determined by the industry the respondent works in. Nonprofit employees with NAICS codes of 6211-6239 were designated as nonprofit healthcare. Those with NAICS codes of 7860-7880 were coded as nonprofit education, and those with NAICS code 9160 as nonprofit religious. Self-employed, government, and employees of for-profit organizations were grouped together as ‘for-profit.’