There are 1.2 million public charities in the United States. Public charities are only one of 29 types of nonprofit organizations recognized by the tax code. Next in popularity to public charities are social welfare organizations (501(c)(4)--at last count, there were over 82,000.
In a world where everything seems to be politicized, it is no surprise that many not-for-profits are entering the political arena more and more. And while 501(c)(3) Public Charities can engage in advocacy efforts in generous ways, some organizations may be frustrated by the allowable activities, prompting them to form a 501(c)(4) – a specific type of not-for-profit organized to promote social welfare.