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Find Out What the
Categories Stand For

Arts, Culture and Humanities

Organizations that are dedicated to the Arts, culture, and humanities are responsible for bringing the performing arts to the public. They preserve, commemorate and celebrate the events, milestones, places and cultures that create and continue to shape the nation, alongside the continual promotion of ideas and practices that can enhance awareness and unity with each other. They range from internationally renowned art museums to small historical societies, major theatrical venues to charities that bring the arts into schools to promote scholastic achievement, and major broadcasting services to local-access radio and TV.

Education and Research

Education nonprofits support, enhance and promote learning and intellectual development from cradle to grave. Providing resources, programs and supports beginning at the preschool levels and extending to post-graduate schools and adult learning programs. Included in this category are many of the important programs, or operations that provide schools for students with special needs, organizations offering vocational and technical training, libraries, literacy programs, scholarships, student organizations, and parent-teacher groups.

The research category emcompasses technology, science, and social science institutes. Areas of discipline may include a focus on astronomy, chemistry, or other physical science; engineering; computer science; marine biology, physiology, or other biological science; anthropology, economics, international law, political science, or other social science; or interdisciplinary fields, such as black studies, ethnic studies, gerontology, labor studies, and urban studies.

Environment and Animals

Environmental organizations are typically dedicated to reclaiming and preserving natural resources, or to the acquisition of important land zones targeted for destruction and urban development. These organizations may also offer education components to cultivate awareness to the delicate balance of our globe and to cohabitation with all of our fellow life forms. They range from recycling programs, energy conservation, managing natural habitats, grass root community garden projects, to global ventures to preserving rainforests.

Animal nonprofits include humane societies and SPCAs, animal shelters, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, fisheries, veterinary organizations, zoos, and animal-training nonprofits.


Health nonprofits cover a broad range of organizations concerned with the body or mind. Hospitals, substance abuse and additional treatment programs, diseases and disease research, medical disciplines and specialty research, and mental health and crisis services all fall into this category.

Human Services

Human service nonprofits are the most recognized and easily identified nonprofits, as they provide front line supports and resources for those most vulnerable in our society. Providing food for the hungry, housing for the homeless, daycare for single mothers, job training, assisting victims of as well as offenders, helping people prepare for and recover from disasters, maintaining playgrounds and athletic fields, acting as advocates for children, and offering programs to help youth mature into adults who contribute to society.


International organizations focus their efforts outside North American borders, typically in developing nations or those ravaged by war. Development relief organizations, human rights advocates, peace and security nonprofits, and organizations that promote international understanding all fall into this category.

Public, Societal Benefit

Public and societal benefit nonprofits work in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties, community improvement, philanthropy and volunteerism, and voter education and registration. They also provide unemployment compensation organizations, fraternal groups, employee associations, and cemeteries.


Spiritual organizations encompass groups that promote Spiritual, Holistic, and Environmental awareness. They fall outside the confines of conventional programs and organizations, nonetheless, they provide much needed supports, education, and programs designed to improve the quality of living for all life forces on this planet.