We see five possible answers. The first three are the most likely.
- You might not have searched in a way that the database recognizes. The fastest and most accurate searches are based on using the organization’s 9-digit EIN (federal employer identification number) on the EIN Magic page. If you are doing a name search, use fewer words in the search box. Try searching again.
- The organization is newly recognized by the IRS as a nonprofit or charity (or was recently reinstated). There is often a delay between the time the IRS issues a determination letter (or reinstatement) for an organization and the time the organization is listed in the IRS public database. Read the IRS explanation here.
- The organization is not an IRS-recognized nonprofit or charity (or has lost that status). In recent years the IRS has revoked the status of thousands of organizations based on their failure to file annual reports with the IRS. You can double check the organization’s status at the IRS Exempt Organization Select Check page. That page will tell you whether the organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions, or has had its tax-exemption revoked, or has recently filed a Form 990-N. Again, the fastest and most accurate searches are based on using the organization’s 9-digit EIN.
- Note that “mini nonprofits” which have not obtained an IRS determination are not included in the IRS list.
- The IRS has made an error in showing the organization’s status in the IRS data files. At CharityCheck101.org we obtain our list directly from the IRS’s official Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. If there’s an error in the IRS data files, that error will also show in our directory. Raise this directly with the IRS: Click here for the IRS Exempt Organization contact page.
- There’s a glitch in the CharityCheck101.org database system. If possibilities 1 through 4 are not the case, please let us know about the issue by using our Feedback Please page. We try hard, but we’re not perfect.