Preservation of culture and ethnicity can take many forms including literature, language, design, performing arts, oral history and artistic or historic display and has traditionally been recognized as an educational or literary activity. Organizations exclusively dedicated to such activities are recognized under 501(c)(3).
Cultural activities often intersect with the arts or religious practices. Therefore, organizations seeking exemption under the general label of cultural preservation must ensure their activities are conducted in an educational manner and serve exclusively public, rather than private interests. Activities that are commercial in nature must be exclusively in support of the organization’s exempt purpose. For example, entrance fees to a museum or cultural event that are used to fund the organization’s programs and activities.
In order to be exempt as an organization described in section 501(c)(3), an organization must be both organized and operated exclusively for one or more of these exempt purposes: charitable, religious, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, educational, fostering national or international sports competition and / or the prevention of cruelty to animals or children.
Specific charitable purposes can include relief of the poor, distressed or underprivileged, erecting or maintaining public buildings or monuments, lessening the burdens of government, lessening neighborhood tensions, eliminating prejudice and discrimination, defending human and civil rights and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.