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This question is asking whether you are a private foundation or a public charity.  Section 501(c)(3) includes both public charities and private foundation.  You recognition of exemption letter will tell you whether you are classified as a public charity under Section 501(a)(1), 509(a)(2), or 509(a)(3).  Your tax return will also tell you how you are filing, although it is not primary evidence of your status.  

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