Key Review Points of Form 990

A not-for-profit organization’s Form 990 is more than just an annual filing requirement; it can be used as an informative document to external users, as a year-to-year comparative document for management, or even as a marketing reference for potential donors. As a best practice recommendation, all not-for-profit organizations should establish a committee to be responsible… Read more »

Monitoring Subrecipients in Compliance with the Uniform Guidance

The Compliance Supplement, published by the Office of Management and Budget, identifies 12 types of compliance requirements that may or may not applicable to a federal award(s) provided to a non-Federal entity. One of the requirements that may be applicable to a non-Federal entity is that of subrecipient monitoring. In order to understand the compliance… Read more »

Associations: Avoid certain activities to preserve tax-exempt status

Nonprofit trade associations, or 501(c)(6) organizations, exist to promote their members’ common interests and improve business conditions or “one or more lines of interest.” Whether the association is a local chamber of commerce, a real estate board or a large professional group, associations’ tax-exempt status is contingent on their sponsoring certain types of activities —… Read more »

Fiduciary duties: What your board members need to know

Not-for-profit board members — whether compensated or not — have a fiduciary duty to the organization. Some states have laws governing the activities of nonprofit boards and other fiduciaries. But not all board members are aware of their responsibilities. To protect your nonprofit’s financial health and integrity, it’s important that you help them understand. Primary… Read more »

What To Do If Your Nonprofit Receives an IRS Audit Letter

The IRS’s staffing shortages have been well publicized and audits of individuals have decreased in the past several years. But it’s a mistake to assume that the agency has stopped scrutinizing not-for-profits and conducting audits when it deems necessary. If your organization receives an audit letter, you need to know what the process involves and… Read more »

Being A Strong Leader | Great Leadership Is An Invaluable Tool

How often do you challenge your personal leadership skills? Why is this important to your organization? Surveys have shown that great leadership is an invaluable tool in retaining top talent. What is Leadership? Leadership involves motivating a group of people to pursue a common goal, or to accomplish a shared task. We frequently think about… Read more »

Divide and conquer: How joint cost allocating works

In recent years watchdog groups, the media and others have increased their scrutiny of how much not-for-profits spend on programs vs. administration and fundraising. Your organization likely feels pressure to prove that it dedicates most of its resources to programming. However, accounting rules require that you record the full cost of any activity with a… Read more »

Warning! 4 signs your nonprofit is in financial danger

Signs of financial distress in a not-for-profit can be subtle. But board members have a responsibility to recognize them and do everything in their power to avert potential disaster. Pay particular attention to: 1. Budget bellwethers. Confirm that proposed budgets are in line with strategies already developed and approved. Once your board has signed off on… Read more »

Holding on to your nonprofit’s exempt status

If you think that, once your not-for-profit receives its official tax-exempt status from the IRS, you don’t have to revisit it again, think again. Whether your organization is a Section 501(c)(3), Sec. 501(c)(7) or other type, be careful. The activities you conduct, the ways you generate revenue and how you use that revenue could potentially… Read more »

3 ways to improve development and accounting collaboration

Communication breakdowns between a not-for-profit’s development and accounting departments can lead to confusion, embarrassment and even financial problems. Here are three ways your organization can facilitate cooperation between these two critical functions. 1. Recognize differences Accounting and development typically record their financial information differently, which is why they can produce numbers that vary but nonetheless… Read more »