Making the most out of a Non-Profit Organization’s Tax Return
The IRS Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, is one of the most important documents that a non-profit organization prepares. The 990 provides reporting to the IRS on an organization’s programs, revenue sources, contributions, expenses and governance. One of the most important things about an organization’s 990 is that it is available for public review. Potential donors often download the organization’s 990 to gather more information before deciding to make a contribution and Press will often review the form when preparing articles about the non-profit. As you can see, it’s important that the 990 is accurate and complete.
Since the form is so readily available to the public the non-profit organization should view the 990 as an effective marketing tool rather than merely an IRS filing requirement. Parts I and II of the return provide information on the mission, significant activities and major programs of the organization. These parts of the form can be used to promote the organization and provide details on the organization’s major accomplishments. Parts I and II can also highlight programs of the organization so that potential donors can see how their contributions will be used. The 990 is not a case where “less is more” and non-profit organizations should take full advantage of the return in order to promote and market their organization.
Please contact Michael Bryant if you have any questions regarding your organization’s 990 or if you would like LMGW to assist in the preparation of your 990.