This Insights was contributed by Sandy Crumrine, CPA, CIA, an audit partner at Earney & Company, L.L.P.
Upon formation, most not-for-profit organizations must begin filing the IRS Form 990, “Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.”
Form 990 is the annual information return for tax-exempt organizations, including charities, fundraising organizations, civic leagues, social clubs and other organizations, as described under code 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code. The type of 990 form an organization must file depends on its financial activity.
Compared to other tax returns, Form 990 is unique in the way it reports extensive information on operations, programs and governance. Not only does it contain financial data, but it also has written narratives and opportunities to provide supplemental information, all of which is made available to the public.
With that in mind, filing your organization’s Form 990 can be a great marketing tool.
Tax-exempt organizations can capitalize on their annual 990 filing requirement by using the 990 to educate donors (current and prospective) and market their programs. Prospective donors, whether they’re investing money and/or volunteer hours, want to know their participation and contributions are put to good use.
To establish a comprehensive brand image that will maintain the support of current donors and capture the interest of prospective new ones, consider the following:
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