Enjoy The 990

Tuesday April 21, 2020 comments Tags: 990, accounting, nonprofit

Any accounting, business or tax advice in this here podcast is not intended as a thorough in depth analysis of your specific issues. It's not a substitute for a formal opinion. It is not good enough to avoid tax related penalties. Got to tell you this because don't want y'all coming for me. Back to the episode. Hey, it is Chyla Graham and this is another episode of the nonprofit nuggets podcast. This is the final episode for the season, which was all about the IRS form 990 the information return for nonprofits. Throughout the season, I wanted to make sure you got a better understanding of the return and how it fits into the foundational pieces for a healthy nonprofits.

Those pieces being your mission, your priorities, your tools and storytelling. And that's why the season had been brought to you by my DIY clinic, which is on today, April 21st, 2020 at 9:00 AM mountain. It's for those of you who are planning on filing your own 990 and want access to a CPA while working on the form. Depending on what time you're listening to this, definitely reach out. We're doing it at 9:00 AM mountain, so don't know if they're going to be seats for you, but send me a message as soon as you can and we will see what we can do about getting you some of the resources we'll be sharing during the clinic. Definitely reach out and there'll be a link in the transcript to learn more about it.

And if you think that we need to do it again or rally some of your friends, let them know about it. If we get enough interest, we'll do another one. And so what's happening? Okay. So this season we talked about the 990 the things that I really wanted to make sure you guys left with is the 990 is nothing to be scared of. It is the IRS way to say, hey, we want to put all nonprofits on this level ish playing ground to make sure all the reports can be read in the same way. And for that reason it's really important that you be clear about what it is that you are doing. You want to make sure that your mission is clear, that your mission is in line with what you've previously told the IRS. You want to be thinking about when people are looking at your 990, what information are they gaining?

What can they tell about your priorities? What values are being reflected in your 990? How do you feel about the community that's being served? How much of your resources are going into those programs? How much of your resources are going into items like paying your staff a reasonable living wage? How much are you doing to think about your fundraising, so that you're not just going through the motions, but you're actually factoring in was this a worthwhile endeavor and how could we make this better for the future? You want to be sure that you are consistently filing with the IRS because you do not want to lose your exemption status and you also don't want to have to pay the fines. You want to be sure that at the end of the day, this is helping you. The 990 is there to help you.

It's there to help you gain more funders because you can now give them this report, especially if you are not doing a financial statement audit. You want to be able to say, we have a 990 though that you can look and we can see how we fair compared to other organizations and most importantly, you want to realize that this is your opportunity to tell your story. It is a chance for you to say something best. It's slightly more objective than your annual report. And by that I mean the IRS is asking you what are your accomplishments and you use it. Use that time to say these are the amazing things that we've been able to do during this year. If you have filed her 990 already or you are working with someone else, please be sure that they go over your 990.

I don't think that everyone should do their own 990. So the clinic is definitely not for everyone, but for those of you who realize, I do need someone who will do it for me. You can reach out and if we have space available to take on new clients, I am happy to talk to you or see if there is a partner that we work with that we can refer you out to. But most of all, when you are doing your 990 and reviewing it, I want you to have full confidence that the information is accurate. It really represents your organization and it's truth and you have no fears about being able to answer a question. Someone may ask you because your 990 is a public document. So if you don't understand it, you're going to have some issues.

If someone asks you questions, do reach out. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, we will be going into hibernation as we plan out season three, which I'm very excited about that we have some like stories to tell, and some insight to give on what's happening in the nonprofit arena that I really think will help you plan for the future. I want you as a nonprofit leader to be fully equipped, fully confident in what's happening with your finances and your 990 is just a part of it. 

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Download: Prepping for Your 990