Below is an excerpt from a broadcast e-mail received from Charity Navigator…

“In early 2010 we intend to add an accountability tab to each charity’s rating page.  This tab will show you how each charity stacks up with respect to its policies, procedures, communications and reporting.  We will be pulling information from a variety of sources, including the newly revised 990…”

Although only one of the new 990 “Governance Questions” (the one that relates to public availability of the 990 and 1023) is a legal requirement, as expected the charity rating agencies will begin grading nonprofits on their responses to the 990 governance questions.

Many of the governance policies that the new 990 asks about are good ideas.  But the IRS has discovered a way to coerce publicly supported nonprofits (by necessity the most image conscious of all organizations) into adopting (or at least claiming to have adopted) policies and procedures which the IRS believes are typical of well-managed nonprofits.

That concept is a little bit scary coming from an organization which in most cases will not even allow its employees to communicate via e-mail with the outside world.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact:

Pete Kennedy

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