Don’t make THIS mistake on your 990!
You know that donors and grant makers read your nonprofit’s 990 to learn about the organization. But did you think about that when you’re filling out this year’s 990? It’s super important to make sure you’re using the 990 as a communication tool – NOT just a required government document.
One of the mistakes I see clients make is screwing up the board and key staff listing. I know how it is at most nonprofits – everybody is scrambling to do more with less and sometimes preparing the 990 is either hasty or done by a CPA with limited nonprofit experience. I always recommend using a CPA firm that has a department dedicated to serving nonprofit clients, but often those firms are too expensive for smaller organizations.
That’s why it’s super critical that you take the time to help the CPA do the best they can. Make sure you give the tax preparer an updated list of board members.
Why, what’s the big deal?
Without an updated list, donors and grant makers will see the wrong story. Most savvy funders compare multiple years of the 990 to “tell the story” of the organization. If you don’t provide updated lists, the story may look like stagnation or poor governance – or they might get overly concerned if the board list on the website differs substantially from the one in the last available 990 – like what happened!?
Don’t leave it to funders to try and speculate what happened on the board – give your tax preparer good information so that you can present the nonprofit in its best light.
Remember, your funding might depend on it!