Investigating non profits

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A guide to investigating non-profits and charities.

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Investigating non profits

  1. 1. Investigating Non-Profits Comms 308
  2. 2. The Basic records  Form 990s – Guidestar.org  State registrations  Government Contracts and audits  Annual reports  Five years of budgets  Minutes of board meetings  Check for lawsuits Source: Norbeto Santana, Orange County Register;Kathleen Carrol and Jean Rimbach, The Record (Hackensack, N.J.)
  3. 3. Basic information  Annual revenues and expenditures  Top five highest paid employees  Line items, (i.e. Scholarships to International Olympic Committee members)  Comparisons with other local charities  Percent used or administrative costs  Oversight from government entities.  Audit controls
  4. 4. Stories and investigations  Utah Olympic Bribery Investigations  Investigation of Hale Center Theatre  Investigation of salaries at Utah Symphony
  5. 5. Other methods  Do your homework  Tour their headquarters and leave cards  Find a staff directory  Do lunch with local board members  Attend fundraisers
  6. 6. Triangulate sources  Find out how the local organization connects to a national group  Compare websites of other like groups  Ask for a list of board members over the years (formers). This can be valuable.  Contact competing non-profits
  7. 7. Regulators and Watchdogs  Look at private-public partnerships such as transportation of elderly  Look at government contracts  Look at monitoring from state agencies  Watchdogs like Guidestar and American Institute of Philanthropy

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