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Compiling Information for 990 Preparation

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Below is a list of the most common information needed to prepare a 990.  Less information is needed to prepare a 990-EZ and more information is needed for more complex organizations but this is a good starting point.

Basic Information

  • Organization’s legal name, full address, and Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Organization’s website
  • Name and title of the person who will be signing the return
  • Number of volunteers who provided services to the organization.  In most cases, your board members are volunteers.
  • Mission statement and updated description of program service accomplishments.  Use this section to brag about your accomplishments.  When possible, use quantitative data such as number of people served, number of members, number of people who attended your events, number of scholarship/grant recipients, etc.  You are trying to convince someone to give you a donation, become involved, become a member, etc.
  • Board list with titles.  Other than officers, do not include non-voting members.
  • If any changes were made to either the Articles of Incorporation or the Bylaws, provide a copy of the amended document and an explanation of the changes that were made.
  • Does the organization have the following written policies: conflict of interest policy, whistleblower policy, and/or document destruction policy?  If not, consider implementing these policies.

Financial Information

  • Balance sheet and Profit & Loss statement.  If available, Profit & Loss by Class.
  • 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations should provide allocation of expenses between program, management, and fundraising
  • Wages and benefits paid to the officers and board members.  Wages should be those reported in either the W-2 or 1099-MISC.  For fiscal year organizations, provide both wages reported in the W-2 or 1099-MISC and wages for the fiscal year.  Indicate percentage of time each officer who received compensation spent on program, management, and fundraising.
  • If any fundraising events were held during the year, provide revenue and expenses for each event and a breakdown of the contribution portion of revenue.

For example: you charged $125 per golfer and paid $75 per person to the golf course, the contribution portion of each ticket is $50.  Multiply that by the number of golfers, add sponsorships, and subtract $75 for each golfer included in the sponsorship to come up with the total contributions raised by the golf outing.

  • Total amount of lobbying expenses during the year
  • 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), and 501(c)(6) organizations should provide percentage of membership dues that is nondeductible by members. This information should appear in dues notices sent to members.

Other Information

  • List of contributors who donated $5,000 or more during the year.  For each donor, provide name, full address, and total amount donated.  Include contributions from governments and noncash contributions such as stocks and materials.  For noncash contributions, provide date of receipt.  Anonymous contributions can only be listed as such if the organization does not have any information on the donor.
  • If total grants to other organizations were in excess of $5,000, provide the recipient’s name, full address, EIN, total amount of grant, purpose of grant, and indicate if the organization is a 501(c)(3) or government organization.
  •  If total grants to individuals were in excess of $5,000, provide a description of each type of grant or assistance, the total number of recipients for each type, and the total amount of grants for each type.  Private Foundations need to provide a list of each individual recipient and the amount each person received.
  • If the organization received over $25,000 in noncash donations (do not include donated services or facilities), provide a list of noncash donations received.
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