BUS 305 - Business Writing -- Nonprofit Assignment: Form 990 Filings

What is a Form 990 Filing?

The IRS Form 990 is the tax required to be filed annually by most tax-exempt organizations.  Primary purpose is for the IRS to gather information about tax-exempt organizations, including information to support the continued tax-exempt status. There are various secondary functions which include means for organizations to share information about their activities in a standard form.

For this persuasive writing assignment you are most interested in Form 990 filings of your selected charity.  Some refer to charities as 501(c)(3) which references the section of the United States Tax Code defining charitable organizations. 

This Form 990 Filing guide provides:

  • Options for discover and access 
  • Resources to learn more about the information collected 

So be sure to verify that your selected organization is in fact a registered 501(c)(3) public charity.  If your selected charity makes less than $50,000 look for their 990N e-postcard.  You will not find a Form 990 if the charity has $200,000+ revenue and Form 990-EZ for $50,000-199,999 revenue.  

Options for Discovery and Access to Form 990 Filings

Form 990 Filings ideally should be discoverable on a nonprofit's website.  Form 990 filings are often included with donor or financial information along with annual reports.  If you are not accessing these documents through the navigation try an internet search for: form 990 and using a site filter. For example you can find this page (https://wish.org/about-us/making-a-difference/managing-funds) by searching for:

 site:wish.org "form 990" 

There are several options for discovery and accessing Form 990 Filings.  While the filings are suppose to be open for public inspection, not all tools for discover and access are open.  Below are tools that do not require an account/log-in to gain access. 

Resources to Learn More