Fundraisers may not have to fill out their charity’s informational tax return for the Internal Revenue Service, but they need to know what’s in it, said a speaker at the Association of Fundraising Professionals meeting in Vancouver this week.
Audrey Kintzi, senior development director at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, told fundraisers it’s no long acceptable to say they don’t have anything to do with the informational returns, known as Form 990s.
“You should know the 990 as well as the finance department does,” she said. “You are the face of the organization.”
In addition, Ms. Kintzi said, fundraisers need to realize that donors are looking at the tax forms and other documents to learn more about the organization and how their contributions have been spent.
“If you don’t think donors are reading it, you are sadly mistaken,” she said, adding, “They’re reading those documents and asking questions.”