Using Form 990 filing data to analyze non-profits

Authored bycascade

One great way you can get a better view into the health and business dealings of a non-profit organization is to review the Form 990 that non-profits have to file.

For example, a review of 2008 filing for the American Marketing Association shows information such as the amount of money the organization made from membership dues, (3.1m), the salary of the executive director (345k a year), the top contractors the organization utilized for professional services, (Manifest Digital – 1.4m) and all services (Brown Printing – $518,000).

In short, if you are interested in comparing executive director salary ranges at non-profits, benchmarking non-profits in terms of how much revenue they receive from memberships vs. events, or you just want to understand who is doing the most work on an outsourced basis for a non-profit, the Form 990 is one of your better bets.

Lastly, while there are various ways to access Form 990 data, one straightforward way is via the site

By Sean Campbell
By Scott Swigart

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