Nonprofits filing IRS Form 990 realize that the information therein will ultimately become public knowledge. The New York State Charities Bureau website, Guidestar, Charity Navigator, and a slew of other very well-known online sources tend to be the go-to sites for donors, grantors, and community watchdog groups. A relatively-new entrant to this field, ProPublica, after many legal battles, has recently obtained machine-readable Form 990 data directly from the IRS. Whereas many of the existing sites aggregate certain aspects of Form 990 data, most of their usefulness comes in the form of PDF copies of filed 990’s. ProPublica’s Nonprofit Explorer takes a step beyond PDF’s and offers searchable, smart information that can be used for salary studies, cost analyses, data aggregation, and other meaningful purposes.
It’s refreshing to see technological advancements and public disclosure helping nonprofit organizations. Check out Nonprofit Explorer. It may be worth a look.