Community Platform

The Nonprofit FAQ: Watchdog Agencies

Select an FAQ   (17):

AICPA SOP 98-2 and its Impact on Financial Reporting
Rules that took effect 12/15/98 require organizations to screen activities carefully if they include a fund-raising appeal and are not classified as fund-raising in the accounts; three writers explain the background.
Are Ratios Useful? For Donors? For the Community? (Added 2/24/96)
When should donors be concerned about average costs (ratios) in evaluating the performance of organizations which seek donations as one of the ways they raise the money they need to operate?
Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability Bars Percent Fees
ECFA -- http://www.ecfa.org/ -- certifies and audits the financial affairs of about 800 Evangelical Organizations. In 1998, ECFA's standards were revised to bar percentage fees.
How can I determine my program costs easily?
A number of factors need to be considered when determining program costs.
How can I figure out how our organization should divide its expenses?
Oversight organizations suggest standards for the proportions spent on program services, administration, fundraising, etc.
How is fundraising regulated in the US?
State governments are the most active regulators of fund raising, and the standards are quite different from place to place. The use of the Internet for fund raising makes this situation even more complicated.
How to Help the Attorney General Handle a Complaint?
An Assistant Attorney General offers advice on how to seek help when there appear to be abuses of nonprofit status.
Is there an ID number required when receiving a federal grant?
A D-U-N-S number is required before an organization can receive a federal grant. This subject is discussed in http://www.idealist.org/if/i/en/faq/452-125/338-278
What about calculating fund raising ratios?
These calculations are more difficult to interpret than they might appear.
What about hate groups?
Notes about the relationship between nonprofit status and hateful acts, and some resources for dealing with expressions of hate on the Internet and in other forms.
What do you actually get in an audit?
This page from the Canadian firm AssociationXpertise explains: http://www.axi.ca/tca/Sep2002/tca04d.htm
What information must nonprofits disclose?
Generally, it depends on what kind of information is at stake and who is doing the asking.
What Must Be in an Annual Report?
There is no standard format for the Annual Report but many states and some watchdog organizations have requirements for annual reporting.
What Must We, What Can We Disclose to the Public, Staff, Board and Clients?
A detailed review of the disclosure (and privacy protection) responsibilities of nonprofits.
What should a prudent donor do?
Cliff Landesman's 'Donor Defense Kit' (included here) makes some suggestions.
Where can I find federal and state laws?
Search engines and libraries for finding federal and state laws
Where can I find out what the 'watchdogs' are looking at?
The National Council of Nonprofit Organizations and the National Human Service Assembly reviewed the work of five organizations that rate charities in 2005.