Organizations that are tax exempt under IRS Section 501(c)(3) vary significantly in size and mission, but they all have one thing in common. All must comply with federal tax laws, including the requirement to make certain documents available to the public upon request.
If someone makes a request and your organization fails to comply, an IRS audit and substantial penalties could result.
Application for Exempt Status
Section 501(c)(3) organizations that applied for tax-exempt status after July 15, 1987, must make a copy of their application (Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code) available for inspection and/or provide a copy when requested. The requirement covers all supporting documents and IRS correspondence related to the application.
Note: Organizations may charge a reasonable fee (no more than the per-page fee the IRS charges) for providing copies. Also note that the names and addresses of contributors listed on an exemption application are subject to public disclosure.
Exempt organizations also must make their annual information return available for inspection and copying. This includes Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, or Form 990-EZ, plus all schedules, attachments, and supporting documents. Organizations must generally make their returns available for three years and are generally not required to disclose the names or addresses of the contributors listed on Schedule B (some exceptions apply).
Another way to comply with the requirement to provide documents for copying is to make them widely available on your website or the website of an organization that maintains a database of such documents. Then, when someone requests copies, you can refer them to the appropriate website.
Disclosure Rules for Quid Pro Quo Contributions
Facts About Volunteering
It’s interesting to note that the age group with the highest volunteer rate is most likely the busiest in terms of juggling work and family responsibilities. But the data is consistent with the results of a recent study** that found that working people who volunteer are healthier and more satisfied with their work-life balance, even though they have more on their plates than those who don’t volunteer.
* Volunteering in the United States, 2014
** Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation