Brag on Yourself

Monday April 13, 2020 comments Tags: 990, accounting, nonprofit

Any accounting business or tax advice in this here podcast is not intended as a thorough in depth analysis of your specific issues. It's not a substitute for a formal opinion. It is not good enough to avoid tax related penalties. Got to tell you this because don't want y'all coming for me. Back to the episode. Hey it is Chyla Graham the CNRG accounting advisory and welcome to another episode of the nonprofit nuggets podcast. This season is all about the IRS form 990 and informational return for nonprofits. I want nonprofit leaders have a better understanding of the return and how it fits into the foundational pieces of a healthy nonprofit.

Those pieces being your mission, your priorities, your tools, and storytelling. For that reason, this season is brought to you by my DIY 990 clinic, which will be on April 21st, 2020 at 9am mountain. It's for those of you who plan on filing your own 990 but want to have access to a CPA while working on that form. It's also for you if you are able to set aside 90 minutes to work on the form so you continue your work within the community, check out the link in our transcripts to learn more. Okay, so this episode is about storytelling and why I prefer the IRS 990 compared to any other tax form. I don't do personal and business returns. I only work with nonprofits.

Okay. That being said, this is really the only form that I have to pay attention to. I hire someone else to do my own taxes. Because it allows nonprofits to really highlight what they do, that is because they help you highlight, Hey, what are some of your accomplishment of yours programs? This is a great time because if you remember in our episode about missions, I talked about like, Hey, your activities having an impact on a large community. This gets to be that time where you can talk about that, where you can say, Hey, we are able to, we are now able to serve 500 people when we were only serving 250. This is when you can talk about those types of growth. We have one client who in their 990 they talk about some of the awards that they get.

So when they talk about this organization recognized us for our our work in the community. They get to talk about, we're being called in to help mediate these types of experiences within the community. Those are things that the IRS typically does not act like individual people like, Oh like whoopie you volunteered, but what is that? What's the impact? They never get to say that. They never get to say like, Oh I help feed 5,000 people. Nonprofits. You get to do that. You get to say, Hey, heads up. We're doing good work. Trust us, love us, support us. The other thing that I really liked for that program service accomplishment section is there is no hard and fast rule about like what you can put in it. And so it really gives you that opportunity to like really shine and say these are the changes that we're seeing in our communities as a result.

That is my favorite part of the 990. Another part about the 990 that talks about your story is when it talks about the value of goods being provided in the community. This is another really great way you can work this into your accomplishments, but you can also think about when you're talking about what are we doing, it gives you a chance to think through like, Hey, if it was not for us, we would not be giving out 3000 pounds of food a day. That works out to be, Ooh. Um, if we're using the feeding America rate, if I'm correct, beating Americans rate is 167, so that's, humor me, hold on. I'm pulling out my calculator. So if you were able to say, Oh, we now we're giving out 3000 pounds of food, we're giving out over $5,000 worth of this thing.

So that's really great to be able to say this is the monetary value, this is what people would have had to pay if not for our services. Another story that you get to tell here is how much you guys are paying the people, the key employees, the board members, independent contractors, like high level independent contractors, high level being the amount they're being paid, not actually the work that they're doing. And the reason that I say that they also falls into that storytelling category is that now you can see how your priorities are helping you reflect. It's reflecting what story is important to you. And so by being able to say, hey, we are making these payments. Depending on how you view things, you can be like, look, look how little we pay, which I have thoughts on that.

You can go over to the priorities episode to hear those thoughts. You can really talk through like if we had more, we could do so much more. If our staff did not have to work seven jobs because we don't pay them enough, we could imagine how much more impact we could have because they could dedicate more time to fundraising and dedicate more time to delivering program services and that also gives into the other things that we mentioned in priorities, which was the average hours worked as well as the number of volunteers. You want to always be able to ramp up those things saying we are growing, we are now putting in this many, this much of volunteer services. We're getting this many more people involved. You want to talk about the impact you're having and it's the impact is not always just the community that's being served.

It's the people who find themselves being drawn into your mission and saying, I want to commit my free time to work with you for free and saying, hey, this is what's happening. This is what's important to us. This is what we're leveraging. Because you want to be, you want to continue to show that you're having public support. You're not just, it's not just in your head that you're needed, but people are coming to you and saying, this work is making a difference for me. So be sure when you're filling out your 990, you consider how is this telling our story? How is this being an accurate portrayal of how we're getting community support and how we're supporting our community? If you are. So if you still have questions on the 990 and how it plays into your story, do reach out. You can find me on social media. I'm on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn. 

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