The crisis in Haiti has sparked an outpouring of concern and aid pouring in from around the world. With this goodwill comes an opportunity for charities to shine and journalists to make sure that those charities are doing what they promise.
Check up on charitable organizations in your community or educate your readers and viewers to investigate those charities themselves. Form 990s are readily available for download via Guidestar. Charity Navigator can also help as it’s a site that ranks and rates nonprofit organizations.
Here are some tipsheets that can help you unlock a 990’s secrets:
- Ron Campbell of the Orange County Register dissects a nonprofit and tells you what you can expect line-by-line in “Digging into nonprofits.”
- In “Reporter’s fact sheet on new IRS nonprofit Form 990” Craig McCoy of the Philadelphia Enquirer explains recent changes to form 990s.
- “Quick hit watchdog stories: No-nonsense nonprofit reporting” offers tips from Teri Sforza of The Orange County Register on how to quickly assess a charity use 990s.