Staying Compliant - A Nonprofit Checklist

There are many rules, regulations and documents that nonprofit organizations must follow to keep their tax-exempt status. As a nonprofit leader, compliance might take the back seat to other responsibilities like fundraising, generating volunteers and spreading the word about your mission. In order to maintain your nonprofit status, it is important to know what it takes to keep in good standing with your state and the federal government. Good standing is taking the proper steps in a timely manner.
Trust us, time flies and before you know, a deadline has passed that could put your nonprofit in jeopardy. Not only are there annual renewals that have to be submitted, there are documents that you need to have at your fingertips in case you are audited. These requirements vary state to state, but the following checklist will help guide you to what you need. It's always advisable to consult an attorney or local government officials to know exactly what is required. Take a look at a quick check list to get started. 

Corporate Documentation

  • Does your nonprofit take and file minutes of all board and committee meetings?
  • Are all resolutions approved by the board of directors, signed and filed?
  • Are the latest financials attached to the minutes?
  • Does your nonprofit have annual financial statements prepared by a professional accountant?

Board of Directors

  • Is a list of all board members and contact information, documented?
  • Is there a job description created for board members?
  • Do you have the last three years of board meeting minutes filed and accessible?
  • Do you have the last seven years of financials filed and accessible?
  • Does the board of directors review the job performance of the executive director and staff members?
  • Is your insurance coverage for general liability and board of directors’ officers' insurance current and accessible?
  • Does your organization have any intellectual property or use another organization's intellectual property? Are these documents accessible?

Requirements For A Nonprofit Organization (Have these documents accessible)

  • Articles of Incorporation: Are these documents filed and accessible?
  • Bylaws: Are your Bylaws current?
  • Conflict of Interest Forms: Are your Conflict of Interest Forms up to date and signed and filed by all board members
  • IRS determination letter 501(c) 3 letter: Is this documentation easily accessible?
  • Sales Tax Exemption Paperwork: Are your sales tax exemption paperwork current?
  • Income Statements, Financials & Balance Sheets (990 Forms): Are you filing Annual Reports with your state?

Fundraising Requirements

  • Are you registered to fundraise in your state or county? (Example: Games of Chance license, etc.)
  • Does your nonprofit document all financial gifts that are more than $250 and send thank you letters to donors?
  • Does your nonprofit document and track all donations?

Miscellaneous Personnel Documents

  • Employee Handbook
  • Employee policies and benefits
  • Disciplinary Procedures
  • Personnel Files
  • Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Family and Medical Leave Policy
  • Drug Testing Policy

We realize that all organizations are different. Creating a checklist of documents required by your state is key to staying compliant. We can help you with state charity registrations. Contact us today.

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