Here's a nifty guide for grant writers to help you understand the 990 form. I usually read the 990 for any potential client or funder. It gives me insight into the client. And, because it lists who a foundation has funded and how much they gave, it will help you choose the right places to apply and reasonable amounts to request.
How to Read the IRS Form 990 & Find Out What it Means: "The Form 990, entitled “Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax,” is a report that must be filed each year with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by organizations exempt from Federal income taxes under section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code, and whose annual receipts are 'normally' more than $25,000 a year. It is an information return and not an income tax return since the organizations that file it do not pay income taxes (except, as explained below, in certain cases an organization may have to pay an “unrelated business income tax”)."The guide is from the NonProfit Coordinating Committee of NYC -- a great resource for non-profits.
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