How to find financial reports for nonprofit organizations

Here are a few ideas in case you would like to find some financial info on a charity.

For donors, it is easy to find financial reports for charities you would like to support. For ministries, please understand how incredibly easy it is for your donors to find your financial data. 

If you are looking for tax returns of an NPO, you can find them at GuideStar. You will have to register, but the basic service is free. I’ve used that site quite a bit for a number of years and haven’t needed more than the basic services. When an NPO calls me looking for professional assistance, I visit GuideStar even before looking at their website.

If you want to see the audited financial statements, check the organization’s web site first. Many NPOs put their most recent 990 and audited financials up on their site.

If you can’t find the audited report there or you want older reports, you can try the North Carolina Secretary of State.  NPOs with a national level solicitation program will usually be registered in that state. The Secretary posts all documents received on the web site.

The home page for the North Carolina Secretary of State is here.

The home page for the charitable solicitation licensing program is here.

The search page is here. Just enter a few words in the NPO’s name, hit enter, and you should see them listed as an option. Click on through until you get the year and report you want to read.

Only drawback to the GuideStar site is they usually only have the latest 3 reports. Most organizations only post the current 990 and audited financial statement.  If you need older info, check out the NC Secretary of State’s site.

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