21 December 2023

How To Find Key Nonfinancial Information On Form 990



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For many people, the Form 990 is a long and overwhelming document, but do not let its length keep you from diving in. It is actually a very useful and an easy-to-read return if you know how to find what you are looking for.
United States Corporate/Commercial Law
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For many people, the Form 990 is a long and overwhelming document, but do not let its length keep you from diving in. It is actually a very useful and an easy-to-read return if you know how to find what you are looking for.

The federal Form 990 is an annual information return required to be filed with the IRS by most organizations exempt from income tax under section 501(a). It consists of a 12-part core form and up to 16 supplemental schedules. While all parts are important, some are more useful to the casual reader than others. Below is a quick summary of where to find useful nonfinancial information that is included in the parts of the core form and schedules to assist you in your review.


  • Part I Summary – Provides a great executive summary of an organization, including the mission statement, number of board members, number of volunteers and key financial data all on one page.
  • Part III Statement of Program Service Accomplishments – Provides details on the organization's mission and major programs. This is where the organization can describe their programming, including any major changes to programming as compared to the prior year. It also provides information regarding expenses, amounts paid in grants and program service revenue received by major program.
  • Part VI Governance, Management, and Disclosure – Provides information on board members, family and business relationships of the organization and other key governance information. Additionally, in Section B, the IRS has listed a handful of key policies to which an organization is required to answer yes or no. For three of the identified polices, the organization is required to describe on Schedule O.
  • Part VII Compensation of Officers, Directors, Trustees, Key Employees, Highest Compensated Employees, and Independent Contractors – Provides information on the members of governance and certain employees including their names, titles, hours worked per week and compensation.
  • Part XII Financial Statements and Reporting – Provides information regarding whether an organization's financial statements were compiled, reviewed or audited and if the organization was subject to Federal Uniform Guidance rules.


  • Schedule A Public Charity Status and Public Support – This schedule provides the reason for the organization's public support status in Part I and shows the calculation in either Part II or Part III. Organizations are required to receive at least 33.3% in funding from the general public to maintain their public charity status.
  • Schedule F Statement of Activities Outside the United States – This schedule provides information regarding grants and other assistance made outside of the United States to organizations, entities or individuals. Additionally, organizations are required to detail their activities by region, including number of offices, employees, activities and total expenditures.
  • Schedule I Grants and Other Assistance to Organizations, Governments and Individuals in the United States – Like Schedule F, this schedule provides information regarding grants and other assistance made to organizations, governments and individuals in the United States.
  • Schedule J Compensation Information – This schedule provides detailed compensation information for certain officers, directors, trustees, key employees and highest-compensated employees who at a minimum make in excess of $150,000 in calendar year compensation. This schedule also provides information on perks or nonstandard arrangements for compensation.
  • Schedule L Transactions with Interested Persons – This schedule provides detailed information on various transactions with interested persons including excess benefit transactions, loans to and/or from interested persons, grants or assistance benefiting interested persons and business transactions involving interested persons.
  • Schedule O Supplemental Information to Form 990 or 990-EZ – This schedule provides the space for organizations to answer specific questions asked on the Form 990 as well as to further elaborate on any answer that the organization may wish to include.
  • Schedule R Related Organizations and Unrelated Partnerships – This schedule identifies related organizations and provides details on the transactions between the entities.

Related Read: How to Define Business Transactions with Interested Persons

The above list is not comprehensive but is a good place to start if you are new to reading Form 990s and are unsure how to navigate the nonfinancial data. Detailed financial data can be found in Part VIII Statement of Revenue, Part IX Statement of Functional Expenses and Part X Balance Sheet.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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