Watch a recording of our livestream on Grantspace (The Foundation Center) for a list of 10 tips and ideas to get yourself ready for 2017. Michele and I discussed year-end filing requirements, the importance of charitable registrations, required steps before awarding an executive director with a year-end bonus, elections and bylaws compliance, development of next year’s board calendar, and other items to consider before the year ends.
- Check off your checklist of filings you have to complete in 2016 and have a checklist for 2017. Annual Filing Requirements for Nonprofits (National Council of Nonprofits); Exempt Organization Annual Filing Requirements Overview (IRS).
- Register as a charitable organization in any applicable states (not necessarily just the state in which you are based). The Charleston Principles: Guidelines on Charitable Solicitations Using the Internet (NASCO); The Unified Registration Statement.
- Approve executive bonuses in a lawful manner, consistent with applicable laws regarding reasonable (total) compensation and charitable trust. Charitable Trust Doctrine.
- Approve executive compensation (including any changes to executive compensation) in a lawful manner (consider using the rebuttable presumption of reasonableness procedures if paying close to market value). Executive Compensation – The Legal Issues.
- Review the purpose statements in your Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws and make sure they are consistent with each other, your mission statement, and your activities.
- Review and comply with your election procedures for directors and officers.
- Review or consider adopting governance policies, including those referenced in the Form 990. Good Governance Policies for Nonprofits (National Council of Nonprofits); Form 990 Policies – Is it better to check “yes” or “no”? Form 990 Policy Series (Public Counsel).
- [Private foundation] Ensure you have made or will make your required annual distributions (and understand what counts as a qualifying distribution).
- Review the past year’s financials and the coming year’s budget; train board and management staff on how to read, interpret, and use the financials; determine whether a financial audit will be necessary or warranted. Tools & Resources | Financial Management (National Council of Nonprofits); Financial Management (Grantspace); Nonprofit Finance 101 (Nonprofit Finance Fund).
- Develop a board calendar for the upcoming year. Nonprofit Board Meetings – Calendar of Agenda Items.