Insight

Nonprofits: Here’s how to embrace accountability

To protect the organization, demonstrate openness and support the greater good, your not-for-profit needs to embrace accountability. Doing so will also help you fulfill your fiduciary responsibilities to donors, constituents and the public.

Fairness and clarity

Accountability starts by complying with all applicable laws and rules. As you carry out your organization’s initiatives, do so fairly and in the best interests of your constituents and community. Your status as a nonprofit means you’re obligated to use your resources to support your mission and benefit the community you serve. Evaluate programs accordingly, both in respect to the activities and their outcomes.

There can be no accountability without good governance, and that’s ultimately your board’s responsibility. Your board needs to understand the importance of its role and focus on the big picture — not the process-oriented details best handled at the staff or committee level.

For example, management will likely prepare internal financial statements and review performance against approved budgets on a quarterly basis. But it will present these statements to the board (or its audit or finance committee) for review and approval. Your board is also responsible for establishing and regularly assessing financial performance measurements.

Communicating with your public

Communication is a big part of accountability. Your annual report, for example, is designed to summarize the year’s activities and detail your nonprofit’s financial position. But the report’s list of board members, management staff and other key employees can be just as important. Stakeholders want to be able to assign responsibility for results to actual names.

Your nonprofit’s Form 990 also provides the public with an overview of your organization’s programs, finances, governance, compliance and compensation methods. Notably, charity watchdog groups use 990 information to rate nonprofits.

Big impact

Whether your organization is accountable — and able to communicate its accountability — can affect everything from donations to grants, hiring to volunteering and good word-of-mouth. Contact us for more information.

© 2018

Related Insights

Tax-wise ways to take cash from your corporation while avoiding dividend treatment | tax accountants in alexandria | Weyrich, Cronin & Sorra

Management Advisory Services & Business Consulting

Tax-wise ways to take cash from your corporation while avoiding dividend treatment

If you want to withdraw cash from your closely held corporation at a low tax cost, the easiest way is to distribute cash as a dividend. However,…
9 tax considerations if you’re starting a business as a sole proprietor | tax accountants in washington dc | Weyrich, Cronin & Sorra

Management Advisory Services & Business Consulting

9 tax considerations if you’re starting a business as a sole proprietor

When launching a small business, many entrepreneurs start out as sole proprietors. If you’re launching a venture as a sole proprietorship,…
Encouraging charitable donors to include you in their estate plans | quickbooks consultant in washington dc | Weyrich, Cronin, & Sorra

Non-Profits

Encouraging charitable donors to include you in their estate plans

Even if current donations are your not-for-profit’s bread and butter, you can’t afford to neglect planned, legacy or deferred gifts. These…

Connect with us

Use the form below to send us an email. WCS responds directly to all inquiries and general questions within 24 hours of posting.

This contact form is deactivated because you refused to accept Google reCaptcha service which is necessary to validate any messages sent by the form.