Record retention is an important issue for nonprofit organizations. While a sound record retention policy is a good business practice for all kinds of entities for legal and efficiency reasons, it's of particular importance to a sector that depends on the goodwill that comes from transparency and the trust of the public. MNA-Links-Magazine-Document-Retention-article-summer-2015.pdf The information and retention schedule provided in this article comes directly from the Michigan Nonprofit Management Manual, a must-have desktop resource for nonprofit managers, http://www.mnaonline.org/managementmanual.aspx. This article was recently featured in LINKS, MNA's quarterly magazine publication. LINKS is only available to MNA members, so if you find this article useful consider joining MNA to receive this informative publication regularly.
Principles and Practices
As entities that serve the public, nonprofits have an ethical obligation to conduct their activities in a way that is accountable and transparent to their constituents. Nonprofits should engage in ongoing efforts to openly convey information to the public about their missions, activities, and decision-making processes. This information should be easily accessible to the public and should create external visibility, public understanding, and trust in the organization.
In January of 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Third Circuit, a landmark decision was made that is critical to boards and emphasizes the importance of due diligence and good governance. This case highlights the importance of addressing staff realities, having an effective audit committee, protecting each other (risk management) and beging attendtive to compliance basics like making sure all board members understand the duties of care, their responsibilities related to the IRS Form 990 as well as other issues surrounding conflict of interest and basic accounting procedures. Read the article here: The Cost of Director Inattentiveness
This chart summarizes the more common categories of “noncharitable” tax-exempt organizations and touches briefly on nonprofit membership organizations, which do not have tax exemption. View this chart directly from the Michigan Nonprofit Management Manual, a comprehensive hands-on guide for nonprofit organizations. MNA-Organizational-Reference-Chart-from-IRS.pdf