Once Upon a 990-PF: What Story Does Your 990-PF Tell About Your Foundation? (United Philanthropy Forum Webinar)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
2:00pm to 3:00pm EST
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Have you read your institution's 990-PF lately? Have you ever stopped to think what headlines it might inspire? The IRS recently started releasing e-filed Forms 990 and 990-PF as machine-readable, open data. Because the data is now not only open, but digital and machine-readable, this means that anyone from journalists to researchers to activists can aggregate this data and make comparisons, correlations, and judgments about philanthropy at lightning speed, all without your input. Investment practices, demographics of beneficiaries, and compensation practices are examples of 990 data that can get easily turned into compelling narratives about your foundation. This has implications for foundations institution-wide, from governance practices to grants data and from staffing to investment management. 

Attend this webinar to learn about sections of the Form 990-PF that present potential risks and vulnerabilities, as well as opportunities to better share your institution's work. You will also learn how to turn an examination of your 990-PF into an opportunity for improving internal practice, policy, and how these are communicated.

Topics covered include:

  • How open philanthropic data works
  • New efforts by the IRS to make your 990-PF data both free and open
  • Highlights of the most commonly used data from your 990-PF
  • How to analyze the story your current 990-PF tells about your foundation
  • Recommendations for better communicating your foundation’s work through the 990-PF
  • Foundation policies that may need revisiting in light of new era of open 990s


  • Janet Camarena, Director of Transparency Initiatives, Foundation Center 
  • C. Davis Parchment, Manager of Knowledge Services, Foundation Center 
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