Thursday, June 6, 2019
I had a substantive post I was going to write today about a recent PLR. It was going to be fascinating, and I was going to raise a question about why the IRS drafted the PLR the way it did.
And then I opened Twitter. And saw this:
New: Search the full text of nearly 3 million nonprofit IRS filings, including investments and grants given to other nonprofits.https://t.co/LyCBYe6evq— ProPublica (@propublica) June 6, 2019
And there went my productivity for the day.
I love GuideStar. I love the access it gives to tax-exempt organizations' 990s, and all the information I can get from that. The one thing that has always kind of annoyed me, though, was that the 990s weren't searchable. And that wasn't Guidestar's fault--it merely posted the 990s it received, which, I assume, the organizations didn't provide in an OCR manner.
But now, ProPublica has provided a searchable database of 990s, going back as far as 2011. (Full-text search is here; advanced search is here.) I don't know the best way to use the database, but I did do a search for "Loyola University Chicago" to see whose 990s we show up in. Turns out about 304 990s mention us. (I say about because the search isn't perfect: I couldn't find Loyola mentioned in the DePaul Schedule I that came up in the search.) A lot of the mentions are from private foundations, or from matching grants. There's even a mention in the 2010 Form 990 for the Charles Koch Foundation, though there the university is giving back about $1,200 in unused funds from a 2009 grant.
Samuel D. Brunson