Assessing the Financial Health of Nonprofits in Research and Scholarship | 8 July 2022 | Tania Hernandez, Invest in Open Infrastructure
ioi_ab's bookmarks 2022-07-08
"Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) is dedicated to improving funding and resourcing for open technologies and systems that support research and scholarship. To achieve this mission, we work to better understand the financial health of nonprofit providers and enablers in this space. We aim to clarify sector needs for both funders and providers in order to better allocate resources. To assess the financial health of nonprofits we are exploring tools to make sense of the financial information available publicly online. Financial ratio analysis is a frequently-used, powerful tool to assess the financial health of organizations and identify the areas that would benefit from reinforcement. Focus and Data Sources In terms of the data, we selected 18 non-profit providers and entities that serve the research and scholarly ecosystem via their offerings and services. This is a snapshot of the space, with providers and entities that are incorporated under the 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) provisions of the US Internal Revenue Code as charitable organizations (see Appendix 1 for the list of organizations; this list is subject to change, we will be keeping it up-to-date). While this confines our analysis to only those providers under obligation to report their financial information to taxing authorities in the US, it provides a useful prototype of analysis we hope to extend to providers operating in other tax jurisdictions in other legal forms around the world by establishing a baseline of comparison. To have an overview of the conditions of the sector, we plan to restrict the analysis from 2011 to 2019. Our primary data source will be the financial information reported by nonprofit organizations on US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 990 and Form 990-EZ. As legal filings, we assume the financial disclosures on the IRS Form 990s are accurate representations of their financial condition. We identify organizations by Employer Identification Number (EIN) and use digitized aggregated Form 990 data from Candid/Guidestar and the Urban Institute. To ensure the information is accurate, we will conduct a random review comparing digitized aggregated data with the information reported by organizations in Form 990...."
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