How much do nonprofit organizations spend on consultants and professional fees? (FAQ)

The IRS Forms 990 and 990-EZ provide, at best, partial answers to these questions. The Form 990, generally required

by organizations of organizations with $100,000 or more in annual gross receipts, includes three expense categories

in Part II that capture components of consulting or professional service fees:

� Professional fundraising fees (line 30)

� Accounting fees (line 31)

� Legal fees (line 32)

Unfortunately, other types of professional fees, such as fees paid to artists or to social workers or physicians, are

often reported under the catch-all category of �other expenses.� (lines 44a-e). Many organizations include lengthy

attachments detailing items included under �other.� A careful examination of individual Forms 990 can be used to

identify consulting or professional service fees, but there is no database of such data for Form 990 filers.

Unlike the Form 990, the Form 990-EZ provides a single line (13) for ALL �professional fees and other payments to

independent contractors.�

Both the Statistics of Income databases and the NCCS-GuideStar National Nonprofit Research Databases capture these

items. NCCS Core and Business Master Files do not.

Added 05/07/2002 by tpollak, Modified 04/07/2010 by asblackwood


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