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990-PF Finding Tools

Every private foundation in the U.S. is required to submit a 990-PF to the IRS each year. This document provides fiscal data for the foundation, names of trustees and officers, application information, and a complete grants list. While some larger foundations may produce annual reports and post information on the web, the overwhelming majority do not. For smaller and medium sized foundations, the 990-PF may be the only free source where one can find such grant lists.

How current is the 990-PF?

The typical deadline for submitting a 990-PF to the IRS is six months after the foundation's fiscal year. Then the IRS has to process the form and scan it. So if a foundation's fiscal year ending on Dec. 31st, you could very well have to wait until the fall of the following year to actually see the return on the Internet. Many foundations also routinely request a three-month extension, and sometimes a second one. In summary, there can be a 12-18 month lag period between the end of an organization's fiscal year and when its latest Form 990 is available online.

Where can one go to find 990-PFs?

Many of you are familiar with Guidestar, which routinely posts information about all the nonprofits in the U.S., including private foundations. However, Guidestar has recently required users to register to receive ids and passwords. While still free, Guidestar has become a little more aggravating to use, and some archival information is restricted to paid users.

Try the following sources instead :

Foundation Directory Quick Start
This stripped-down version of the Foundation Directory Online Professional database provides free access to 100,000 private foundations and approximately 250,000 IRS 990-PF forms.
Note: Requires free registration.
(Last checked 05/17/18)

If you are visiting a Foundation Center Cooperating Collection like the MSU Main Library, you can also access 990-PF returns via:

Foundation Directory Online Professional
Provides subscribers with access to an unprecedented wealth of timely, comprehensive information on grantmakers and their grants. You'll find detailed profiles of over 140,000 U.S. grantmakers... with records for more than 8 million recently awarded grants! Work smarter -- and faster -- to find the funds you need. Professional lets you keyword-search across more than 447,000 IRS 990s for grantmaking organizations. With unique funder portfolios of news, RFPs, key staff affiliations, and color-coded grant distribution charts. Professional is the best choice for successful grantseekers.
(Last checked 05/17/18)

Guidestar Premium
Access restricted to the MSU Community and other subscribers.
(Last checked 05/17/18)

For more information about the 990-PF, see Demystifying the 990-PF , a free Foundation Center online tutorial providing an overview of the content, accessibility, and value of Form 990-PF, the tax return filed by private foundations.
(Last checked 05/17/18)

Generic 990-PF Form
(Last checked 05/17/18)

990 FAQS
(Last checked 05/17/18)


WWW http://staff.lib.msu.edu/harris23/grants/

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Last revised 05/17/18

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