Where to Find Nonprofit Financial Statements


Where to Find Nonprofit Financial Statements

Nonprofit organizations play a crucial role in society, striving to make a positive impact on various causes and communities. Transparency and accountability are essential for these organizations to gain trust and support from donors and the public. One way to assess the financial health and stewardship of a nonprofit is by reviewing its financial statements. In this article, we will explore where to find nonprofit financial statements and address some frequently asked questions on the topic.

1. Nonprofit Organization’s Website
Many nonprofit organizations maintain a website where they share information about their mission, programs, and financials. It is common for nonprofits to include their financial statements, such as the annual report or audited financial statements, on their website. Look for sections like “About Us,” “Our Impact,” or “Financials” to find these documents. The financial statements may be available for download in PDF format.

2. Guidestar
Guidestar is a widely recognized and trusted platform that provides information on nonprofit organizations. It serves as a comprehensive database where nonprofits can upload their financial statements, annual reports, and other relevant documents. Users can access these resources after creating a free account on the Guidestar website. The platform also offers a paid subscription plan that provides more in-depth data and analysis for researchers and funders.

3. State Charity Regulators
In the United States, state charity regulators oversee and regulate nonprofit organizations. Many states require nonprofits to file annual reports that include financial statements. These reports are often available on the website of the state’s attorney general or secretary of state. Some states may charge a fee to access these documents. Check the specific state’s charity regulator website to find the required financial filings of a nonprofit organization.

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4. Donor-Advised Fund Sponsors
Donor-advised funds (DAFs) are charitable giving vehicles that allow donors to make contributions to a fund and recommend grants to nonprofits over time. DAF sponsors, such as Fidelity Charitable or Schwab Charitable, often publish the financial statements of the nonprofits they work with. These statements are typically available on the sponsor’s website or upon request. If you are considering donating to a nonprofit through a DAF, you can review their financial statements on the sponsor’s platform.

5. Nonprofit Watchdog Organizations
Several nonprofit watchdog organizations, such as Charity Navigator, Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, or BBB Wise Giving Alliance, and CharityWatch, actively evaluate and rate nonprofits based on their financial health, transparency, and accountability. These organizations often compile and publish financial information, including audited financial statements, on their websites. They provide an analysis of the financial statements and assign ratings to nonprofits to help donors make informed decisions.


Q: What should I look for in nonprofit financial statements?
A: When reviewing nonprofit financial statements, pay attention to key components such as the balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows. Look for indicators of financial stability, such as positive net assets, healthy liquidity ratios, and low administrative expenses.

Q: Are nonprofit financial statements audited?
A: Not all nonprofit financial statements are audited. However, larger nonprofits or those receiving significant amounts of funding may choose to have their financial statements audited by an independent certified public accountant (CPA) to provide an additional level of assurance to donors and stakeholders.

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Q: Can I request nonprofit financial statements directly from the organization?
A: Yes, you can reach out to the nonprofit organization directly and request a copy of their financial statements. They may provide them upon request or direct you to the appropriate channels where they are publicly available.

Q: Do all nonprofits file financial statements?
A: In the United States, most nonprofits are required to file annual reports or financial statements with state charity regulators. However, smaller nonprofits or those with minimal revenue may be exempt from this requirement. It is best to check the specific regulations in each state.

In conclusion, accessing nonprofit financial statements is crucial for assessing the financial health and transparency of these organizations. By utilizing various resources such as the organization’s website, Guidestar, state charity regulators, donor-advised fund sponsors, and nonprofit watchdog organizations, donors and stakeholders can make informed decisions about supporting nonprofits and their causes.