Comprehensive Nonprofit Resource Guide 

A free resource provided by the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants  

  1. Information on nonprofit accounting principles and financial reporting  
  2. Information on Form 990 and UBTI 
  3. Sample accounting packages used by nonprofits 
  4. Seminar providers on nonprofit topics 
  5. Finding private foundation funding  
  6. Planned giving and other fundraising resources 
  7. Risk management and insurance topics 
  8. Pension and deferred compensation issues  
  9. Banking and cash management  
  10. Finding legal help 
  11. Obtaining tax-exempt status 
  12. Specific issues affecting churches 
  13. Charitable registrations considerations 
  14. Charitable gaming issues 
  15. Employment tax issues
  16. Sales and use tax considerations  
  17. Federal funding compliance issues 
  18. Responsibilities and liabilities of board members 
  19. Tax-exempt bond financing 
  20. Intermediate sanctions and compensation resources 
  21. Making public disclosures 

1. Information on nonprofit accounting principles and financial reporting | Top

Free resources:

Suggested reading: 

  • "Financial and Accounting Guide for Not-For-Profit Organizations: 2007 Cumulative Supplement," Malvern J. Gross Jr., Richard F. Larkin, John H. McCarthy, John Wiley & Sons.
  • "The Complete Guide to Nonprofit Management," Smith, Bucklin & Associates, Inc. Edited by Robert H. Wilbur John Wiley & Sons.
  • "Streetsmart Financial Basics for Nonprofit Managers," Thomas A. McLaughlin, John Wiley & Sons.
  •  “Financial & Strategic Management for Nonprofit Organizations,” Bryce Herrington, Jossey-Bass. 

2. Information on Form 990 and Unrelated Business Taxable Income (UBTI) | Top 

3. Sample accounting packages used by nonprofits | Top

Free resources:

Suggested reading: 

  • "Running Quickbooks in Nonprofits — The Only Comprehensive Guide for Nonprofits Using Quickbooks," Kathy Ivens, CPA, 911 Publishing 

4. Seminar providers on nonprofit topics | Top 

  • Religious Resources.org — Search an extensive list of nonprofit and religious seminars, retreats and workshops.
  • Lorman Education Services — Choose from popular seminars such as “Tax Exempt Organizations,” “Religious Issues,” “Corporation Issues,” and “Public Charities.” Search by state to find upcoming nonprofit-related seminars scheduled to be held in your area.
  • VSCPA Financial Fitness Workshops — The Virginia Society of CPAs offers occasional nonprofit seminars and also provides free speakers to nonprofits on a variety of financial topics through its Speakers Bureau.
  • GWSCPA.org — The Greater Washington Society of CPAs offers several seminars for nonprofits throughout the year and extends its member discounts to members of the VSCPA.
  • IRS Worskhops for Nonprofit Organizations — The IRS presents free, one-day workshops for small & mid-sized tax-exempt organizations around the country. Check their “Calendar of Events” for locations and dates.
  • Stay Exempt.irs.gov — IRS offers free virtual workshops and online courses for tax exempt organizations.
  • Isoph Institute — Built on Isoph Blue technology, the Isoph Institute is where individuals serving nonprofits and socially focused organizations, whether as staff, board members or volunteers, can learn and collaborate.
  • Greater DC Cares — Greater DC Cares comprehensively mobilizes volunteers and strengthens nonprofits to better impact communities and the key issues in the greater Washington, D.C., region.
  • Center for Nonprofit Advancement — The Center provides training and technical assistance for leaders and staff at every level to increase performance and the impact of nonprofit services.
5. Finding private foundation funding | Top 
  • The Foundation Center — In addition to providing a directory of foundations, the site offers direct links to websites where you can research additional information about each foundation, the types of funding that it offers and its application requirements. Additional resources include an orientation to the fundraising process and some good summaries on how to write a proposal to a private foundation.
  • Office of Contract and Grant Administration (OCGA) — Visit the OCGA website to find a list of private funding agencies' websites.
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation — This site provides tips for successful grant seeking as well as information on a book by Joel J. Orosz, “The Insider's Guide to Grantmaking.”
6. Planned giving and other fundraising resources | Top 
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation — This site provides tips for successful grant seeking as well as information on a book by Joel J. Orosz, “The Insider's Guide to Grantmaking.”
  • The National Committee on Planned Giving — This national association connects people whose work includes developing, marketing and administering charitable planned gifts.
  • Planned Giving Resources — Planned Giving Resources assists charities in starting or expanding their planned giving program, with help in starting and/or improving a charitable gift annuity program, including compliance with state regulations, as well as developing, accepting, processing and managing a gift annuity fund.
  • Alliance for Nonprofit Management — The professional association of individuals and organizations devoted to improving the management and governance capacity of nonprofits and assist nonprofits in fulfilling their mission.
7. Risk management and insurance topics | Top 

8. Pension and deferred compensation issues | Top

Networking with peer organizations about the pension providers they use is a good source of practical information. Pensions and deferred compensation is a highly technical area best left to those specializing in the area, but certain technical resources are as follows: 

  • Aspen Publishers (including Panel Publishers ) — Produces a variety of books and journals on pension issues, including "The Pension Answer Book," "401K Answer Book," "403(b) Answer Book" and "457 Answer Book"
  • BenefitsLink.com — Pension issues
  • TIAA–CREF — Major provider of retirement plans to certain kinds of nonprofits
  • RIA — Website of the Research Institute of America, which publishes numerous publications on all types of financial topics
9. Banking and cash management | Top 
  • Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) — AFP, or the Treasury Management Association, supports individuals in aspects of treasury and financial management.
  • Bank of America — Click on the corporate and institutional tab for examples of treasury management services.
  • Suntrust — Click on the business solutions tab for examples of treasury management services.
  • Rate.net — Rate.net provides updated quotes on CD and other bank rates from across the country.
10. Finding legal help | Top 
  • Hurwit & Associates — Nonprofit Law — The online Nonprofit Law Resource Library contains information on dozens of nonprofit and foundation issues, including start-up issues, state filing and compliance, mergers and affiliations, charitable contributions and more.
  • Nonprofit Resource Center — The Center provides references on nonprofit legal issues.
  • Nonprofitlaw.com — The website poses discussions about various legal issues affecting nonprofit organizations.
  • Management Assistance for Nonprofits — This online library is a free community resource to be shared and contributed to by users and readers across the world. The overall goal of the library is to provide leaders and managers (especially those with very limited resources) basic and practical information about business, management and organizations. Legal resource information is also included.
  • Virginia Bar Association — Click on the “For the Public” tab to find legal references and links to a variety of online resources.
  • Virginia Business Magazine — Click on the list of leaders and then click on law firms to get a list of 25 leading law firms throughout the Commonwealth.

11. Obtaining tax-exempt status | Top

 There are two forms that can be used to apply for tax-exempt status: 

12. Specific issues affecting churches | Top  

13. Charitable registrations considerations | Top

 These are all excellent sites with links to other sites for charitable registration requirements: 

14. Charitable gaming issues | Top    15. Employment tax issues | Top  
  • IRS Circular E —IRS Circular E is the online version of the Employer's Tax Guide, that provides the rules on employment taxes.
  • Virginia Department of Taxation — Perform a search for information on Virginia unemployment taxes and withholding.
  • IRS website — Use the search feature to find information on other employment tax issues or employee vs. independent contractor issues 

16. Sales and use tax considerations | Top  

17. Federal funding compliance issues | Top                                      
  • Chart on government grant requirements — Provided by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the chart details where each agency has codified its version of Circular A-110. In many cases, the agency's version mirrors A- 110 exactly, and in other cases there are some clarifications made by the specific agency.
  • OMB Circular A-110 — Administrative requirements for nonprofits receiving federal grants
  • OMB Circular A-122 — Cost principles for nonprofits receiving federal awards
  • OMB Circular A-133 — Audit requirements over federal grants
18. Responsibilities and liabilities of board members | Top   

19. Tax-exempt bond financing | Top

In certain cases, 501(c)(3) organizations can finance buildings or other equipment through tax-exempt bonds. Any organization considering this option should consult with legal counsel or other advisors to see if they qualify to issue the bonds, and for advice in structuring the financing. Nonprofits should contact their legal counsel and banking institution to see what experience they have with tax-exempt bonds or who they would recommend to provide assistance. 

20. Intermediate sanctions and compensation resources | Top 
  • Center for Excellence in Nonprofits — Provides the nonprofit community with programs in leadership development, systemic change, continuous improvement and best practices
  • The DMA Nonprofit Federation — Advocates for nonprofits in postal, regulatory, legislative and accountability issues
  • The Nonprofit Times — Features articles covering current events and trends of interest to nonprofit executive managers
21. Making public disclosures | Top 
This guide was last updated in September 2010 by CPAs serving on the VSCPA Nonprofit Resource Guides Task Force. CPAs and nonprofit organizations are freely encouraged to email or copy this guide to share with officers and directors serving on nonprofit boards. For permission to duplicate this guide or modify it for any other purpose, please contact the Virginia Society of CPAs at 4309 Cox Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060, (804) 270-5344 or vscpa@vscpa.com.