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The quality of life in Grundy County is dependent on the ability of area nonprofits to be efficient and legal with their administration so that their programs and fundraising are effective.

One drawback to running a nonprofit in rural America is getting professional development, training, and education.  Even driving to a workshop in Joliet takes 3 hours out of your day just in travel by the time you drive there, grab coffee, and settle into your seat on time (my mother will remind you that “on time” means 15 minutes before it starts, but that’s a different column!).  In response, we began a monthly educational program in 2014 called "Grundy Nonprofit Tools for Success."  We convened the nonprofit sector at a monthly after-hours event and brought in guest speakers to present the details of various aspects of running a successful nonprofit, including websites, mailings, media releases, financials, human resources, planned giving, and more.  In addition to travel time, so much of what we want to learn or brainstorm with peers about doesn’t need to be taught by a consultant from far away – we can usually accomplish it with someone local.

The series ran its course and COVID-19 really put a damper on networking, so I’m switching it up a bit and using my monthly Morris Herald-News column and the Community Foundation of Grundy County website to talk about policies and issues that nonprofits need to know and implement in order to be compliant, transparent organizations that make us worthy of our donors and the residents that we serve.

The first few topics that I will cover are taken from Part VI Section B of the 990, which is the annual federal form filed with the IRS – and its companion in Illinois, the AG-990.  True, most small tax-exempt organizations whose gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less must file the Form 990-N e-postcard rather than the full 990, but best practices encourages even small nonprofits to have these policies in place.  After that, we'll post past presentations, sample documents, and get updated thoughts from presenters.

Whether your are nonprofit board or staff, please review these materials and apply them to your nonprofit as you see fit.  If you have questions about any of these topics or want to introduce new topics, please contact us at 815-941-0852 or [email protected].  Thank you!