Tuesday, November 11, 2014

NYT's Neediest Cases Site Omits IRS 990s & Fiscal Reports

Over the course of the past five or six years, I've noticed the growing number of nonprofits that voluntarily post at least three years' worth of IRS 990 filings and annual reports on their sites even though there is no Treasury Department regulation requiring such transparency.

As a longtime watchdog over Gay Inc and AIDS Inc organizations, I give much credit to any and all 501(c)3 tax-exempt groups that share their 990s and don't place any burden on donors or members of the public to make requests to a given nonprofit for their tax filings.

It's time to call upon the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund to join the extensive list of charities providing voluntary transparency and for the paper's nonprofit to immediately post several years of IRS 990s and annual financial reports on their site.

This is the limited info the site provides about fiscal information and accountability:

The Fund is a New York not-for-profit organization that has been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. [...] A copy of The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund’s latest annual financial report may be obtained, upon request, from the Fund or from the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, Attn: FOIL Officer, 120 Broadway, New York, New York 10271.

They don't even link to their IRS 990 filings at GuideStar and there is no email address given for whom to contact at the fund for annual report or the 990s. How quaint of the New York Times to let folks know they can snail mail a paper letter to the Empire State's attorney general.

The fund's principal officer is Michael Golden, pictured, vice chairman of the New York Times Company and a cousin to the publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr, and today I'm requesting that he bring the fund into the tech age and make a minimum of three years' 990s and annual reports a click away on the charity's web site.

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