Accountability and Communications

Did Principles_65x84_1_you know?
This is part of "Principles for Grantmakers & Practice Options for Philanthropic Organizations."

View the complete table of contents or download the PDF.

This section focuses on an organization's openness and transparency in communicating and disclosing key information about the organization to its constituents and the broader public.

Options highlighted in bold are required by law. All other options are voluntary practices that individual organizations can choose to implement.


  1. If we are a newly formed foundation: We registered and filed required documentation for nonprofit corporations or charitable trusts with appropriate state offices, when we incorporated or formed the trust.

990 and Other Filings

  1. We complete our 990 or 990-PF annually and file it with the appropriate federal and state regulators, as required by law.
  2. We retain and make available for public inspection, without charge, a copy of our original and amended 990 or 990-PF for the last three years and our Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Annual Registration and related documents.
  3. We provide copies of our 990 or 990-PF and tax-exemption application to anyone who requests them either in person (on a same-day basis) or in writing (within 30 days of the request), or we make our 990 or 990-PF and Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Annual Registration available free on our website as exact images of the originals.
  4. To demonstrate our commitment to public accountability, we post our 990 or 990-PF on our website.


  1. We make available information about our organization and our grantmaking guidelines and procedures.
  2. If we accept unsolicited grant proposals: We make readily available a full and clear description of our grantmaking guidelines and application process through our 990 or 990-PF, grantmaker directory entries, annual report, website, brochures, newsletters and/or other communications vehicles, as appropriate.
  3. If we do not accept unsolicited grant proposals: We clearly indicate this in our grantmaker directory entries and/or other appropriate communications vehicles, such as our annual report or website.
  4. If we have a non-discrimination policy: We make it available to grant applicants and the public.
  5. We are committed to making information readily available about our finances, operations, governance and impact through our annual report, website and/or other communications vehicles, as appropriate.