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Form 990 Series: The “Players” listed on the Form 990 (Part 1 of 3)

One of the unique aspects of the Form 990 is included in Part VII (Page 7) of the core form. This is where the reader can find a listing of all of the “players” involved with the organization as well as their compensation – some might consider this the organization’s “lineup.” There are 6 check boxes next to each individual’s name which identifies the individual’s position. As in any sport, each position has a different definition and different responsibilities. In order to correctly set your organization’s lineup, you must first understand what each of the positions entail. The information below might help all of those “coaches” out there. 

  • Officer
    • Determined by organizational documents 
      • president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, board chair
       
     
  • Top management official
    • charged with implementing decisions of governing board
      • chief executive officer, executive director, etc.
      • Top financial official (treasurer, CFO, etc.)
       
     
  • Director/Trustee
    • Member of the organization's governing board
    • Has to have voting rights
    • An officer that has voting rights is also considered a director
      • *NOTE* this is the only situation when a player is in multiple positions
       
     
  • Key employees
    • Must meet ALL THREE requirements listed below
      • 1. compensation in excess of $150,000
      •  2. power/influence over the organization as a whole or manages a segment/activity that is more than 10% of organization
      •  3. one of the top 20 compensated employees other than the officers and directors/trustees that meet #1 and #2 above.
       
     
  • Highest compensated employee
    • Compensation in excess of $100,000
    • Only the top five employees are listed
     

The following applies to all players listed above: 

  • If at any point during the year an individual met one of the qualifications/criteria listed above, then they are considered a “current” player and need to be listed on the Form 990.
  •  If the individual “played” one of these positions in the prior fiscal year but continued to receive compensation in the current fiscal year then they would be considered a “former” player but still listed on the Form 990 (because of the compensation). 
  • The number of average weekly hours spent working for the organization (or a related organization) is also displayed for each of the players.

This part of the 990 as well as Schedule J (additional detail on each of the players’ compensation) can be a controversial part of the 990. Not only can the reader see all of the individuals involved with the organization but they can also see their compensation and benefits (also discussed in another Form 990 series article). This information is included in the 990 in order to enhance the transparency of nonprofit organizations.

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