Tracking Volunteers and Form 990

At many of my recent talks, I’ve been discussing the importance of tracking and managing volunteers. Volunteerism is THE distinguishing factor between for-profits and non-profits. After all, no one volunteers to work at Best Buy, but many people volunteer for your organization. So you need to know what your volunteer channels are (e.g., writing, speaking, task force service, room monitor, etc.) and you need to have a way to track that information in your database.

Well the IRS has given us yet another reason for tracking this information. Most non-profits must complete an IRS Form 990 annually. Question #6, Part 1, on the Form 990 states: “Total number of volunteers.” If you’re tracking all of your volunteers in your database, then one simple query will answer this question.

So what about you? Do you know all of your volunteer channels? And are you tracking them all in your database?

About Wes Trochlil

For a quarter century, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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