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How Instrumentl creates 990 insights
How Instrumentl creates 990 insights

Learn where the funder's 990 reports come from and when you'll see them on Instrumentl

Amélie Heurteux avatar
Written by Amélie Heurteux
Updated over a week ago

Where does the data on the 990 Report pages come from?

All tax exempt organizations (such as nonprofits) are required to file a Form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) annually. Instrumentl utilizes data from these 990 filings and the Exempt Organizations Business Master File (BMF) to power our 990 Report pages. The BMF is the IRS's basic record source for information about these tax-exempt organizations. Instrumentl receives this data directly from the IRS. Therefore, if you see information on a 990 Report that may have changed recently, it is likely that the IRS has not published the most recent 990 filings yet.

How does Instrumentl use 990 filings and the BMF in the 990 Report Pages?

Instrumentl is able to automatically parse information into the 990 Report page when we receive e-filed 990 filings. This allows us to provide information and insights about giving amounts, past grantees, NTEE codes, and other relevant metrics. Instrumentl uses the BMF to help validate information and provide updates to names, assets, and other data points.

Why doesn’t this funder have 990 data and insights available?

Only tax exempt organizations are required to file 990s with the IRS. Therefore, if the funder is a corporate entity or a governmental organization, they are not required to file 990s with the IRS and Instrumentl will not have insights and data for these funders. However, you can often find information about past grantees and other details by investigating the funder’s website.

Why don’t I see more recent 990 data?

In general, there can be quite a long delay between when the end of a foundation's fiscal year, when it files its 990, and when that 990 is processed & released by the IRS (we pull information from the IRS within a week of it being made available). Additionally, the IRS is delayed in releasing 990 filings from 2021 and 2022. Due to this delay, 990 information available on Instrumentl may not represent the most recent 990s filed by the organization.

Why don’t I see a certain year(s) of data and insights?

When a 990 report is not e-filed, Instrumentl cannot provide data and insights in our reports. Therefore, if you see a 990 Report page with ‘missing’ years or an entire page without any of these data points or insights, it’s because that organization did not e-file their 990s. However, we always include PDFs of filings - whether they have been e-filed or not.

For tax years that begin after July 1, 2019, all tax-exempt organizations will be required to e-file — which means the data you see on Instrumentl’s 990 Report pages will only continue to improve!

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