Thanks to the Non-Profit Law Blog’s weekly curated link list, I learned that there is a new collaborative working on a way to provide a clearinghouse for raw, clean, and standardized nonprofit tax data gathered from Form 990 filings.
While that may not sound like it is relevant to your daily life at all, being able to easily access that day will make researching non-profits much easier, hopefully resulting in data which will support better decision making.
Drew McManus painstakingly extracted data from 990 filings from 2005 to 2022 for his annual Orchestra Compensation Report project on Adaptistration. He would frequently grumble about the fact that the data was not available in a machine readable format that would make that data so much easier to process and shift through. If I recall correctly, his go to source was the Pro Publica Non Profit Explorer which is contributing their data to this new clearinghouse.
Having good data about things like compensation can help advance equity and inclusion goals. The Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) is engaged in an Art Compensation Project for some of these very reasons.
Better data crunching capabilities can also facilitate the study of differences by region and discipline for revenues, expenses, impact of private vs. public & government based grant making, etc.
Given that there have been so many groups who have attempted to serve as a clearinghouse for 990 data, the biggest question perhaps is whether this new collaboration can make it work better than in the past.