Accounting for (and Evaluating) Not-for-Profit Fundraising Events

Development Directors - Virginia CPA Firm Development Directors
During your organization’s year-end financial statement preparation or audit, or when your organization’s 990 is being prepared, do you have to answer questions such as – how many tickets did we sell to the annual gala, or how many people paid to play golf at the tournament last spring?

Fundraising Board of Directors - Virginia CPA Firm Board of Directors
Do you ever wonder if the fundraising event was actually beneficial?


Executive Director Fundraising - Virginia CPA Firm Executive Directors
Do you have to come up with the answers to the questions above? Alternatively, do you wonder if the time your staff members spend on fundraising events pays off?

No matter your role, you know there are non-cash generating reasons to host events. These reasons may at times make an event worth the money it loses. However, if you do not have a way to measure the event’s return on investment, both time and money, you will not be able to make the best decision about whether or not to continue it.

It is the responsibility of the accounting staff to record the income and expenses of fundraising events, including the value of non-cash items, in the financial records of the organization. Depending on the size and organizational structure, it should be the responsibility of the development director or fundraising committee to know what the accounting staff is recording. It is the responsibility of the fundraising committee or board of directors to review and evaluate the net income from a fundraising event.

Fundraising for Events Tool - Virginia CPA Firm

Reporting Fundraising Events on Schedule G

If your organization has more than $15,000 in fundraising event contributions and gross income, then it will probably be required to report the events on Schedule G with the 990, depending on the number of events and gross receipts for each.

Following this article is access to a tool that will help you compile the information needed to complete the reporting on Schedule G. It is also a tool for development directors, a board of directors, executive directors and fundraising committees to use after each event. The amounts recorded by the accounting staff can be checked against this and the fundraising committee can use the information to compare year over year trends for each event. More importantly, your organization can use this information to evaluate the financial results against any non-financial results to help you decide if you should have the event in the future.

Make informed decisions about the true value of your fundraising events. Use the form below to download the PBMares Accounting for Fundraising Events Tool to easily see how the numbers stack up.

Questions on how to determine your fundraising event’s ROI?

Contact a Nonprofit Specialist today.