Let There Be Transparency: The Minnesota 990s

Maybe it’s the approach of the holiday gift giving season, but I felt compelled to crack open my consulting document vault (which is usually closed to all but paying clients) and put together all of the Minnesota Orchestra Association (MOA) IRS Form 990s I have on file into a single downloadable file.

After all, it is the gift giving season.

After all, it is the gift giving season.

Given the recent events uncovered in Graydon Royce’s Star Tribune article from 11/26/12 and growing armchair analysis throughout online outlets, it seems appropriate to provide this sort of transparency to any interested party.

Although there are a few gaps (98-99 and 07-08), you’ll find each one of the MOA’s IRS Form 990 from the 1997-1998 through 2010-2011 seasons together in one convenient 19MB pdf file.

A Little Experiment On Motivation & Social Sharing

The last time an otherwise unavailable document was shared with Adaptistration readers (the Minnesota Orchestra Redline Agreement), I tested a new social share wall feature that required users to engage in a social network action before being able to download the file.

I want to compare that data against an honor system approach by simply asking any reader downloading the file to share this post, before initiating your downloading, through any one of the social network share icons at the end of the article.

Since the numbers of downloads and social shares for both efforts can be measured, I’m very curious to see which method produces the best download to share ratio. In short, is it better to require social action to access special data or will the honor system prevail?

I’m hoping the latter will triumph but regardless of what the metrics uncover, the results will be posted at the end of the week.

Sorry, this download is no longer available.

Comments (powered by Facebook)

8 Responses to Let There Be Transparency: The Minnesota 990s

  1. Mary Schaefle Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    Thank you Drew. What a wonderful early holiday gift!

  2. Drew McManus Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    Thanks for letting me know Amy 🙂

  3. Mary Schaefle Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    Amy, it will take me awhile. Don’t hold your breath.
    Drew, I’ll let you know if others share my FB post.

  4. recoveringoboist Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    Drew, thank you for making these available. I look forward to your insights.

    Occasionally, my musician friends share articles/lists on Facebook about nonprofit CEO salaries — usually expressing shock at the figures. This leads me to believe that not everyone is aware that not only is this information public, but the last three years of any nonprofit 990s are available for free at guidestar.org. All nonprofit employees and arts-lovers/supporters should make use of this excellent resource to research organizations they work for and/or support, or are considering working for and/or supporting.

  5. Paul Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    I respect my social network readers enough that I want to see whether what I’m downloading is worth sharing *before* I share it. I did, it is, and so I am.

  6. Chris Younkman Sat, Mar 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    Hello Drew. As it happens, I’m writing a paper on the situation for a class called ‘Non-Profits and their Environment’ at the Schulich School of Business in Toronto (where I’m focusing on Strategy as well as their Arts & Media Management programme). This was extraordinarily helpful, as the foundationcenter.org 990 filings seemed to stop at 2008.
    I’m just at the beginning of the process now, but I may check back in.


  1. Some Observations on Charts | Song of the Lark - Thu, Dec 27, 2012

    […] been studying the Minnesota Orchestral Association’s 990s that Drew McManus so generously released to the public in late November. If you’re remotely […]

  2. SOTL Glossary | Song of the Lark - Sat, Dec 29, 2012

    […] (or MOA) has to file with the IRS. More information about 990s here. Thanks to Drew McManus, we have the MOA 990s from FY 1998, 2000, 2001-6, and 2009-2010. The 2011 990 is available on the website Guidestar. […]

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