The Effect of Nonprofit Governance on Donations: Evidence from the Revised Form 990
47 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2012 Last revised: 29 May 2015
Date Written: June 11, 2014
We examine whether donors reward nonprofit organizations with better governance. We obtain governance data from newly available disclosures on the IRS Form 990. For a sample of 10,846 organizations from 2008 to 2010, we first identify seven nonprofit governance dimensions using factor analysis. We then test whether the quality of governance influences donor decisions by including the seven governance factors in the standard donor’s demand model. We find consistent evidence that donations and government grants are positively associated with factors that capture good governance, including formal written policies (e.g., conflict of interest), independent audits and audit committees, review and approval of executive compensation, board oversight (e.g., board independence), management characteristics (e.g., no related parties), and accessible financial information. Our results have implications for nonprofit managers and regulators. Moreover, mandatory disclosure of governance policies for nonprofit organizations provides an interesting contrast to mandatory adoption of governance policies for publicly traded companies.
Keywords: nonprofit, corporate governance, disclosure, IRS Form 990, donations
JEL Classification: G18, G38, H39, L30, L31, L38, M40, M41, M42, M48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation