990 PF Storytelling

Members, View the Recording

Have you read your institution's 990-PF lately? Have you ever stopped to think what headlines it might inspire? The IRS recently started releasing e-filed Forms 990 and 990-PF as machine-readable, open data. Because the data is now not only open, but digital and machine-readable this means that anyone from journalists to researchers to activists can aggregate this data and make comparisons, correlations, and judgments about philanthropy at lightning speed, all without your input. Investment practices, demographics of beneficiaries, and compensation practices are examples of 990 data that can get easily turned into compelling narratives about your foundation. This has implications for foundations institution-wide, from governance practices to grants data and from staffing to investment management and communications strategy.

Watch this webinar to learn about sections of the Form 990-PF that present potential risks and vulnerabilities, as well as opportunities to better share your institution's work. You will also learn how to turn an examination of your 990-PF into an opportunity for improving internal practice, policy, and how these are communicated.

Topics covered include:

  • How open, machine-readable data works and what it means for philanthropy
  • New efforts by the IRS to make your 990-PF data both free and open
  • Highlights of the most commonly used data from your 990-PF
  • How to analyze the story your current 990-PF tells about your foundation
  • Recommendations for better communicating your foundation’s work through the 990-PF
  • Foundation policies that may need revisiting in light of new era of open 990s

*Please note that this session focuses only on the 990-PF, and is specifically designed for staff and board members affiliated with private foundations. Since we will look at the 990-PF as a communications tool, communications staff, foundation CEOs, board members, and grants data management teams will find it most helpful. While not a “how-to” in completing the 990-PF correctly, this session will aid finance staff in determining how best to engage other departments and team members in the process.


Janet CamarenaJanet Camarena
Director of Transparency Initiatives
Foundation Center

Janet Camarena serves as the Director of Transparency Initiatives for Foundation Center, working to champion greater foundation transparency.  A key part of her responsibilities include providing leadership to Glasspockets.org, which she helped to create and found inside Foundation Center in 2010, and which provides foundations with a variety of tools and features designed to encourage greater philanthropic openness. She also oversees and authors articles on the Glasspockets’ Transparency Talk blog. Glasspockets has been recognized by the Webby Awards and was also selected as one of the Top 100 websites by PC Magazine.

Prior to taking on this role, Janet served as Director of Foundation Center’s regional office in San Francisco for 15 years, leading a team of professionals in offering extensive outreach and capacity building services throughout the Western region of the U.S., planning and overseeing educational programming for social sector audiences, carrying out donor development and cultivation, and producing and conducting live and online programming. She was among 48 nonprofit leaders selected for the American Express Nonprofit Leadership Academy. She completed her undergraduate work at Mills College and received a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. She serves on the boards of PEAK Grantmaking, Alameda County Library Foundation and Community Initiatives, a fiscal sponsorship provider.

C. Davis ParchmentC. Davis Parchment
Manager of Knowledge Services
Foundation Center

C. Davis Parchment serves as Manager of Knowledge Services for Foundation Center. In addition to managing several special projects for the department, she established and leads the Get on the Map Campaign, a national philanthropy data improvement effort, in partnership with the United Philanthropy Forum and 28 regional associations. Previously, she was the Manager for Foundation Center’s Electronic Reporting Program, a role in which she oversaw outreach efforts aimed at motivating foundations, affinity groups, regional associations, and software partners to share more timely grants information. She received her BA in Political Philosophy & Economics from Mount Holyoke College, and her Ed.M. in Education from Harvard University.