Incorporated but Not IRS-Registered: Exploring the (Dark) Grey Fringes of the Nonprofit Universe

Listings of Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-registered and state-incorporated nonprofits for the same region may differ for a variety of reasons. Using Indiana as a case study, we first describe the distribution of nonprofits across these two listings. We then present findings from a small telephone survey of incorporated nonprofits that are not registered with the IRS for Indiana to explore whether they are excluded from the IRS-listing for statutory, technical, or compliance reasons. We consider several aspects of state incorporation status: date of incorporation and whether active status has been maintained or not. We conclude that researchers need to pay careful attention to the limitations of the IRS registration system when wishing to examine the dimensions of the nonprofit sector at local, state, or regional levels. Our finding, that some nonprofits fail to maintain active incorporation status, points to significant problems of nonprofit capacity.
regional analyses, state incorporation, IRS registration, non-profit
Gronbjerg, Kirsten A.; Liu, H.; Pollack, T. Incorporated but not IRS-Registered: Exploring the (Dark) Grey Fringes of the Nonprofit Universe. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly39(5):925-45 (first published on August 10, 2009)
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