National Center for Charitable Statistics
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Other Projects

In addition to our core research activities, NCCS is involved in a wide array of activities involving data collection and the development of the information and data to meet the needs of the nonprofit sector.

Electronic Filing Project

In collaboration with the National Association of Attorney's General/National Association of State Charity Officials (NAAG/NASCO) and GuideStar, NCCS has developed an online system, the 990 Online, for charities to complete all their federal Form 990 and state registration filing requirements and file these forms electronically.

E-Filing of IRS Form 990s and state charity forms benefits nonprofit organizations, regulators, researchers, and donors alike. NCCS has been working since 1999 to make it a reality. We now offer an easy-to-use web-based system, 990 Online, for completing your IRS Form 990, 990-EZ, 8868 (application for extension), or 990-N (e-Postcard). The system is completely free for organizations with less than $100,000 in gross receipts and there is a sliding scale for larger organizations.

To view the 2012 Form 990 and Form 990-EZ significant changes please click here (a PDF file will open in a new window) or visit the IRS website for more information.  If you have any questions about filing your full Form 990, Form 990-EZ, Form 8868 or State Filings for Hawaii, Michigan, or New York, please contact the Form 990 Online Technical Support team.

Try the 990 filing system or the e-Postcard filing system.

Tax Policy and Charities

The Tax Policy and Charities project analyzes the many interactions between the tax system and the charitable sector, with special emphasis on ongoing fiscal debates at both the federal and state levels. 

Outcome Indicators Project

A joint project of the Urban Institute and The Center for What Works The Outcome Indicators Project provides a framework for tracking nonprofit performance. It suggests candidate outcomes and outcome indicators to assist nonprofit organizations that seek to develop new outcome monitoring processes or improve their existing systems.

Subsector Analyses

NCCS's 5-year plan calls for the development of detailed studies of different nonprofit subsectors.  Analyses of the following subsectors are underway or already completed (links to be provided when available):

Nonprofit Fundraising and Administrative Costs

From 1999 to 2004, researchers at the Urban Institute's National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS)/ Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University explored issues of nonprofit fundraising and administrative cost reporting. The goal of the project is to increase understanding of cost reporting, and to work with practitioners, policymakers, and the accounting profession to improve measurement and reporting. The project has come to be known as the "Nonprofit Overhead Cost Study."

State Charity Officials

NCCS has worked closely with the IRS, State Charity officials, and GuideStar over more than two decades to improve the quality and quantity of information available about nonprofit organizations. Current projects include the annual IRS Form 990 meeting, the NASCOnet SuperSchema, and various state database and e-filing systems. To learn more about NCCS e-filing, please view our E-Filing Project home page or go to to see our IRS-certified Form 990 e-filing system.

Unified Chart of Accounts

UCOA, the Unified Chart of Accounts for nonprofit organizations, is a chart of accounts freely available on this site to any nonprofit organization, accountant, or consultant. The system is designed so that nonprofits can can quickly and reliably translate their financial statements into the categories required by the IRS Form 990, the federal Office of Management and Budget, and into other standard reporting formats. UCOA also seeks to promote uniform accounting practices throughout the nonprofit sector.

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