84 Questions to Ask a Nonprofit Organization

If you’re going to donate your hard-earned money to a good cause, you want to make sure it goes to a good organization – one that will use your money for a good purpose. So how can you tell if a nonprofit is worth your donation? Look no further. We’ve compiled a list of questions you should ask any nonprofit organization before you donate.

62 Questions you should ask a nonprofit organization before giving them your money:

  1. How is this nonprofit organization organized?
  2. What’s the mission of this nonprofit organization?
  3. What does the organization do to fulfill its mission?
  4. What are the main programs and services offered by this nonprofit?
  5. How does this nonprofit organization measure its success?
  6. Who leads this nonprofit and what qualifications does he/she have?
  7. How much of my donation goes to the cause and how much to other expenses?
  8. Is the nonprofit transparent about its finances?
  9. Can I see where my donation is going?
  10. What are the long-term goals of this nonprofit?
  11. What immediate needs does this nonprofit have that my donation could help with?
  12. Will my donation be used for one-time expenses or ongoing support?
  13. How has this nonprofit’s track record been so far? Are they achieving their goals?
  14. Does this nonprofit have any negative press? Why or why not?
  15. What type of volunteers does this nonprofit rely on, and how can I become one?
  16. How can I support this nonprofit other than by donating money?
  17. How often will I be informed about how my donation will be used?
  18. What are the organization’s core values?
  19. How does the organization operate?
  20. What populations does the organization serve?
  21. What services does the organization provide?
  22. Who are the staff members and what are their qualifications?
  23. How is the board of directors involved in the organization?
  24. Who are the members of the board of directors?
  25. Who’s the executive director or CEO of the organization?
  26. Where does the funding for the organization come from?
  27. What are the organization’s expenses?
  28. Does the organization has paid staff? If so, how much do they make?
  29. Is there an annual report? If not, why not?
  30. How are donations or volunteer time used by the organization?
  31. Can I speak with a current or former board member, staff member, or volunteer?
  32. May I visit the organization’s office or program sites?
  33. Do you have any concerns about the organization that I should know about?
  34. Does the organization have partnerships or relationships with other organizations?
  35. How often does the board meet, and are the meetings open to the public?
  36. Are there opportunities for me to volunteer with the organization or donate directly to specific programs or causes?
  37. Does the organization have 501(c)(3) status?
  38. How much of each donation goes to administrative costs?
  39. How much of each donation is used for fundraising activities?
  40. Can I specify where my donation is going?
  41. Is my donation tax deductible?
  42. Who are the primary beneficiaries of the organization’s programs and services?
  43. What are the eligibility requirements for the organization’s programs and services?
  44. How does the organization ensure that its programs and services are accessible to all who need them?
  45. How does the organization ensure that its staff has appropriate training and development opportunities?
  46. What challenges does the organization face and how does it address them?
  47. What opportunities does the organization have for the future?
  48. Does the organization have any audits?
  49. What’s the organization’s tax status?
  50. What’s the organization’s policy on conflict of interest, nepotism, and whistleblowing?
  51. How are complaints about the organization or its employees/volunteers handled?
  52. Does the organization contract with outside vendors or consultants, and if so, how were they awarded?
  53. Does the organization own property, and if so, how is it used and maintained?
  54. What are the primary geographic areas served by the organization?
  55. Is there anything special about the organization’s history?
  56. Are there any upcoming events or initiatives we should be aware of?
  57. Can you tell me about the organization’s recent successes or accomplishments?
  58. What do you think are the biggest challenges and opportunities for the organization in the future?
  59. Where’s the nonprofit organization located?
  60. Does the nonprofit organization have a branch office?
  61. Does the nonprofit serve a local, national, or international community?
  62. Can I talk to someone from the organization if I have more questions?

22 Questions you should ask when starting a nonprofit organization:

  1. What’s the mission of the organization?
  2. What are the goals of the organization?
  3. Who will be served by the organization?
  4. What needs does the organization address?
  5. How will the organization operate?
  6. Who will run the organization?
  7. How will decisions be made?
  8. What’s the structure of the organization?
  9. What are the bylaws of the organization?
  10. How will the organization be funded?
  11. How will the funds be raised?
  12. How are expenses paid?
  13. What are the liability risks for the organization?
  14. What are the insurance needs of the organization?
  15. What requirements must the organization comply with?
  16. How will compliance be monitored?
  17. What are the reporting requirements for the organization?
  18. How often will reports be submitted?
  19. Who will have access to the reports?
  20. What are the record-keeping requirements for the organization?
  21. What policies and procedures must be in place?
  22. What are the legal requirements for establishing a nonprofit organization?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a nonprofit organization and how does it work?

A nonprofit organization is an organization that does not exist to make a profit. Instead, these organizations are usually dedicated to a social or charitable purpose, working for the betterment of society or improving the lives of their members in some way.

Nonprofit organizations typically operate by soliciting donations from individuals and institutions and using these funds to cover their operating expenses and fund their charitable programs. Many nonprofits also rely on volunteers to assist them in a variety of ways, such as staffing phone booths or holding fundraising events.

What are the challenges that nonprofits face?

The challenges nonprofits face can vary widely depending on the organization. The most common challenges include fundraising and financial management, recruiting and retaining talented staff, and meeting the needs of the target audience. 

Other challenges may include adapting to changing laws and regulations, navigating the changing political climate, and competing with larger, established organizations for funding and support. Ultimately, the key to success for nonprofits is to be flexible, adaptable, and resourceful to meet these challenges and fulfill their mission.

What are the limitations of a nonprofit?

A nonprofit’s limitations can depend on several factors, including the structure of the organization, funding sources, and other unique aspects. For example, some nonprofits may be limited in how much money they can raise or spend to comply with relevant regulations. 

In addition, many nonprofits face financial uncertainty due to fluctuating funding sources or inadequate fundraising efforts, which can limit their ability to effectively carry out their mission. Finally, some nonprofits have difficulty gaining broad public support or reaching out to their target audiences due to limited resources or competing priorities. 

Overall, many challenges can affect a nonprofit’s success, and organizations must be strategic and adaptive to overcome these limitations and achieve their goals.


Asking yourself these questions will help you get a better sense of where your donations are going and ensure they’re being used in a way that aligns with your personal values. Building relationships with nonprofits you care about is a great way to ensure your donations are making a difference in your community!

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