Topic List Topic: Attending Workshops
(January 2008) Topic: Community Benefit Report
(May 2010; Updated November 2015) Topic: Community Health Needs Assessment
(Updated November 2013) Topic: Grant Applications
(October 2008) Topic: IT Initiatives Supporting Community Benefit
Please Take Note: The information provided below does not constitute legal or tax advice. The material is provided for informational/educational purposes only. Please consult with counsel regarding your organization's particular circumstances.
Topic: Attending Workshops
Question: Does coming to a training session on community benefit count as community benefit? Can the costs be reported (e.g., registration fee, travel, food and lodging)?
Recommendation: The What Counts Task Force recommends counting all costs related to training as community benefit in Category G. Community Benefit Operations. This is community benefit because it helps enhance the overall community benefit program. As with all of your organization's activities, community benefit should be provided as efficiently as possible. The Task Force thus recommends that travel related expenses be kept to a minimum.
Topic: Community Benefit Report
Question: Can the expense of producing our annual Community Benefit report be counted in the "Community Benefits Operations" category.
Recommendation: We recommend that the costs related to producing a community benefit report be reported in the Community Benefit Operations category. We also recommend reviewing the advice given in CHA's A Guide to Planning and Reporting Community Benefit, which states: "When designing an organization's report, keep in mind that the look and feel of the report can communicate messages to audiences. Avoid designs that may give the impression that valuable resources were spent on producing the report.
(Updated November 2015)
Topic: Community Health Needs Assessment Question:
Now that community health needs assessments are required under the Affordable Care Act should their cost still be reported as community benefit under Category G? CHA guidance suggests not reporting activities that are required (either by law, regulation or professional standards).
Recommendation: We recommend reporting the costs associated with community health needs assessments. This activity is specifically mentioned as a reportable cost in Category G. Community Benefit Operations in the instructions for IRS Form 990 Schedule H.
(Updated November 2013)
Topic: Grant Applications
Question: Can we report the costs incurred in preparing a grant application if the grant application is ultimately not submitted to the funder or the grant is not funded?
Recommendation: We recommend reporting the cost of the grant application when:
- The reason for not pursuing the grant was related to the community benefit program. For example, a change in the program's priorities.
- The resources expended may eventually be used by the community benefit program. For example, if the information is used to apply for a grant at a later time.
We recommend not reporting the cost of the grant application when:
- The decision not to pursue the grant was unrelated to the community benefit program, including its goals and objectives. For example, a change in leadership determined not to use outside funds for any programs.
(Updated November 2015)
Topic: IT Initiatives Supporting Community Benefit Question:
Our parent company has an information technology initiative that is used in our clinics for low-income persons. Should these IT costs be reported as community benefit?
Recommendation: IT expenses associated with health care infrastructure should not be reported separately as community benefit. When reporting the cost of low-income clinics and other community benefit activities, include IT expenses as part of the cost of the program.