To report its “Give and Take” series about Vermont's vast nonprofit sector, Seven Days needed searchable data — specifically, the newly available digital Form 990s that many Vermont nonprofits file with the Internal Revenue Service.
So digital editor Andrea Suozzo turned those thousands of filings into a database: the Vermont Nonprofit Navigator. Our reporters and editors have been mining it in search of stories, looking for patterns and aberrations.
The database is a valuable resource. You can search by name, location, assets and annual revenue. Look up categories of nonprofits, such as those dedicated to the environment, arts and animals. Check out board members. A click of the mouse reveals top salaries.
The Vermont Cheese Council? It’s in there. The Green Mountain Horse Association? Yup. So is the Brattleboro Retreat, the Committee on Temporary Shelter and Middlebury College.
Certain nonprofits — including churches, semigovernmental entities and those with annual revenue of $50,000 or less — report more limited information. And as with any tax filings, the Form 990s may contain errors.
Why did we make the Vermont Nonprofit Navigator accessible? Because public information is a powerful tool, and transparency fosters accountability.