How long should nonprofit organizations retain business-related records? Read on to learn more about our nonprofit shredding services. Aside from businesses, residential communities, educational facilities, and other entities, Legal Shred is proud to also service the nonprofit community.
A nonprofit is a tax-exempt organization that serves the public interest. In general, the purpose of nonprofits is usually charitable, educational, scientific, or religious, and while the focus is less profit and more service, the processes and protocols are very much the same as running a for-profit business, especially when it comes to document retention and destruction.
It is becoming increasingly important for nonprofit organizations to have a policy describing how long to keep different kinds of documents. A key part of any policy is to describe how and when to place a hold on document destruction.
According to the National Council of Nonprofits, document retention policies should be adopted by all organizations. There is no one “Golden Rule” for nonprofit document retention; it all comes down to state law and the types of information generated.
Because nonprofits are tax-exempt, the IRS requires that nonprofits keep books and records needed to show that it complies with tax rules. These documents include articles of incorporation, tax returns, insurance policies, account ledgers, and all records of bills and checks.
These types of documents should be kept indefinitely and stored in a secure, locked cabinet for safekeeping, or digitized for indefinite storage.
Of course, depending on the type of nonprofit, there will be many more key documents necessary for running an organization, but don’t require indefinite retention. These include fundraising memos, documents, and activities; patient/client records; inventory documentation; personnel records; employment applications; and volunteer applications.
Each will have its own specific set of rules when it comes to retention, and that will depend on state and local laws.
It’s a bit confusing to maintain compliance with the several laws in place that govern document destruction and retention. It’s a good practice for nonprofits to rely on and include guidelines such as those provided by the National Council of Nonprofits and laws outlined by FACTA, GLBA, and HIPAA.
When it comes to nonprofit information security, legal and ethical compliance is a necessary requirement, and an organization’s efforts to protect itself, its clients, employees and the community shouldn’t stop there.
Governments and regulators require that organizations, including nonprofits, take responsibility for the security of the sensitive data in their custody.
Legal Shred can assist the nonprofit sector with our mobile document destruction services and offer cost-effective, professional paper shredding services that will help nonprofits maintain compliance with privacy legislation while keeping organizations secure. We follow a secure, stringent set of procedures that will give you peace of mind in knowing your confidential information will remain irrecoverable.
Contact Legal Shred today!