The Latest Baby Step Toward Open Source 990 Data

Back in June, 2015 we examined a Federal court case that ultimately produced a ruling which got the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on board the open source data train. One year later and those efforts are beginning to yield some results.

Adaptistration People published a blog post on 6/16/2016 with details about where the IRS is in the process and how they are providing access to the data. They underscore that while this is decidedly a step in the right direction, there is still a long way to go before we’ll see something like comprehensive open source accessibility for the full range of professional orchestras 990 data.

In short, 990 Big Data is still a goal, not a reality.

If nothing else, it seems that June is a big moth for progress on this topic. On June 23/2014, we examined the very initial stages of the lawsuit that ultimately led to this year’s progress. I encourage everyone to watch the video at the end of the article to help understand why access to this data is a crucial component to genuine transparency.

Visit the IRS repository at Amazon Web Services

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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