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GAAP For Non-Profits › Specific Financial Statement Items


Revenue Recognition Principles For Contributions
Is it a restricted contribution?
Capital Contributions
Contributed Materials and Services
Unused Contributions
Contributions For Future Expenses
Contributions to Repay Debt

  • Contributions are non-reciprocal transfers of cash, other assets, and the non-reciprocal settlement of liabilities. A contribution is some transfer of economic resources where the contributor receives no direct or indirect economic benefit from the organization in return. The transfer may be in any form, for examples: the forgiveness of a loan, the payment of cash, the donation of assets, the provision of services, or the assignment of a life insurance policy. Government funding by definition is considered to be a contribution as the government is not the direct beneficiary of the service.
  • When contributions are receivable is further discussed under contributions receivable.
  • Contributions are either restricted or unrestricted. A restricted contribution is one that has been implicitly or explicitly designated to a specific purpose. The accounting for unrestricted contributions is simple and not discussed further than to say that unrestricted contributions are recognized as income of the operating or general fund when received or receivable. (4410.47,.68)
  • It should be noted that some revenues such as membership fees and banquet fees may be in part considered a contribution and in part considered sales or service revenue, as determined by the fair value of any benefits received by the contributor.

Required Disclosure for all Contributions

The contributions by major source need to be disclosed. The definition of major source is at the organization’s discretion. For example, the actual names of the contributing parties may be disclosed, or just the categories. (4410.22)

The gross amounts of revenues should be disclosed, when the NPO is acting as "principal" in transactions, however if the transactions are on behalf of another party, and the NPO only has the right to the "net profit" of those transactions, only the net revenues need to be disclosed. (4400.37)