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Nonprofit Sector: Significant Federal Funds Reach the Sector through Various Mechanisms, but More Complete and Reliable Funding Data Are Needed

GAO-09-193 Published: Feb 26, 2009. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2009.
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Increasingly, the federal government relies on networks and partnerships to achieve its goals, and many of these involve nonprofit organizations. GAO was asked to assess (1) the mechanisms through which federal dollars flow to nonprofits and (2) what is known about federal dollars flowing through them to nonprofit organizations in fiscal year 2006. To address these objectives, GAO conducted a literature review of funding; analyzed data from several sources, including the Federal Procurement Data System--Next Generation (FPDS-NG) and the Federal Awards and Assistance Data System (FAADS); and analyzed nonprofit organizations' roles in 19 federal programs.


Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Office of Management and Budget To better ensure the accuracy of information on federal funding provided to nonprofit entities in the data available under FFATA, the Director, OMB, should ensure that a consistent definition is identified and used to categorize nonprofit organizations in
Closed – Not Implemented
To date, OMB has not taken steps to ensure that a consistent definition for nonprofit entities is identified and used to categorize nonprofit organizations in In June 2013, OMB issued a memo to improve the accuracy of USAspending data, but did not include any procedures to delineate better what type of entity was receiving the funds. We are closing this recommendation as unimplemented.

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Data collectionData integrityFederal fundsFederal grantsstate relationsFund auditsFunds managementGovernment grantsGovernment guaranteed loansGrant administrationGrant monitoringGrants to statesMonitoringNonprofit organizationsPerformance appraisalRegulatory agenciesReporting requirementsTax expenditures