Page two of Form 990 primarily is a quick description of the organization’s mission and programs. Ideally the communications department should be involved in writing the text, but it is often completed by the finance department from general boilerplate. This is the main place on the form to add any explanations of why the results were different this year than last, or any major programming changes. Any text that does not fit the small space allowed here is continued on the supplemental Form O.
Pages three through six are long lists of yes-no questions regarding the organization’s activities during the fiscal year. Part IV is the “Checklist of required schedules”. The questions identify which supplemental forms need to be completed. Part V is “Statements Regarding Other IRS Filings and Tax Compliance”. It primarily is cross checking which other federal forms have been filed. Riveting reading it is not.
However the next page, Part VI, ask for details on the board of directors policies and general governance structure, and is more useful to the general reader wanting to learn more about the organization.