Divide and Conquer: How Joint Cost Allocating Works

Your not-for-profit likely feels pressure to prove that it dedicates most of its resources to programming. However, accounting rules require that you record the full cost of any activity with a fundraising component as a fundraising expense. The exception is when an expense meets three joint activities criteria: purpose (the activity is intended to achieve a program purpose), audience (the audience isn’t primarily donors) and content (the activity supports programs). If your activity satisfies these, you can allocate costs between fundraising and other functions.

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