The Zcash Foundation’s Form 990 for 2018

The Foundation is pleased to release our Form 990 for 2018. In case you aren’t familiar, Form 990 is a transparency report that United States nonprofits are required to file with the IRS on a yearly basis.

In compliance with IRS rules for 501(c)(3) organizations, we are making our 990 publicly available. As always, you can find the Foundation’s public legal documents in the “About” section of our website. Since transparency is one of ZF’s core values, we hope to help you navigate and understand the document.

Context: Form 990

For-profit companies have a bottom line, but nonprofits do not measure success in the same way. Organizations like the Zcash Foundation do not make a profit, and therefore we don’t have a bottom line. To check whether a nonprofit is successfully pursuing its mission, people typically examine the allocation of funds to programs versus other expenses, such as overhead.

The balance sheet indicates the current health and potential longevity of an organization. In ZF’s 2018 Form 990, you can find the summary on page 1 and the details on page 11.

However, the best way to understand a nonprofit’s current success is to look at the functional allocation report (starting on page 10). There you can see that the Foundation spent 76% on program-related expenses. That figure is a combination of direct expenses towards programs (e.g. Zcon0 venue fees), wages (e.g. Josh’s time working on grants), and other expenses (e.g. staff traveling to attend events).

Context: ZF in 2018

In February, 2018, Josh Cincinnati became the Foundation’s executive director, and set strategy for the year ahead. He wrote, “2018 will be a year of rapid acceleration — in the Foundation’s scope, its goals, and its responsibility to the Zcash and broader cryptocurrency community.”

In January of this year, Josh assessed how ZF had done in 2018 (and also explained our plans for 2019), including a breakdown of our budget and spending. A similar “State of the Foundation” post addressing our performance in 2019 will be published soon.