Can you research an organization using their EIN?

Long story short, we suspect sleazy behavior by an organization incorporated as a nonprofit. They gave me an IRS letter proving their 501c3 status but some things seem really fishy.

Their EIN is on the IRS letter, of course. But Googling the EIN doesn’t give me any info, just services that want me to pay them to search their databases. Not happening.

Is there any way to use the EIN to find out anything about the organization? I’d be interested in knowing lots of information, if it’s available, for example:

Are they filing their 990s? (And since they are a non-profit, is the public allowed to see them? I assume not, but might as well ask!)

Who is on their Board?

…plus anything else that could be gleaned.


Thanks! I think I’d visited that site before but didn’t notice that you can search on the EIN as well as the name (which doesn’t produce any results, but the EIN does!)

Looks like they haven’t filed a 990 since 2012. Verrryy interrrrressssting.

(We have filed a lawsuit against them so hopefully all of of this will come out in court. But with Covid and all, the process has been excruciatingly slow. Someday I hope I’ll have a good story to tell of justice served, but we are not there yet.)

If they purport to be a corporation they’ll be registered as such with the State. Typically the Secretary of State of your state will have a website for looking up corporations. Which can be done by name.

That will tell you if they are properly formed, currently in good standing, and who their officers are.

The last line of their 2012 990 says "The (name of organization) is not required to regist [sic] with the State of Hawaii Office of the Attorney General.

Don’t know if that’s relevant or not.

ETA: I just checked, though. You are right and I found a HI state website immediately (they charge for records, but just $3 which I would happily pay).

They only search on name, though, and it comes up empty for our nefarious institution.

Are they listed on Guidestar or Charity Navigator?

I have not found them there, but Candid owns Guidestar (and maybe Charity Navigator too?) so finding them on Candid is the same thing, yes?

Unless there is a way to check by EIN on Guidestar/Charity Navigator that I have missed (like I missed the EIN search option on Candid until @commasense suggested them and I figured they knew what they were talking about).

I’ll revisit Guidstar and Charity Navigator just to be sure.

ETA: Just went to both, and nothing there.

Thanks for your suggestions, by the way!

If this saga ever comes to a close, I will have a good story to tell.

It was a fluke. Probably won’t happen again. :grin: