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Document Retention and Non-Profits in Ft. Myers: Which Records Are Safe to Destroy?

Four large three ring binders full of documents stacked upNon-profit organizations have specific document retention policies they must follow. However, this doesn’t mean your non-profit has to keep every document it has ever generated. This would clutter your workspace and take up resources. 

The Florida Non-Profit Alliance specifies which records must be kept for certain lengths of time. We will cover these guidelines so you can have peace of mind while running your non-profit organization. 

Permanent Documents

Your non-profit must keep certain types of records permanently. These documents are typically important at the federal level for financial purposes. Failure to keep these documents could result in legal penalties. 

The following records must be kept permanently:

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Audit reports
  • Corporate resolutions
  • Checks
  • Determination letter from the IRS
  • All correspondence related to the determination letter
  • Year-end financial statements 
  • Insurance policies
  • Board meeting durations
  • Annual member meeting durations
  • Real estate deeds
  • Mortgages
  • Bills of sale
  • Tax returns

Tuck these records away for safekeeping as long as your non-profit is still active. It is a good idea to store these records digitally and with paper copies. That way, you have backup versions if you misplace either format of the documents. 

Three-Year Guidelines

The fine print in the Florida Nonprofit Alliance documentation policy notes that general records must be kept for at least three years. Any activity your non-profit has within Florida must be documented and kept for at least three years. 

Every part of your non-profit must keep these documents. Professional fundraising consultants, sponsors, and professional solicitors must also follow these guidelines. Be sure to document the financial activity of your non-profit and its related entities thoroughly and regularly. 

The three-year rule also includes hiring information like job applications and inventory documentation. It is a good rule of thumb to keep most records for at least three years unless they fall under permanent retention guidelines. 

When to Destroy Documents

So what documents can be destroyed? As long as a document is not under the permanent retention guidelines or needed for federal auditing purposes, you can destroy documents after three to seven years. Always check the state requirements and your specific non-profit’s policy. Some document retention policies are organization-specific. 

If you need an efficient way to destroy documents, ShredQuick is here to help. We offer professional shredding services and digital record destruction. Whatever your document destruction needs are, we can perform them in safe, secure settings. Use ShredQuick to clean up your filing cabinets today!

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