• Tax Reports and Financial Statements
  • Program Report
  • Charitable Registration Renewal
  • Compliance Review
  • Current List of Board Members


  • Database
  • Parental Consent Forms
  • Background Check and Mentor Training
  • Affiliate Public Webpage



Affiliates need to comply with a variety of requirements when first establishing the affiliate and subsequently operating it.  These requirements are imposed by Federal and state laws as well as by ACE policies.   Failure to fulfill these requirements can jeopardize an affiliate’s status as a nonprofit organization, its insurance coverage, and good standing in the ACE Mentor Program, among other consequences.

ACE Regional Directors annually will review each affiliate’s adherence to all compliance requirements and report the results to the Executive Committee of the ACE Board.   For this purpose, Regional Directors will use a compliance checklist.

This chapter is divided into five sections: 1) one-time requirements to establishing an affiliate; 2) annual reporting requirements; 3) ongoing responsibilities; 4) summary chart of compliance elements; and 5) compliance checklist.


Chapter 2 “Affiliate Start-up Process and Requirements” explains in detail the procedures to start an affiliate and the documents it must complete and file with Federal and state government agencies and the ACE National Office. 

These required documents are listed below in alphabetical order:

AFFILIATE AGREEMENT |  Must be executed and sent to Regional Director who will file it with the ACE.            

ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION | Must be filed with the appropriate state and/or local government agency and a scanned copy emailed to an affiliate’s Regional Director.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS LIST | The names and company affiliations of affiliate Board officers and members should be forwarded to the affiliate’s Regional Director.

BY-LAWS | A signed and dated copy of an affiliate’s By-laws must be sent to a Regional Director.

CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION REGISTRATION | A scanned copy of the state’s confirmation of an affiliate’s approved registration must be emailed to a Regional Director. Contact Information The ACE National Office must receive an affiliate’s legal address and the name, phone number and email address for the affiliate’s primary contact person(s).

EMPLOYMENT IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (EIN) | A copy of the confirmation of an affiliate’s EIN must be sent to its Regional Director.

GROUP EXEMPTION LETTER | To be included under ACE National’s umbrella nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, an affiliate must send the National Office a formal request.

POLICIES | Confirmation emailed to affiliate’s Regional Director that the affiliate board has approved various corporate policies as outlined in the start-up chapter.


Tax Reports and Financial Statements

The IRS requires all nonprofit organizations to file an income tax report each year.  ACE affiliates, regardless of the amount of their annual income, are no exception.  (For more details about which IRS form – 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N – to use and the filing date, consult Chapter 6 “Financial Management and Fiscal Policies.”)  Some states may require affiliates to file a state income tax report.  Affiliates must send to their Regional Director a PDF copy of Form 990 or 990-EZ, or of the IRS’s confirmation of receipt of Form 990-N.

Within 30 days after filing a tax return with the IRS, affiliates must email their Regional Director a PDF copy of the following two financial statements:

  • Final fiscal year-end balance sheet
  • Final fiscal year-end profit & loss statement (also called P&L, income statement, or statement of activities).

If Federal or state laws require an affiliate to undertake an audit, a copy should be sent to the Regional Director.  Likewise, any time an affiliate voluntarily undertakes an audit, a copy should be sent to the Regional Director.

Program Report

At the end of the program year, affiliates must complete a program report which asks about statistics, achievements, and other information. The report is sent to affiliates in the form of an online survey. Program report information helps the National Office better serve affiliates and paint a composite national picture of ACE’s accomplishments.

Charitable Registration Renewal

In addition to many states’ requirement that a nonprofit initially register with the state agency regulating charitable organizations, some states require annual renewals of this registration.  Affiliates need to know the rules of its state.  If an annual renewal is mandated, the affiliate must send its Regional Director a copy of the state document confirming the charitable registration renewal.

Current List of Board Members

At the beginning of each program year, affiliates must send a current list of board members to their Regional Director and should also post this list on its webpage.

Compliance Review

Each year Regional Directors will use the compliance checklist (see Section V) to review with affiliates the status of their compliance with Federal and state laws and ACE policies.  Any deficiencies will be noted on the form, and the affiliate will be expected to rectify them within an agreed upon period.



Every affiliate is responsible for maintaining in the national database an accurate, up-to-date record of all students, mentors, staff, board members, and other volunteers.

Each year in April, the ACE National Office uses the database to determine the number of “active” and “pending” students, mentors, Board members, administrative staff, and other volunteers.  Based on this number, ACE’s insurance carrier calculates insurance premiums.  Affiliates are billed for their proportionate share of all covered individuals. Only individuals registered as “active” or “pending” in the database are covered under ACE National’s insurance umbrella. (Chapter 7 has more details about ACE’s insurance.)

Parental Consent Forms

All new and returning students each year must turn in a signed Parental Consent form to participate in ACE.   The form can be completed electronically as part of the registration process or in hard copy.  If a student submits a hardcopy, affiliates must upload it into the database.

Lead mentors should review all forms to identify any food allergy or other important information about students.   At every program session, lead mentors should have available a file containing parent contact information in case of an emergency.

Background Check and Mentor Training

All adult volunteers/mentors working with students and paid staff persons must have an approved background check every three years/36 months.  Additionally, any individual who has access to the ACE database must have an approved background check prior to serving as a volunteer/mentor or paid staff person.

Guest speakers/mentors who come in direct contact with students less than 20% of the overall program (two meetings) do not need an approved background check.  However, the guest speaker/mentor must have an approved active mentor or teacher with them whenever they work with students.

Mentors are required to register or update their registration every year and complete the mentor training module which is part of the registration process.

Affiliate Public Webpage

Each affiliate has a dedicated page on the ACE website. pertinent information about their operation and highlight news and other program developments. At an absolute minimum, each affiliate’s public page must include the following: the name, email address and telephone number of the affiliate’s main point of contact; and a list of the Board of Directors for the current program year.