How are Gains and Losses on Investments Reported for Nonprofits?

Gains and losses on investments for nonprofits are reported in the financial statements to provide a clear picture of the organization’s financial performance and the impact of its investment activities. The specific reporting depends on the accounting method used for the investments, which could be the Equity Method, the Fair Value Method, or the Held-to-Maturity Method, among others. Let’s explore how gains and losses on investments are reported for nonprofits under different accounting methods:

  1. Equity Method:
    • Gains: Gains from investments accounted for using the equity method are typically recognized in the nonprofit’s income statement as “Equity in Earnings of Investee.” These gains represent the nonprofit’s share of the investee’s net income.
    • Losses: Losses are similarly recognized in the income statement as “Equity in Losses of Investee.” These losses reflect the nonprofit’s share of the investee’s net loss.
  2. Fair Value Method:
    • Gains: Under the fair value method, changes in the fair value of investments are reported as gains in the income statement. These gains are recognized when the investments are revalued to their current fair market value. The specific account titles may vary but often include terms like “Realized Gains on Investments.”
    • Losses: Similarly, losses are reported in the income statement when investments’ fair values decrease. The losses are typically recorded under account titles like “Realized Losses on Investments.”
  3. Held-to-Maturity Method:
    • Gains and Losses: For investments accounted for using the held-to-maturity method, gains and losses are typically recognized in the income statement when the investments are sold or mature. These gains or losses represent the difference between the sale or maturity proceeds and the original cost of the investments.

In all cases, the gains and losses on investments are considered part of the nonprofit’s overall financial performance and contribute to the calculation of the organization’s net income. The presentation and disclosure of gains and losses may vary depending on the specific accounting standards and reporting requirements applicable to the nonprofit’s jurisdiction.

It’s important for nonprofits to provide comprehensive disclosures related to their investment activities in the notes to the financial statements. These disclosures should include information about the nature of the investments, the methods used for accounting, and any significant gains or losses recognized during the reporting period.

Nonprofits should adhere to relevant accounting standards, such as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or other applicable standards in their jurisdiction, when reporting gains and losses on investments. Consulting with accounting professionals or financial advisors can help nonprofits ensure accurate and compliant reporting of investment-related financial information.

Caroline Grimm

Caroline Grimm is an accounting educator and a small business enthusiast. She holds Masters and Bachelor degrees in Business Administration. She is the author of 13 books and the creator of Accounting How To YouTube channel and blog. For more information visit:

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