Obtaining a Determination Letter from the IRS in recognition of exemption from federal taxation is the beginning of a ministry's life as a public charity.  But obligations do not end there.  To maintain such recognition, the ministry must remain in compliance with the various proscriptions and prescriptions of the Internal Revenue Code.  Furthermore, a charity must often go above and beyond these legal obligations in order to successfully compete for funding among other charities.  Donors today have many tools available to them that enable direct comparison between charities on factors such as administrative-to-programming expense ratios, independence of board members, accounting practices, and so forth.  These topics are further discussed under the governance section of this site.