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Star guide for donors

Star guide for donors

GuideStar is a free service that aims to be “the donor’s guide to the nonprofit universe.”

Launched online in October 1996 with details of 40,000 nonprofits, it now publishes information on the programmes and finances of more than 600,000 American charities and nonprofit organisations, with current news stories on philanthropy. It is also planning a Forum for Donors and Volunteers. At present it is asking visitors what they would like to discuss and how they would like to participate.

The data comes primarily from an organisations’ Form 990, the tax return that nonprofits with budgets over $25,000 have to file each year with the Internal Revenue Service.

Visitors can search for a nonprofit by name, location or type of work.

GuideStar offers an innovative third-party News Service with a feed from Lexis-Nexis’s Tell Me More TM service, covering philanthropy and management.

GuideStar is run by Virginia-based Philanthropic Research, Inc. (PRI), a nonprofit organisation. PRI seeks to help transform the culture of philanthropy in America in which charities are most frequently the sole initiators of philanthropic transactions into a marketplace where:

  1. donors seek out and monitor the performances of nonprofit organizations, and, ultimately, give to them more generously and with greater confidence, and
  2. nonprofit practitioners embrace greater accountability and more effective operating practices.

By publishing and distributing understandable and exhaustive information about the activities of public charities, GuideStar is designed to assist PRI in accomplishing its mission.

The information is published at no charge.

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Research massive growth in giving.

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