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GuideStar celebrates 10th anniversary

Howard Lake | 7 October 2004 | News

GuideStar, the US Web site that publishes extensive financial and operational information on non-profits, is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The site, created by Philanthropic Research Inc, was designed to revolutionise philanthropy by providing transparent and comprehensive information on non-profits, and it has certainly proved successful. Each month it is used by over 400,000 people.

It has now expanded its services to include tools that report on salary compensation at non-profits, grantmaking, and a range of customised data and due diligence report services for individuals and businesses.


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During its first 10 years, GuideStar grew from a 4-person office to a public charity with a staff of more than 40 people, a $30 million database of non-profit information, and offices in Williamsburg, Washington, D.C., New York City, and San Francisco.

By August 2004 its database contained information on more than 910,500 non-profits, a figure that is growing by 25,000-30,000 a year.

The Web site itself was first published in 1996, with the crucial data from Forms 990 being added in 1999.

The anniversary highlights the comparative ly slow approach of UK umbrella bodies to the issue of using the Internet to publish comprehensive financial and other data on charities and voluntary organisations. GuideStar UK, which is independent of the US GuideStar, will achieve this objective, but launches in 2005, 11 years after the pioneering launch of the idea in the USA.