According to their website, GuideStar gathers, organizes, and distributes information about nonprofits in the United States. They gather data from various public sources and aggregate the data into GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles, one profile for each organization in the database. Each nonprofit is encouraged to update their profile on the website, which is available free of charge.
GuideStar is a powerful tool, last year more than 9 million people visited the website and millions more utilized the data through third party sites. With a virtual footprint so powerful, it is important to harness that power to the advantage of your organization. That is why we took some time to explain how GuideStar can help your organization.
Free Marketing and Exposure to Clients and Donors
Updating your profile on GuideStar costs nothing. Profiles are automatically created for 501(c)3 organizations who have filed as tax exempt with the IRS. The reach GuideStar has to the public is massive. Their data is used by more than 200 websites and applications including, Facebook, Network for Good, AmazonSmile, and JustGive. Updating your profile on GuideStar will ensure that YOUR message is told and data the public sees is accurate.
Fundraisers and donations can be accepted on GuideStar directly on your profile as well. This is another fundraising avenue that can be used for either a robust fundraising campaign or used passively.
In addition to directly raising funds, it is important to note that foundations and donors are using GuideStar data to make their decisions.
Boosts Trustworthiness and Transparency
GuideStar promotes transparency and allows Nonprofits to share information about their organization. They have a “Seal” system with badge levels ranging from Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. These levels are determined by the level of data that is provided about your organization on GuideStar. The Bronze level shares basic information so that your organization can be found. The highest level, Platinum, shares your progress and results so you can show the difference that your organization is making.
Once you reach these transparency levels, GuideStar will provide your organization with a seal of transparency badge. This image file can be downloaded from GuideStar, they even offer a widget that can be installed onto your website and linked directly to your GuideStar profile.
If your organization has not yet updated your profile, please visit GuideStar’s Help Center for instructions on how to create and update your account. View your existing profile on guidestar.org using the search function to find your organization.