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Elaborating on the GuideStar Acquisition of Philanthropedia


Building a high performing organization takes finding the right balance. Our customers and users expect rigor and reliability; they depend on us and so we spend a lot of effort to make sure we provide superior customer service and meet expectations. . And yet the world keeps turning. An organization focused only on the present runs the risk of falling behind, failing to provide what users what or missing new opportunities. Change and innovation have also become a big part of our agenda at GuideStar.

A little over a month ago, we announced that a relatively new innovative nonprofit called Philanthropedia was acquired by GuideStar. Since then, we’ve been busy integrating Philanthropedia, finding ways for Philanthropedia to benefit from GuideStar’s vast database and infrastructure while also exploring ways for GuideStar to be transformed.

For today’s blog I’ve asked Deyan Vitanov, co-founder of Philanthropedia to reveal more about our plans:

What is happening to Philanthropedia?

Philanthropedia is going to continue growing and expanding even further. As GuideStar’s CEO, Bob Ottenhoff mentioned in his recent blog post, Philanthropedia will continue adding more social causes to our already formidable list of 15 causes. Our tentative plan for 2011 is to add 8-9 more social issues – 2 through our GiveMN partnership and the remaining ones mostly at the national level. We plan to continue pushing the quality of our expert reviews and filling in the last few major gaps in social issue coverage. For those of you who might not be familiar with our work, you can check out Philanthropedia COO, Erinn Andrews’ blog post to learn more.

Combining Philanthropedia’s Strengths with GuideStar’s Resources

In addition to continuing our research, the Philanthropedia team will be thinking hard about opportunities to reach a broader audience by smartly integrating Philanthropedia’s reviews into GuideStar’s database and products. I am particularly excited about GuideStar’s DonorEdge learning community. If you are not familiar with this service, you can learn more here. At Philanthropedia, we have seen the power of the DonorEdge idea through our partnership with the similar GiveMN and are incredibly excited to bring the same kind of service and custom research we can offer to the DonorEdge community.

And Then There is TakeAction

Of course, let’s not forget about TakeAction, a recently launched GuideStar initiative to aggregate nonprofit reviews from third parties. In addition to our experience as a partner, we have conducted interviews with the other TakeAction parties – GiveWell, GreatNonprofits, and Root Cause. We are compiling and summarizing key insights and lessons learned, and plan to come up with a new plan for pushing TakeAction to the next level in the new few months. As this plan takes shape, we will continue to communicate openly through blog posts and articles.

One More Thing

In addition to all of the efforts above, the Philanthropedia team will be helping out with one more major initiative – innovation at GuideStar. Over the course of the next few months, GuideStar will combine Philanthropedia’s startup mentality with GuideStar’s incredibly knowledgeable staff and resources to create a safe space for experimenting with new ideas. We’re calling this new initiative GuideStar Labs and it will serve as an incubator that empowers GuideStar employees to pursue new ideas. GuideStar’s recent acquisition of Social Actions is a great example of the kind of entrepreneurial thinking and energy we want to bring into GuideStar through the Labs. In the next few months, we’ll have more to say about this new development.

Stay tuned for continuous updates as we make more progress. And don’t hesitate to reach out if you are interested in helping!

Bob.jpgThe preceding is a guest post by Bob Ottenhoff,  Chief Executive of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. With an entrepreneurial spirit, strong technology focus, and a quest to make an impact in the world, Bob has the ability to take an organization and lead it into strong performance, sustainability, and industry leadership.

Topics: Just Because Nonprofits