The GuideStar Blog retired September 9, 2019. We invite you to visit its replacement, the Candid Blog. You’re also welcome to browse or search the GuideStar Blog archives. Onward!

GuideStar Blog

Sports Organizations as Charities?






Type in the word “sports” into GuideStar’s search box and you will get more than 85,000 returns. “Athletics” brings in another 2,000 listings. Last week, I met with about twenty reporters and producers at ESPN to help try to make some sense out of all of these sports-related nonprofit organizations.

Averages are Deceiving



Are the newly released Giving USA numbers good news or bad news?

You Spoke, We Listened: Using GuideStar Premium Pay As You Go for Fundraising


At GuideStar, we pride ourselves on listening before we speak, especially when it comes to what keeps nonprofits up at night. So we listened when you told us that fundraising is a chief concern among nonprofits big and small. We know that, although your mission is at the core of everything you do, without a constant flow of funds, progress toward advancing your mission is compromised. We also know that nonprofits compete for donations and that anything you can do to help distinguish your organization from its peers and competitors, particularly during a down economy, can be of critical importance.

What the IRS’ Automatic Revocations Mean For You


In an extremely important development to the nonprofit sector, the IRS recently posted the initial IRS Nonfiler Revocation List on its website. The list names approximately 275,000 nonprofits that have lost their tax exemptions for failure to file an annual return, fundamentally changing the size and scope of the sector and finally giving us an accurate picture of the sector’s influence.

Reflections on Sustainability

I had three people approach me about nonprofit sustainability last week.

Follow-up to the End of “Slacktivism” Webinar by Spencer Whelan


Below is a follow-up to the questions submitted during the June 7 webinar on motivating donors to take real action online with Spencer Whelan, Director of Marketing and Communications, KIMBIA. To view or hear a live recording of the presentation, please click here.

Time to Develop New "Donor-Friendly" Messaging?

How to Create an Effective Message for Your Nonprofit

Let's start with two easy questions.

For Whom the Revocations Tolled: An In-Depth Analysis

What do we know about the 279,595 nonprofits named on the first Automatic Revocation of Exemption List? Not much for almost half (134,615) of them, because they either never appeared on the IRS list of exempt organizations or have not been on it for some time. GuideStar's vice president of research, Chuck McLean, analyzed the characteristics of the remaining 144,980 nonprofits that lost their exemptions for failure to file an annual return for three consecutive years. Here's what he found.

What's New, GuideStar Premium and GuideStar Charity Check?


Things have been hopping here at GuideStar, and the GuideStar Premium and GuideStar Charity Check spheres are no exception. Earlier this month we introduced GuideStar Premium Pay As You Go; now we're following up that success with:

  • More new data in GuideStar Premium!
  • New data in GuideStar Premium and GuideStar Charity Check!
  • Enhanced GuideStar Premium PDF reports!

Read on for details.

A New Era Dawns




For some time now, I have been writing to caution donors to check on the charitable status of a nonprofit before making a contribution. I know it sounds simple, but we continue to see nonprofit organizations that are phony and lack the IRS credentials for soliciting donations.

Redefining Success Through Nonprofit Networking





On Monday I wrote about the values and challenges of partnerships inspired by the new book Do More Than Give by Leslie Crutchfield, John Kania, and Mark Kramer. Although designed to give donors pointers on how they can increase the impact of their donations, the book has many insights for nonprofits organizations aspiring to be high performing. My last comments were about partnerships, where organizations collaborate on joint products or productions for example, recognizing that each comes to the process with strengths and weaknesses and is accountable for making the partnership succeed.

The Difference Between Collaboration, Cooperation, and Coordination




I had a chance to read Do More Than Give, a new book just out by Leslie Crutchfield, John Kania, and Mark Kramer this past weekend. The book is a sequel, or as the dust-jacket says, “inspired” by Forces for Good, Leslie’s earlier book, and focuses on “the six practices of donors who change the world.”

Measuring Nonprofit Impact, Part IV: Philanthropedia's Survey Process

We hope our previous articles (see the links in the right column) have been helpful in explaining the value of expert reviews of nonprofits. Now we'd like to tell you more about Philanthropedia's actual survey process: what questions we ask and how we conduct our research.

How to Raise Money for "Overhead"

Reprinted from Katya's Non-Profit Marketing Blog

Follow-up to Corporate Product Giving Webinar by Melissa Trumpower


Below is a follow-up to the questions submitted during the May 24 webinar on corporate giving with Melissa Trumpower, EVP, Marketing, Communications, & Strategic Partnerships, Good360. To view or hear a live recording of the presentation, please click here.