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

Introduction to Google for Nonprofits and the YouTube Nonprofit Program

Below is a blog by Google for Nonprofits in follow-up to the August 23, 2012, webinar titled Introduction to Google for Nonprofits . To view the presentation or listen to the recording of the webinar, please click here.

You’re changing the world. We want to help.

Good deeds unite us on 9/11

We all remember that devastating day. September 11, 2001, changed all of our lives and this nation forever. Alongside the sadness and heartache, there was a resounding sense of community; of unity. The organizers of the annual 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance (9/11 Day) efforts keep that spirit alive. Last year 33 million Americans dedicated time on 9/11 to helping others, and we think we can make this year’s an even bigger success – with your help.

How can the GuideStar Exchange help your nonprofit?

GuideStar Exchange Keyword Cloud

Endowments–the Elephant in the Room

The following is a guest post by Lee T. Sullivan, CPA, CGMA, nonprofit team leader at Witt Mares, PLC.

Can We Meet? How to Respond When Donors Resist Meeting with You

Excerpted from How to Raise $500 to $5000 From Almost Anyone

The Ins and Outs of Endowments

For nearly 35 years the Uniform Management of Institutional Fund Act (UMIFA) outlined the laws regarding the management and investment of institutional funds and permanent endowments in 47 states. In 2006, the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) was created. It has slowly been adopted by most states to provide guidance regarding endowments.

Follow-up to the Money for Good II Webinar for Foundations

Greg Ulrich

How to ask for a review without being annoying

Posted By Usma Ziard on August 13th, 2012

Save $20 at Social Media for Nonprofits in LA

After 2011′s sold out conference in LA, Social Media for Nonprofits is coming back on 8/14, featuring an all-star lineup sharing practical tips and tools for leveraging social media for fundraising, marketing, & advocacy.

Check out Giulia McPherson, Deputy Director, Citizen Advocacy CARE USA, as well as Dave Boyce, CEO of Fundly, Scott Chisholm, CEO of StayClassy, Lee Fox, CEO of KooDooZ, Lisa Rau, CEO of Confluence, Arnon Shafir, co-Founder of Give2together, and Lauren Winkler, Young Leadership Director of Save a Child’s Heart. This stellar lineup will provide attendees with concrete insights and takeaways for nonprofits to use social media to advance their cause.

Discounted tickets are available for small nonprofits at $95. For for-profit and larger nonprofits, use the discount code “Star” to save $20 off $125 and $175 tickets. Conference registration includes access to the full day conference, breakfast, lunch, and networking reception.

For more information or to sign up, visit

Most Big Companies Expect Flat Giving, Despite 2011 Gains

Originally published in the Chronicle of Philanthropy

More Insights into Private Foundations: Interview with Martin Teitel

Martin Teitel spoke with his publisher about the topic of his new book, The Ultimate Insider's Guide to Winning Foundation Grants. GuideStar has published an excerpt from the book, and we're pleased to be able to share Mr. Teitel's additional thoughts with you.

Why do foundations seem to be such "black boxes"?

Taking Advantage of Google’s $40,000 Grant for Nonprofits

The following is a guest post by Amanda Chaney of Search Mojo, the firm we use to help with our Google Grants.
Amanda Chaney

When GuideStar first started engaging with Search Mojo, they were already working with the $10,000 grant offered by Google to use for advertising with Google AdWords. Our main goal was to help optimize and expand their AdWords account to meet the requirements necessary to move up to the $40,000 grant level. By having those increased funds, you have more bandwidth to help meet the internal goals of your organization, giving you the ability to help your cause even more with noextra cost.

After we helped GuideStar get approved for the next level of funding, AdWords spend increased 250%, which resulted in an increase of ad impressions (number of times an ad is shown on Google) by 148% and clicks (people who clicked the ad and visited the GuideStar site) by 201%.

So what are some of the challenges we see nonprofits run into during this process, and how do you overcome them?

$1 Keyword Bid Limitation

Advertisers are limited to a $1 bid per keyword, making it difficult to compete with other organizations that may be advertising outside of the Google Grants program.

With GuideStar, we overcame this issue by expanding the account significantly, turning our focus to longer-tail keywords (as opposed to one or two-word keywords that are more general, and competitive, incurring higher costs-per-click) and more niche areas of GuideStar’s focus areas.

Spend At Least $9,500/Month for Two Months

A lot of nonprofits have a hard time keeping spend up on the weekends; the way the grant is set up, you cannot make up for that lost spend during the week. You just have to make changes and increase spend on the weekends in order to help reach the $9,500 spend level per month for two months within a twelve month period. Note: These two months do not have to be consecutive. Google wants to see that you are doing what you can to spend as much of that money as efficiently as possible before they consider giving you more funding.

If you are a nonprofit who services areas outside of the U.S., show ads in those locations, as well as the States. This will ensure searchers in those areas have a better chance of finding you and will give you, the advertiser, a better chance of reaching your goal of attracting more visitors to your site as well as reaching your spend requirements within AdWords.

One thing we helped GuideStar with was expanding their account to have more campaigns, ad groups, and keywords. This is something that tends to be time consuming for advertisers, but if done with your target audience and end goals in mind, will bring great results in getting more people to your site, giving you the chance to convert them into donors.

Tracking Performance

Tracking performance is typically a big challenge with nonprofits. Be sure to monitor your performance and make changes to your account to improve those results. To reach the next grant-level, you’ll need to prove you are tracking conversions (such as donations or email sign-ups) and monitoring how they’ve fluctuated since you started using the grant money.

GuideStar already did a great job of tracking conversions within their AdWords account, as well as their linked Google Analytics account. We helped paint the picture for Google on the Google GrantsPro application how exactly they were using the grant money to better their cause, and how they were working to manage that money to the best of their abilities.

Check out the Google Grants support site for more information around Google Grants and Google Grantspro, or find me on Twitter @amandadchaney or email me at if you are interested in engaging with Search Mojo to manage and optimize your Google AdWords Grant account.

I’ll be speaking on August 2 at 2 pm ET about the Google AdWords program. Register here.

Amanda joined Search Mojo in November 2008 and serves as an Account Director, managing both SEO and PPC campaigns for clients. She develops the SEO and PPC strategies for her clients and manages the daily tactics to improve performance and manages an account management team. Amanda graduated from James Madison University with a degree in Business with a Marketing concentration.