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

Impact Auditing for Smarter Giving

Many philanthropists struggle with a straightforward question: are their dollars having an impact on the cause they care about? Several initiatives have tried to answer this question. But these initiatives have been either too reliant on financial data or narrowly focused on a handful of causes.

Follow Up: New Nonprofit Profile Preview: Your Organization’s Full Story, Now Front and Center

Earlier this week, my colleagues Scott Menzel and Jasmine Marrow and I walked you through the ins and outs of the brand new, completely redesigned GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles. Thanks to all of you who joined us—if you didn’t have a chance to attend, not to worry: view the recording and slides from the event

Why Venture Philanthropy Is the Future of Giving


For decades, the formula has remained unchanged: donors give to charities, nonprofits, and other social purpose organizations — here in Canada, where LIFT Philanthropy Partners is based, more than $12 billion was donated last year — and organizations, in turn, use those donations to run their programs and offer services in their communities. Benefits are considered to be directly correlated to the size of the donation: more money = more programs and services; less money = fewer programs and services. The cycle simply repeats ad infinitum, without a real understanding of results, impact, or long-term value.

Yes, You Can Still Download 990s for Free

Last week, we excitedly announced the launch of our new GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles. And almost immediately, we started to see comments like "Oh, you can't download the 990s on GuideStar for free anymore." Let me hasten to correct that misunderstanding:

The 2015 GuideStar Blog Top 10 Countdown

"Out with the old, in with the new" is GuideStar's guiding motto lately, as you can tell from our just-released redesigned Nonprofit Profiles. Profiles aren't the only thing to undergo major renovation around here, however. You may have noticed The GuideStar Blog's fresh, new design as well! 

Giving Has No Season Contest


A variety of studies show that making gratitude and generosity a more regular part of your everyday life increases your sense of satisfaction and overall happiness. Yet, due to a combination of holidays and the tax calendar, most charitable giving occurs during the month of December. Why should happiness be limited to the December-month alone? We at Small Token strongly believe that giving has no season, which is why we're launching a contest to promote gratitude and reward nonprofits in January and February.

Introducing the New GuideStar Nonprofit Profile

I’m excited to announce a major milestone in GuideStar's history. 

Insights into Nonprofit Compensation and Diversity

Every year, both the Council on Foundations and GuideStar publish compensation studies for the philanthropic and broader nonprofit sectors, respectively.  The Council’s Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Survey and GuideStar’s Nonprofit Compensation Report serve multiple important purposes for both the individual organizations that use the data as well as the field as a whole.  The objectives we find most interesting and relevant are related to having tools that promote effective organizational management and improve our understanding of the state of diversity in our field.

Please Tell Your Friends: “Updating Is Free” Means … “Updating Is Free”

Five Things I Wish I’d Learned Sooner about Fundraising Writing

I love the effortless mastery of carpenters. The way they pound a nail with five swift blows—perfectly straight, exactly in place, no smashed fingers, no circular scars in the wood.

Free Webinar: Happy & Healthy – 10 Tips for Impact without Burnout

Register for Free! 

Aliza Sherman and I have been very busy these last few months working on our new book “The Happy Healthy Nonprofit.” We’ve been researching, interviewing, and writing, plus testing out a lot of our ideas.  Since New Year’s is a great time to establish better habits that make you happy and healthy, we’re doing a one-hour free webinar hosted by Wild Apricot on January 14th at 3 pm EST to share some of what we’re learning, get feedback, and identify additional people to interview for the book.

Nonprofit Finance and Accounting Resolutions for the New Year

Some 45 percent of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute.

The #1 New Year’s Resolution for Fundraisers

Welcome to the new year. It’s a clean slate. A fresh start. What can you do differently to raise more? The #1 answer is simple: be more donor centered.

Beyond Employee Giving: How LinkedIn Approaches Corporate Social Responsibility (And How You Can, Too)

When’s the last time you evaluated your workplace giving strategy?

The 2015 GuideStar Newsletter Top 10

Over the years, GuideStar Newsletter readers have been remarkably consistent in what they read most: articles about fundraising and about getting boards involved in fundraising. Last year was no exception, as 7 of the 10 most-read Newsletter articles addressed these topics.

Charitable Giving Incentives Now Permanent

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 into law. The act makes permanent three charitable giving incentives that had been enacted and expired several times during the last decade: