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

3 Types of Social Content Marketing Every Nonprofit Needs

No matter who you are, the size of your nonprofit budget or the length of time you’ve been in business, in today’s world you need ‘social content marketing.’ This is a term I use for the type of marketing everyone must do today to stay in business in our increasingly networked world.

What is the Cloud, and is it right for your organization?

By now, most in the nonprofit world are familiar with the Cloud, although many are still not taking full advantage of its numerous benefits.

Have We Forgotten Anyone?


Each year, The James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards recognize extraordinary leaders who demonstrate what makes California great. They display both a commitment and a record of success in improving people’s lives, creating opportunity, and contributing to a better California.

Multi tasking with your eyes on the prize


Chief cook and bottle washer is a dated phrase that means a person with many jobs. I have been thinking about the phrase recently because I run into so many fundraisers in small organizations are frustrated by the variety of different jobs they have.  Fundraising involves five very different skill sets.

No numbers without stories, no stories without numbers


Philanthropoids, donors and nonprofit leaders want (and use) data for different reasons. Philanthropoids and donors hope to compare options and allocate investments while nonprofit leaders hope to learn and prove impact using data. But in all cases, the data they seek needs to tell a story and have a narrative in order to provide the full power for which it is sought.

Evolution or Revolution? How Do We Create a Fundraising Board?


Here’s what I’ve learned after working with more than 100 boards: Virtually every organization is frustrated with their board’s personal giving and involvement in fundraising, and everyone thinks their situation is unique. In fact, most small to mid-sized organizations (which is most organizations!) are more similar than not and the solution is generally the same.

Nonprofit Excellence in an Outcomes-Based World


Clarity is the first step to nonprofit excellence.

Social change is hard. It is no small matter to shift the systemic patterns of society that have left people struggling with poverty and inequality. But we in the nonprofit sector have devoted ourselves to just that work. And we want to know how we’re doing.

Corporate Philanthropy: An Overlooked Source of Fundraising for Nonprofits

As a nonprofit professional,
you’re likely familiar with the plethora of ways that organizations can raise money. From traditional strategies like fundraising events and direct mail to more technological methods like text-to-give and online donation pages, fundraising has morphed into a smorgasbord of options.

Why Investing in Social Innovation Is the Most Important Thing Grantmakers Can Do This Year

Institutional funding for social solutions is going through an exciting evolution. 

Available capital has soared over the past few years.

Between 2001 and 2011, some 20,000 new foundations were created in the United States, representing a 32 percent growth in the industry. In that same time period, giving grew by 61 percent, and assets grew by nearly 39 percent. Impact investors have ushered in new pools of cash, with more than $300 billion in capital invested in 2014, a 40 percent increase since 2012. In addition, creative new approaches like venture philanthropy and pay for success models are diversifying ways funding can be allocated to social solutions. 

What to Do When Your GuideStar Nonprofit Profile Manager Deserts You

Does either of these scenarios sound familiar?

The person who used to update your organization's GuideStar Nonprofit Profile has left. In the excitement of his/her departure, he/she forgot to leave the log-in codes to access your profile.


It's been years since anyone updated your organization's GuideStar Nonprofit Profile. No one in your office has the log-in information.

What do you do?

Capital Campaign Basics: 7 Steps to Success

For the past couple of months,
I've been working with Margaret, a musician and composer, who is working to raise $15,000 for a performance of her composition in New York next year.

Today’s Grantmakers: A Roller Coaster of Changes


The field of philanthropy is evolving quickly, and the challenges for those who are deeply imbedded in grantmaking, or for those of us who are on the fringes, have never been greater. I believe nonprofit organizations, large or small, have to consciously rethink their assumptionsabout grantseeking, and explore new ways of approaching grantmakers, if they are to thrive in today’s world. 

The myth of double-dipping, and the destructiveness of restricted funding

I’ve written before about double-dipping being one of the worst accusations you can leverage against a nonprofit. It makes for an effective insult: “Your ED is so dumb, he went on eHarmony hoping to meet a logic model.” “Oh yeah? Well your org is so unethical, it reported that one funder paid for some food for a community gathering, but then also told another funder that they paid for the same food!” (#nonprofitinsults, in case you’re bored and want to start a new trend on Twitter)

How to Double Online Giving in Six Months

More and more nonprofit donations take place in today’s digital landscape, but how can causes ensure their online storefront is not only open for business, but optimized?

As I explored this critical issue in my new book, Nonprofit Fundraising 101, I interviewed Roderick Campbell, the CEO of nonprofit fundraising platform CommitChange. He shared a few takeaways from their efforts to maximize digital donations for Mercy House, a $3.8M nonprofit that has provided housing and support to California’s homeless since 1989.

Six Steps to Engage Your Board Using a Performance Dashboard

For busy nonprofit business leaders and board members,
a seemingly endless stream of reports, meetings, emails, phone calls and text messages can create a strain on their time, limiting their ability to focus on critical business information and interactions.

5 Cures for Your Worst Fundraising Challenges

Your fundraising job never ends.  If you’re like most of us, you’re having a hard time keeping the donors you have.  Getting them to make larger gifts.  Finding new donors.
Here’s 5 tips to overcome your biggest fundraising challenges:

IRS Changes 990-N Filing Procedures

Form 990-N filers must now submit their returns through a new website.

How Foundations Use the New GuideStar Nonprofit Profile

Imagine providing  all nonprofits
with the opportunity to share their organizations’ full and complete story with the world, at no cost to them. The team at GuideStar is committed to this vision, and the recent rollout of the newly redesigned GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles is an exciting step toward better achieving this goal. Since the profiles’ launch, foundations have been sharing their insights into how they are using them. We wanted to share some of our learnings and welcome your comments as well.  If you’re a funder, we’d love to know: how are you leveraging the new GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles?

Why Creating Space for Creative Time in the Nonprofit Workplace Improves Productivity

Flickr Photo by AstridWestvang

I’ve been busy interviewing people who work for nonprofits for my next book, The Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout, with Aliza Sherman.   The book looks at how individuals can avoid burnout through self-care and how nonprofits can support it – through activities that promote well-being, cultural cues, or an overall strategy.