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

Give the Gift of Giving in 2016

December 31 is your final opportunity to make a 2016 tax-deductible contribution while making an impact on the individuals, communities, and organizations served by the nonprofit sector.

The Elusive Millennials: Are They Worth Chasing?

  Image by ITU Pictures (flickr)

Ah, millennials—they’re the constantly SnapChatting young people with attention spans that shorten every day. (I’m allowed to say this because I’m one of them!) As millennials make up more and more of the workforce and their buying power increases, organizations are obsessing about how to get them to care about their cause—and ultimately how to get them to give.

The Right Way to Prepare for a Donor Conversation

Nick Fellers’ first rule of fundraising is “Just Ask!”

What It Means to Listen to a Donor

It has been said over and over that listening to donors is essential. When people feel heard, they feel connected. And when they feel connected, they give. Here are some of the elements of good listening.

Six Tools to Drive Your Fundraising Activities

If you ask nonprofits what their biggest challenge is, most of them are likely to say fundraising. It can be difficult to keep coming up with creative and effective ways to raise money.

#ShiftThePower: The Rise of Community Philanthropy, Part 2

The following article is cross-posted with permission from Alliance magazine. Based out of the UK, Alliance magazine is the leading global magazine on philanthropy and social investment. This article is cross-posted with permission.

Part 2 of 2

It’s All about Power

Power is the key to durable development. Power matters because efforts to solve a problem only last while people with the problem take responsibility for it.

#ShiftThePower: The Rise of Community Philanthropy, Part 1

The following article is cross-posted with permission from Alliance magazine. Based out of the UK, Alliance magazine is the leading global magazine on philanthropy and social investment. This article is cross-posted with permission.

Part 1 of 2

In this special feature on community philanthropy, we propose a new paradigm called "durable development." This involves shifting power closer to the ground, giving agency to local people and their organizations on the principle that they should have greater control of their own destinies.

Holiday Fundraising Special: Using Technology to Change the Way We Thank Our Donors

It’s the holidays, and that means nonprofits everywhere will be thanking their donors. Since we all understand that expressing gratitude is essential for connecting and building relationships with donors, saying "thank you" is paramount. Traditionally, we send blast emails or write hand-written notes. However, blast emails rarely get opened, and hand-written thank you letters take time and resources. Let’s change that.

Four More Organizations You Might Not Know Are Nonprofits

For our second rendition of “Four Organizations You Might Not Know Are Nonprofits,” we scoured the Earth for juicy tidbits and fun factoids about the nonprofit world.

Okay, you caught us. We didn't really search the globe, we merely did some really fantastic web surfing. And we found some interesting organizations.

Some you probably have heard of (Exhibit A: Yale University). Others, not so much (Exhibit B: The Modern Woodmen of America). So here goes …

Nine Ways to Make 2017 a Happy Healthy Year for You and Your Nonprofit

We are all familiar with the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions to start self-improvement habits or stop unhealthy ones. But what if everyone in a nonprofit pledged to initiate an activity that promoted organizational wellbeing and resulted in improved productivity?

How to Deal with Uninformed Nonprofit-Watchdogs Around the Holidays

Around this time of the year, we nonprofits work to bring in year-end donations, incurring paper cuts and envelope-tongues in the process (seriously, the glue stick is your friend). Around this time also is when people start pushing “guides” about which nonprofits to give to, warning of shady nonprofits that spend too much on “overhead” and leave nothing for the people they are supposed to be serving.

Building a Stellar Grants Committee

Here’s a question for you:

Do you struggle with having enough time and/or staff to research, write, and submit grant requests?

Oh, wait! Let me answer that for you:

Yes, yes you do.

Now that we have clarified the issue, let’s talk about what can be done to address it.

Eavesdropping: A New Way to Make Your Case for Support

Having trouble figuring out how to communicate the impact of what you’re planning?

I’ve found a great new exercise to help you understand and communicate in a compelling way the impact of your capital campaign. It’s a simple idea. But like some simple ideas, it’s powerful.

Beliefs That Limit Outcomes—for Nonprofits

Part 1 of 3

“Why haven’t you achieved higher outcomes through your services and the funding that fuels them?” This is a common question that many funders and board members ask nonprofits, and many of those nonprofits struggle to defend their programs, people, hard work, and budget usage. Sometimes they feel that their funders or boards just don’t understand what it takes to run their programs, let alone track and achieve outcomes. At the same time, they all know at least one nonprofit in their field that not only answers the outcome achievement question easily but can confirm those outcomes are actually happening for their participants and have already made changes in what they do to improve those outcomes in the future.

Nonprofit Finance Study Reveals Compliance, People, and Process Complexities

Nonprofit finance and accounting can be tricky business. First of all—serving as a responsible steward of money coming in from a multitude of sources with diverse demands is a huge challenge. Then, rules and regulations are in constant flux. Compliance is becoming increasingly complex and burdensome. Fraud is a potential risk lurking around every corner. And, oh yeah. There’s the seemingly never-ending stresses associated with audit planning and prep. 

Planning Charity Auctions: The Ultimate How-To Guide


When it comes to event fundraising, many organizations opt for the charity auction.

Top Trending Nonprofit Profiles *#GivingTuesday Edition*

A few days after gorging yourself with turkey and various pies, you may have seen the tag #GivingTuesday floating around the Internet. What is #GivingTuesday? And how does it affect GuideStar's most highly viewed Nonprofit Profiles? We were curious to find out, too!

Three Year-End Annual Fundraising Tips You Haven't Thought About

Year-end annual fundraising is when the rubber meets the road. This is the time for creative fundraising campaigns!