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

Courtney Cherico

Courtney Cherico

Courtney Cherico is GuideStar’s content marketing associate. She manages their many social media channels, including this blog.

Recent Posts by Courtney Cherico:

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! 


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?


Five Simple Steps to Better Giving: A #GivingTuesday Must-Read

 

Happy #GivingTuesday, nonprofits and donors of America! On this global day dedicated to giving back, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.


Foundations and Transparency in the World of Open Data

 

Reports of yet another fraudulent celebrity foundation have hit the news recently, this time for former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle’s Jared Foundation. Fogle claimed the foundation, founded in 2004, would distribute $2 million in grants to schools and community organizations to help fight obesity, which Fogle overcame after losing 245 pounds from eating Subway subs. According to USA Today, the foundation has not issued a single grant out of the originally proposed amount. In fact, multiple reports claim that the foundation spent barely a fraction of the money it collected toward Fogle’s original mission. Additionally, according to IRS records from 2009 to 2013, 26 percent of the Jared Foundation’s money remains unaccounted for, says CBS News.


990s and the Future of Nonprofit Data: Impact Call Follow-up

On August 10th, 2015 GuideStar hosted its quarterly Impact Call-- we discussed what the new IRS 990 rules mean for the sector, our quarterly financials, and unveiled our new video that tells GuideStar's story in 90 seconds. Our goal for Impact Calls is not simply to report our results but to jump-start the conversation on how transparency is defined and conveyed across the sector.

To view our latest Impact Call, visit our Youtube page, or download our slides here. To see our latest video, simply visit our homepage.

There were several follow-up questions people asked during the call, so let's dive in!

We are a new 501(c)3 and would like to enter information on GuideStar. Is there a fee for service to register information on GuideStar?
No! Every tax-exempt nonprofit registered with the IRS already has a profile on GuideStar, but many only have information from their organization’s IRS records—that is, until they take the free opportunity to update their Nonprofit Profile. This ability to take control of your organization’s profile is something that we believe really empowers nonprofits to tell a stronger story about the causes they care about and why, so we encourage you to update your information today!

I am interested in learning more about the revised 990 filing IRS guidelines and regulations. What is my best way to obtain materials on this topic?
Here are several resources we've compiled that can help you in this process:
- This article by the Chronicle of Philanthropy helps summarize the recent changes and what they mean for nonprofits.
- The IRS's Annual Reporting & Filing page offers resources on how to complete the form, the current year's forms and schedules, and more.
- Linda Lampkin blogs on the topic for the Economic Research Institute.

Are you going to build in some algorithmic functionality where nonprofits can get a list of potential collaborators? Is the potential for finding partnerships which was mentioned in this webinar something that Guidestar supports, or generally informs?
We’re looking to include a variety of data science techniques in future GuideStar.org iterations, including algorithms. We believe this functionality will further collaboration between nonprofits, foundations, and others.

Our organization has a GuideStar profile that was created and managed by someone who is no longer with our company. How do we regain control of the account?
If your previous GuideStar Profile manager is no longer with the organization, please request permissions, by following the instructions below to become the new or additional manager on your organization’s GuideStar account:

  1. Please sign in or create an account with an e-mail associated with your organization on www.guidestar.org.
  2. Click on the ‘Update Nonprofit Profile’ link on the home page.
  3. Click “Get Started Now”
  4. Enter your organization’s EIN number.
  5. Click on “Request Permissions”.
  6. Complete the request form.
  7. Click “Submit Request”.

Should you run into any troubles, you can email nposervices@guidestar.org.

Courtney Cherico

The preceding post is by Courtney Cherico, GuideStar's content marketing associate. She manages their many social media channels, including this blog. Courtney is a graduate from the University of Mary Washington, where she majored in English with a creative writing concentration. You can reach Courtney at courtney.cherico@guidestar.org, or follow her on Twitter @courtneycherico. To stay up to date on the latest GuideStar news, follow us on Twitter and Instagram.


Top Tips for Efficient Board Management

Efficient communication with board members reduces administrative burden and frees up valuable resources for revenue generation or service delivery. It can also lead to a more engaged board.


Looking for a Dream Nonprofit Job? Idealist and GuideStar Want to Help!

Seeking a job in the nonprofit sector? Join our webinar, Finding your Dream Nonprofit Job: How to Use GuideStar & Idealist.org to Find the Right Position on Thursday, June 18th at 2pm EST to learn how Idealist and GuideStar can help you find your ideal position and verify the nonprofit for legitimacy.

Click here to register!

In this event, we will cover how to use Idealist and Guidestar to find and vet a job, internship, or volunteer opportunity; specific tips to improve how you search, advice on cover letters, resumes, and interviews; and general nonprofit resources that can aid you in your journey. Attendees will then have the opportunity to ask panelists their questions in a live Q&A session. Please join us to see how Idealist and GuideStar can help jump-start your career!

P.S: Live tweeting is encouraged! Follow @GuideStarUSA to connect with other webinar participants, submit your questions to the host and speakers, and join the online conversation on June 18th by live tweeting using the hashtag #NonprofitJobs. See you there!

Missed any of GuideStar's latest webinars? Visit our Webinars Archive page for free full recordings and slide decks of our virtual events ranging in topics from Board Development, Communications & Marketing, Fundraising, Social Media, and more!


How to Get Your Press Release Noticed

Securing media coverage for your nonprofit organization can be frustrating, especially when you take the time to send a press release and never hear anything back. But journalists are on a tight deadline and don’t have the time to respond to every pitch. In order to make your press release stand out, follow these three simple strategies: pitch a relevant story angle, write like a journalist, and add a personal touch.

1. The number one question newsroom editors ask before covering a story is, “Why should I care?”

To make your story matter it needs to have a timely angle or tie into a local/national trend. For example if you are promoting water conservation, lead in with a startling statistic about California’s drought or an upcoming event like Earth Day. Another strategy is to pitch a follow-up piece on a story the journalist has covered in the past. If the reporter did a story about overcrowding at an animal shelter, suggest they meet with your no-kill nonprofit about how to get more cats and dogs adopted.

2. It is also important to make the information in your release easy to find.

“Put the contact information right up top followed by a sentence or two summarizing what it’s about,” recommends Danny Willis with the Bay Area News Group. Business jargon or over-the-top statements are red flags for media professionals. The easier you make it for journalists to cover a story, the more likely your story will be picked up.

3. Finally: When you are ready to submit your release, send it to reporters or producers personally.

Journalists rely on a handful of interview contacts for most stories, so the goal is to get on their short list. Reporters are always looking for passionate experts locally, who are willing to be interviewed at a moment’s notice. Build relationships with journalists in your city and then follow-up with them personally after sending a press release. If a media organization does reach out, never turn down an interview request because as the old adage goes “any publicity is good publicity”.

For other ideas about how to get press coverage, visit GreatNonprofits’ Social Media and Marketing Kit here.

The preceding is a cross-post by Brittany Freitas from the GreatNonprofits Blog. Brittany is a media professional, with 5+ years of experience producing and reporting local television news. You can reach her at brittany@greatnonprofits.org.


The GuideStar Blog: We’d Love Your Feedback!

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7 Follow Up Questions About 7 Habits

During our “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Organizations” webinar on March 19th, we only had time to discuss a small fraction of the questions that came in from participants. We asked Lowell Weiss, president of the Cascade Philanthropy Advisors and a Leap Ambassador, to provide answers to some of the many great questions left in the queue at the end of the webinar.