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Jacob Harold

Recent Posts by Jacob Harold:

Charity Navigator and GuideStar: Working Together to Move Beyond Overhead

When I am asked about Charity Navigator I often joke that they are a “frenemy” of GuideStar. But the truth is that they are a friend. We’ve worked on projects together and have an amicable relationship. Our two organizations joined with the BBB Wise Giving Alliance in 2013 to launch the Overhead Myth campaign, a collective attempt to shift the conversation about nonprofit performance away from financial ratios ... and toward programmatic results.


Nonprofits Have a Role to Play in Building Bridges in a Polarized World

Reposted with permission of The Chronicle of Philanthropy

America finds itself in a moment of political polarization. At times, nonprofits can reflect or even magnify that polarization. But at our best, we can serve as a bridge across the cultural chasms of our time. Americans across the political spectrum want to live in thriving communities—and every day, nonprofits help communities thrive.

But there are rare cases where the nonprofit form is abused by those with hateful agendas.


GuideStar and Data from the SPLC

GuideStar’s database has information on 1,684,038 active nonprofits. Recently, we added new information to the profiles of 46 of these organizations: the fact that they had been designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). That action has earned us both celebration and criticism. So I wanted to take a moment to share the thinking behind our choice to add this new data source.


A Brief Analysis of the Clinton and Trump Foundations


An Unexpected Career: Building Plumbing for Philanthropy

I’ve spent a decade as plumber.  It was the spring of 2006 when I joined the Hewlett Foundation, my professional home before GuideStar.  These last 10 years I’ve been driven by a common purpose: building plumbing for smart philanthropy.  At Hewlett and at GuideStar I’ve been working to support those that pipe good information—about organizations and grants; about practices and insights—to help drive effectiveness in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.


GuideStar Platinum: Measuring Nonprofit Performance at Scale

Social change is hard. And sometimes it can feel that measuring social change is even harder.


Myths, Misconceptions, and Mistakes: The Wounded Warrior Project


The Wounded Warrior Project, a major nonprofit serving veterans, has found itself in the public eye. A recent article in the New York Times offered a wide-ranging analysis of the organization’s practices. That article was followed up by others in major media outlets.


Introducing the New GuideStar Nonprofit Profile


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


Better Data, Better Decisions, Better World

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” -John F. Kennedy


Help move the sector from an Overhead Myth to an Overhead Solution

In 2013, I joined with colleagues at BBB Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Navigator to write an open letter to the donors of America explaining that “overhead ratios” are a poor way to understand nonprofit performance. As you know, these ratios—the percent of charity expenses that go to administrative and fundraising costs—tell us nothing about an organization’s performance against its mission.

Overhead Myth letter to the nonprofits of America

We believed that the nonprofit sector was hungry to dispel this “Overhead Myth.” The field’s extraordinary reaction to the first letter has thunderously affirmed that belief. Today, we build on that momentum by offering a second letter, this one addressed to the nonprofits of America. In this second letter we suggest a set of steps nonprofits can take to help us all move beyond the Overhead Myth. In simple terms, we must—collectively—offer donors an alternative. We believe it will take a shared effort to focus donors’ attention on what really matters: nonprofits’ efforts to make the world a better place. Please join us as we seek to move from the Overhead Myth to the Overhead Solution.

-Jacob Harold, President and CEO, GuideStar

The preceding can also be found on the Overhead Myth Blog: http://overheadmyth.com/toward-an-overhead-solution/.