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Kelly Whalen

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Poised to Make a Difference in D.C.

The Catalogue For Philanthropy:Greater Washington is the latest philanthropy portal to take advantage of GuideStar's unparalleled ability to promote transparency. (See GuideStar's clients.) The goal of this Washington, D.C., nonprofit is "to raise the visibility of effective nonprofits in metropolitan Washington, and to introduce new donors to new charities." It does so through its Web site and also through a printed version mailed free of charge to 30,000 families and individuals throughout the region.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington focuses on "smaller, local charities." As the organization's Web site notes, "Though they comprise about 85% of all nonprofits, the public rarely hears about them because most cannot afford to make themselves heard. Yet dollar-for-dollar, they offer some of the most cost-effective opportunities for philanthropy. If 'making a difference' is one of your goals, then excellent smaller charities may be for you."

"We are especially happy to be working with the  Catalogue For Philanthropy: Greater Washington because we have an office in D.C.," said Bob Ottenhoff, GuideStar's president and CEO. "We are glad to support our neighbors—both donors and other nonprofits—in the area's philanthropic community. There is also a spotlight on philanthropy in this city as never before. With a growing professional class, the area's wealth is increasing, and local nonprofits are benefiting."

According to a study released in November 2007 by the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, the area's 7,614 nonprofit organizations contribute at least $9.6 billion to the region's economy. In 2005, D.C.-based private and community foundations gave $655.5 million, a 7.3 percent increase from 2004, according to a study by the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.

Philanthropy in the nation's capital is seen as an investment in the quality of life for area residents. Such investments involve due diligence, and it is here that GuideStar is poised to make an important contribution to area donors and nonprofits: All applicants for the 2008-2009 edition of the  Catalogue For Philanthropy: Greater Washington must update their information on GuideStar. Because only nonprofits recognized by the IRS as tax exempt can appear on GuideStar, donors can give with greater confidence to the organizations listed in the  Catalogue For Philanthropy.

Opportunity for D.C.-Area Nonprofits

February 22 is the application deadline for the 2008-2009 edition. Any nonprofit that (1) is a 501(c)(3) public charity located in the D.C. area, (2) has total revenues of less than $3 million, and (3) has updated its information on GuideStar can apply for inclusion. For more information on applying, go to The Catalogue for Philanthropy:Greater Washington Web site.

For charities that update, the benefits extend beyond the D.C. metropolitan area. Updating allows nonprofits to reach out to the millions of donors and funders who rely on GuideStar. Last year, users from all over the United States—and some from other countries—visited GuideStar nearly 11 million times. Updating on GuideStar makes nonprofits more accessible to these potential supporters. Donors are able to access vital information via the GuideStar Web site that enables informed decisions.

"GuideStar is proud and honored to play a role in the important work being done by the Catalogue for Philanthropy," Bob Ottenhoff stated. "Such relationships help us advance our mission to promote better philanthropic decision making and to encourage charitable giving. We look forward to working with other organizations—local, regional, or national—that connect donors and charities."

Kelly Whalen, February 2008
© 2008, Philanthropic Research, Inc. (GuideStar)

Kelly Whalen is GuideStar's director of development.