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

Shonte Riddick

Recent Posts by Shonte Riddick:

Take The Right Steps Towards Smart Data Marketing

Information is the first step in the long process of decision making, regardless of the industry you activate in. Small businesses, enterprises, universities and nonprofits all use data to measure success and set key performance indicators (KPIs). But where once Big Data stood king, professionals are slowly turning towards Smart Data. In fact, Smart Data tops Google’s top marketing predictions for 2015. This is because it enables organizations to make better decisions for their future.

Can it Really be Twenty-One Years? A GuideStar Case Study

It has been a long time since a fellow consultant to non-profit organizations urged me to check out GuideStar which, according to him, was delivering much needed services no one had previously thought to offer. I was living in Idaho in 1994, doing some consulting with non-profit organizations, teaching at Lewis-Clark State College, and doing contract work for North Idaho College. I had just finished five years managing The Festival at Sandpoint, also in Idaho, and was celebrating my seventh year in this State after nearly two decades in Flagstaff, Arizona. There I had directed Northern Arizona University’s non-profit management program, operated a consulting business serving non-profit organizations, and managed several 501-c3 organizations in the arts and education.It has been twenty-one years since GuideStar totally changed the way I do business.

How to Give Without Spending a Cent

When people think of giving often the first thing that pops into you head is donating, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. There are so many other ways to give without having to open the purse strings. Here are some great ideas to get you started:

And some additional information from Idealist:

Recently, GuideStar partnered with Idealist to present a free webinar, "Finding your Dream Nonprofit Job: How to use GuideStar & Idealist to Find the Right Position." In case you missed it, you can view the full recording of the webinar here and the slides here. The following is a guest post by the Idealist team.

From Figures to Fundraising: How to apply Giving USA

Giving USA 2015: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2014, was released this morning. The 60th consecutive edition of this seminal report contains good news for anyone interested in the nonprofit world; for one thing, Americans donated a record $358.38 billion to charity last year, the most ever whether you measure the total in current- or inflation-adjusted dollars.

The 3 Keys to Social Media Success

Nonprofits often ask me – What is the one piece of advice you can give to help us achieve social media success?

How Social Good is Becoming a Real, Measurable Thing (and why that’s wonderful)

Once upon a time, the “goodness” of an individual person or entity could only be measured in vague perceptions of public opinion, and “well-being” could only really be measured in terms of financial comfort. Interestingly enough, despite the fact that philanthropy and social welfare have existed as concepts for hundreds (if not thousands) of years, the concept of thinking strategically about social problems is very new, just gaining in popularity over the past few decades. We are still new to this age of organized efforts to improve the world we live in, and though we have not yet come out with one standardized measure of social impact or well-being, we have come out with many different tools for measuring benefit to society and well-being. Do-gooder culture is indeed shifting in favor of us data nerds (or perhaps us data nerds have just been more effective at doing good?). Let’s explore:

The Importance of Measuring Volunteer Impact

Nonprofit managers know volunteers are important, but how can they prove it? Software Advice, a company that helps nonprofits find software for their volunteer programs, joined with VolunteerMatch to tackle that question and more in their Volunteer Impact Report. An analysis of responses from 2,735 nonprofit managers around the globe reveals how nonprofits quantify the work performed by volunteers, and how those activities impact outcomes. Key findings are captured in the charts below:

New Text Message Review Feature Offers Nonprofits Instant Feedback

Ninety-eight percent of text messages are read and the majority are opened within three minutes of being sent, according to Techipedia. In comparison 84% of Facebook news feed stories aren’t viewed, 71% of tweets get ignored and 88% of emails go unopened. To leverage the power of texting, GreatNonprofits created a new SMS, or “short message service”, review feature.

You Said Big Data, But You Meant B.I.

Big Data is not a tool. It’s an approach to managing data and a part of corporate Business Intelligence (BI) that cannot be handled by traditional analytical tools. And though there is much confusion - and hype - about big data, it is a remarkably straightforward concept: store everything for later analysis.