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

1 Billion Reasons to Love GuideStar


What is GuideStar's Impact?

How does GuideStar talk about itself? Depending on the audience, we talk about our mission (transparency and better decision-making), web traffic (10 million visitors annually), our specialty (IRS Form 990s), or our size ($10 million), among many other operational measures. But we don’t typically talk about our impact.

And frankly, we never had a good tool to quantify our impact.

Courtesy of Habitot Museum Courtesy of Habitot Museum

The Survey

Over the last two months we conducted a simple one-question survey to start answering this complicated question. Respondents were asked to complete this sentence, “In the last year, GuideStar helped me or my organization to ….”

The Findings

Using responses to date, we found that GuideStar has helped other nonprofits:

  • Move more than $1 billion of funding through the nonprofit sector
  • Save the lives of 1,000 youth in Kenya
  • Feed more than 18 million meals to the disadvantaged
  • Teach more than 300,000 kids in various programs
  • Improve 52,373 units of housing for low-income people in New York
  • Make healthcare available to 60,000 disadvantaged people in southwest Uganda

Donation Popup Image_DonateThese are just samples of the answers that we received. Our true impact is considerably higher since these were culled from only 900 responses, a tiny fraction of our thousands of customers, 10 million site visits, and myriad partners.

Won’t you contribute to GuideStar? Your small donation will give many times over to the causes you care about.

Next Steps

Like many nonprofits, there is still a lot for us to learn about measuring and communicating our impact. After all, this was by no means a scientific survey and is only a starting point. Check back here or our main website in the coming months as we do more analysis and post additional impact information.

More stories

I hope you take a look at the examples below and feel proud. These are your sector's powerful outcomes, and we are incredibly proud to support you in your endeavors. If you took the survey, thank you! We are truly inspired by your work.

GuideStar’s Impact

“In the last year, GuideStar helped me or my organization to….”

Courtesy of Worldreader
Courtesy of Worldreader


  • Funding was the largest category in the survey, including 30% of respondents
  • Median funding amount of $50,000
  • Move more than $1 billion of funding through the nonprofit sector
  • Another 15% of respondents used GuideStar to research, benchmark, understand, etc., other nonprofits
Courtesy of Birthright Isreal
Courtesy of Birthright Israel


  • Teach 40 students about ethical fundraising at an educational institution in Florida
  • Prevent 20 instances of incorrect foundation classifications
  • Prevent or detect fraud or waste 12 times for donors and other interested parties in Asheville, North Carolina
  • Add 10 GuideStar information links to articles in Wikipedia
  • Research Form 990s for five running clubs
Courtesy of Solace International
Courtesy of Solace International


  • Save 10,000 acres of trees in Mesoamerica
  • Research 30 nonprofits focusing on water in Africa
  • Teach 52 disadvantaged kids in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Research, at no cost, 100 grantmakers funding medical research in the UK
Courtesy of the Gage Academy of Art
Courtesy of the Gage Academy of Art

The Arts

  • Deliver 15 cultural shows from India to the populace of greater Houston, Texas
  • Deliver art supplies to 2,000 patients in New Jersey and Illinois
  • Restore 3 lighthouses across the country
Courtesy of Loaves and Fishes
Courtesy of Loaves and Fishes

Disadvantaged Populations

  • Feed more than 18 million meals to the disadvantaged
  • Distribute 160,000 articles of clothing
  • Touch the lives of 10,000 underserved people in Houston, Texas
  • Prevent hunger for 3,000 Native Americans in South Dakota
  • Deliver services to 2,500 survivors of family violence in Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Keep 530 homeless persons permanently housed in Florida
  • Deliver 300 dental visits to the disadvantaged in Oregon
  • Offer 180 opportunities for college access to formerly incarcerated women ages 18+
  • Provide 55 pairs of work boots to the unemployed in Chandler, Arizona
  • Educate about vehicles for 38 low-income people in San Antonio, Texas
  • Donate 2 million pairs of shoes to the developing world
Courtesy of Kellermann Foundation


  • Provide more than 100,000 people with health care and medical supplies
  • Grant 10 final wishes to children in the US
  • Provide 14,000 primary care visits to the disadvantaged
  • Provide pet therapy to 13,000 at risk children in Arizona
  • Teach independence to 6,000 people with vision loss
  • Deliver 6,000 medical and mental health visits to patients in the Spokane, Washington, region
  • Offer therapeutic mental health care to 2,700 children
  • Deliver 9,331 rides to local destinations in Iowa
  • Provide 2,715 pieces of durable medical equipment to older adults and adults with disabilities in Central Texas
  • Support 1,850 elderly and disabled neighbors to remain independent in Ohio and West Virginia
Courtesy of JT Townsend Foundation
Courtesy of JT Townsend Foundation


  • Deliver 1,000 access ramps to disabled residents
  • Assisted 70 care-givers to dementia patients in their homes
  • Teach 52 deaf and deaf-blind students in Bogota, Columbia


Courtesy of Marine Corps Association Foundation Courtesy of Marine Corps Association Foundation


  • Deliver 170,000 care packages to troops
  • Provide therapy to 4,000 wounded service members
  • Teach employment strategies to 1,000 veterans
  • Deliver 117 tons of food to military families in Missouri
  • Deliver 44 retreat healing experiences to veterans and trauma survivors
  • Deliver 21 service dogs to veterans in Colville, Washington


Courtesy of Spanish Education Development Center
  • Teach more than 300,000 kids
  • Distribute 72,500 books to children in Kansas City, Kansas
  • Deliver 2 million hours of expanded learning time to students
  • Provide hands-on learning experiences to 120,000 people
  • Provide 39,458 days of education in Florida
  • Conduct 20,000 workshops with youth in San Francisco
  • Teach safety to 9,850 people aged 6-100 years in Alaska
  • Deliver 4,000 hours of parenting education in Lubbock, Texas
  • Support 2,000 students in Massachusetts to get, and stay, in college


  • Save 10 billion gallons of drinking water
  • Protect 30,000 acres of trees and wetlands in the U.S., Quebec, and Mesoamerica
  • Distribute 30,000 solar lights to students
  • Provide environmental education to 5,000 students in New Mexico
  • Teach agricultural solutions to 3,765 agriculture workers


Courtesy of The Wild Animal Sanctuary
Courtesy of The Wild Animal Sanctuary

Animal Welfare

  • Provide more than 300,000 pounds of food to pets in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Save more than 10,000 cats, dogs, horses, and other animals
  • Save 53 horses from death in Upper Marlboro, Maryland
  • Save 291 lives of homeless rat terrier dogs in Georgia
  • Provide 832 spay/neuter vouchers to needy pet owners
  • Check backgrounds and look for reviews of 60 nonprofits in the pet rescue field
  • Feed 15 big cats
  • Teach 911 adult wildlife rehabilitators

We want to hear from you! What impact did your nonprofit have, if not represented here? How did we support your great work? Please leave a comment below or take the survey!

Take our Impact Survey:

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Topics: Impact