My name is Artisha Naidu and I am currently a fundraising/development intern for GuideStar. I became interested in the organization after taking a course as part of my degree in Community and Regional Development at the University of California, Davis. “Theories of Organization and their Role in Community Change” was one of my required courses. It was essentially a course on nonprofits aimed to explain issues of altruism and trust and the role of nonprofits in modern U.S. society.
For one of the main projects, I worked with a team to analyze the quantitative aspects of nonprofits in the small town of Winters, California. We looked at characteristics such as population, demographics, location, budgeting, and organization type to determine if the community’s needs were being met by the nonprofits working there. For example, we examined the level and types of engagement that existed between the organization, the schools, and the Latino communities in the area. While doing so, GuideStar was our team’s primary source for research. We were easily able to pull reports about the nonprofit makeup in the town and to access information that went beyond anything just a 990 form could offer. Data on budgetary composition, personnel, and general activity showed us the impact of nonprofits which helped us quantify their value to different sectors of the community.
GuideStar changed the way my class found data and thought about nonprofits. Our research enabled us to write a report discussing the variety of nonprofits in the community and the populations they served. The report was presented to local government officials as a review of the bigger picture of nonprofit activity and their beneficiaries in the town. GuideStar is a valuable resource for any community developer, student, or person interested in nonprofit work and serving the third sector.
What was your first introduction to GuideStar and its tools? How have you continued to use it?
P.S. GuideStar is currently seeking a Development Associate. Learn more and apply.
The preceding is a guest post by Artisha Naidu, GuideStar's fundraising/development intern. Click here and here to read more blog posts from GuideStar's fundraising and development team. Learn more about GuideStar's Foundation Membership Program here.