Our recent report looks at unusual data inquiries GuideStar has received and how you can find the nonprofit information you need through GuideStar.
Billions of Possibilities
At this moment, GuideStar has more than 2.5 billion pieces of data on nonprofits. This means that there are billions of possibilities for you to use information on the nonprofit sector to drive business to your company.
If you are familiar with GuideStar, you may consider us a resource for verifying a nonprofit’s tax-exempt status or analyzing nonprofit financial trends year over year. Sure, we provide those services, BUT GuideStar also works with clients on some creative projects using our growing database.
Some of the requests are straightforward, like when a software provider asked, “Can you create a list of nonprofits in California that spent more than $25,000 on technology in 2013?” Others, however, are unusual and require a creative approach.
Thinking Outside the Box: Priceless
A “not to be named” credit card processor wanted to identify nonprofits that paid $100,000 or more a year in credit card processing fees. Nothing in our database directly identified these expenditures. We do, however, have information from text fields on IRS Form 990 (the annual return that larger nonprofits must file with the IRS) where organizations report major expenses that don’t fit anywhere else on the form. By searching these fields for terms such as “bank charges,” “merchant charges,” and “cc charges,” we were able to generate a list for this client.
He was so pleased that periodically he would send us messages saying, “I have meetings in Austin next week with five organizations from your leads list,” and “Going to be in Vancouver to meet with organizations from your leads list!” (Many non-U.S. organizations register with the IRS to get greater visibility with US donors. Those nonprofits are included in our database.)
The preceding post is by Suzanne Coffman, GuideStar’s editorial director. See more of Suzanne’s sector findings and musings on philanthropy here on our blog.