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GuideStar Blog

Coming Soon: A Tool to Break the Overhead Myth

Results Over Ratios

It’s no secret that one of the greatest challenges facing nonprofits is the difficulty of conveying the complexity of our work to donors and decision makers. Many barriers exist but one stands out—our isolation. Simply put, we have lacked the tools to meaningfully share our progress and results with each other and with the world.

Without these tools, donors end up using simplistic metricslike overhead ratiosto make decisions about giving. At the same time, nonprofit leaders have a hard time identifying the best organizations to learn from and to collaborate with. Nonprofits are about making change, not making money, so financial metrics don’t do our organizations justice!

Celebrate Your Progress and Results

To overcome this barrier, we are creating the Platinum level for your GuideStar Nonprofit Profileour highest level of recognition.

coming_soon_a_tool_to_break_the_overhead_myth.pngGuideStar Platinum enables nonprofits to share the metrics that matter most to them. If your organization runs a homeless shelter, you could share the number of people no longer living in unsafe or substandard housing as a result of your efforts. Or if your organization works in microfinance, you could report on the number of loans you issued.

To earn a Platinum Seal of Transparency, organizations can pick from our Common Results Catalog (with nearly 700 metrics that were curated with the help of close to 100 expert sources), or you can create your own metrics to best reflect your work. You can share the metric or metrics that you already track and that matter most to you, including past results. This allows you to clearly show the difference your organization is making over time. It’s easy to do and available to all nonprofits for free!


GuideStar Platinum will be open to all nonprofits before Memorial Day.

(Yes, in the next 60 days!) Before it’s live, we are inviting organizations to become Platinum Early Adopters. These organizations will have a chance to showcase themselves as leaders in making progress and driving results. Ready to go beyond financial ratios? Eager to share your organization’s progress and results? Sign up to be a Platinum Early Adopter today!


Eva_Nico_Headshot-2016.jpgThe preceding post is by Eva Nico, the Senior Director of Nonprofit Programs at GuideStar.  Eva is GuideStar’s in-house expert on nonprofit strategy and evaluation issues. Eva’s goals are to help nonprofits share their full story using the GuideStar Profile and to use the information to make better decisions. In her role, Eva also advocates for greater transparency and use of data among nonprofits and for solutions to address the “The Overhead Myth”.  

Topics: GuideStar Nonprofit Profile GuideStar Platinum