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GuideStar Blog

From the President's Office, April 2008

Dear Friend:

One of the joys of working for a nonprofit is the satisfaction of being part of an organization with goals and values that match your own. As president of GuideStar, I'm a member of a team of hard-working individuals who are effectively promoting positive change throughout the entire nonprofit sector by putting their core values into action every day.

An integral part of this value system is our conviction that GuideStar has a responsibility to make nonprofit information available in a manner that encourages broad use regardless of a user's ability to pay. Anyone can log on to our Web site and find solutions with free and reliable nonprofit information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This type of open availability is crucial and can have tremendous impact on both donors and the nonprofits they support. Let me share with you, as an example, a comment we received from one of our nonprofit users in Ohio:

Thank you so very much! Your site enabled us, a very poor organization, to provide info that connected us to a bowling league that is now sponsoring the food truck for three loads of food! To us that is a miracle and you enabled it to happen!
There is much to admire in this simple anecdote. Of course, I am proud that GuideStar helped bring about this connection. There is also the noble mission of the organization dedicated to feeding the hungry and the generosity of the members of the bowling league that sponsored the food truck. But there is another largely unheralded force at work here: the participants in the GuideStar Membership Program, who ultimately make this sort of thing possible.

Membership support enhances GuideStar's ability to find new and better ways of meeting the needs of one of our key constituencies—the nonprofits across the country and around the world who are addressing some of the most challenging problems of our time. Many nonprofits are struggling financially, and membership support allows GuideStar to give them free access to the on-line exposure and vital information they need to make important decisions.

GuideStar's Membership Program has grown significantly since it began in 2004. Over the course of that first year, a total of 24 donors generously provided us with $250,000. This year, we expect to receive more than $1 million from 65 donors, including our newest members, the Henry Luce Foundation and the Annenberg Foundation. If you have any questions about the GuideStar Membership Program, you can reach Kelly Ann Whalen, GuideStar's development director, at (202) 461-2225 or

Along with earned income from our products and services, membership is a key revenue area that allows GuideStar to achieve its organizational goal of self-sustainability. I believe that our commitment to sustainability and strengthening GuideStar's financial base parallels our dedication to public service and meeting our users' needs. These principles will remain in the forefront of our activities in the year ahead. As we continue to strive toward and meet our goals, I'd like to thank all of the participants in our Membership Program for their generous assistance.


Bob Ottenhoff
President and CEO
Topics: GuideStar