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GuideStar Blog

From the President's Office, November 2006

Dear Friend:

One of the things I enjoy most is talking to people who use GuideStar. In Melville, Long Island, recently, a tax attorney told me how he was using GuideStar to help his clients make wise donations. A woman in Minneapolis told me how estate planners used GuideStar to select her organization for a sizeable endowment. In Philadelphia, a man described to me how GuideStar gave him a better picture of the nonprofit sector. Wherever I go, I always find enthusiastic users who tell me that they love GuideStar. Many say they can't do without us; others tell me how much they appreciate the way we've helped transform the nonprofit sector.

Your feedback means a lot to those of us who work at GuideStar. We're committed to meeting your needs and, with GuideStar data, helping you make better and more confident decisions and operate more efficient and effective organizations. I hope all of you who come to this site feel that you're part of a GuideStar community and have a stake in what we do and how we do it.

After hearing the initial response from users, I always ask a second question: what can we do better? One of the most common answers is always—improve the search engine!

And so, this month, thanks to your feedback, we'll be doing just that.

I'm excited about this development for several reasons. First, our new search is significantly faster than the one currently on our site. Your search results will appear in a matter of seconds, and often in a fraction of that time.

Second, your search results will be more relevant. Organizations at the top of your results set will match your search criteria better than our current search does.

Third, you will be able to let us know what you think about the new search results. Our home page, advanced search page, and search results pages will all have a "Feedback" or "Tell us what you think" link. Based on your feedback, we will continue to refine the new search engine to make the results even better. So please tell us what you like—and don't like—about our new search.

Over the last few weeks, hundreds of GuideStar users have volunteered to test out our new search engine. They've helped us refine the search results and identify the particular needs of those who use nonprofit data. We hope you'll agree with our volunteers that we're making a great leap forward with our new search engine. Be sure to use the feedback links to let us know what you think. Your comments on what is working, what isn't working, and what could be working better will help us improve your experience on GuideStar even more.

Sincerely,

Bob Ottenhoff
President and CEO