Promoting charitable giving is an important part of GuideStar's mission. One of the ways we try to meet that mission is by providing you with in-depth and objective information on every nonprofit in an effort to help you become a better informed and more confident donor.
Another important step, we believe, is reducing the barriers to giving, by making it as easy and convenient as possible to support your favorite charities. To that end, last November we added on-line giving to our Web site. Since then, GuideStar users have contributed nearly half a million dollars to numerous charities through our "Donate Now" feature.
That would be good news at any time, but it's especially welcome now, when nonprofits are facing the double challenges of a struggling economy and an unprecedented increase in demand for the services they provide.
Most nonprofits are familiar with the equation of too much demand for too few resources, but this year the imbalance is acute. Some participants in our annual nonprofit economic survey told us they are closing their doors, and many others are gravely concerned. (See "Fasten Your Seatbelts: It's Going to Be a Bumpy Giving Season.")
It's possible that on-line donations will provide some relief. Another recent survey found that more than 89 million U.S. consumers plan to donate on-line. Of that number, 10 percent—or 8.9 million—plan to use a site such as GuideStar, JustGive, or Network for Good to inform their giving. (See "On-line Holiday Giving May Exceed $3 Billion.")
My colleagues and I hope that the convenience of being able to donate directly from our site will encourage more people to give, and to give generously. We also hope that you will take advantage of our on-line giving feature.
If your organization does not have a Web site, or if your Web site does not offer on-line giving, direct your supporters to GuideStar. Donors do not even need to register with us to give through our site. (They will need to register with our donation partner, Network for Good; that registration is free and part of the donation process.) And be sure to update your GuideStar report. The only cost to you is the time it takes to complete the GuideStar Information Form.
Even if your organization already offers on-line giving, reach out to GuideStar's users by updating your GuideStar report. I've said it before, but it's worth repeating: Updating lets you put your organization's best foot forward.
Wishing you a successful giving season,
President and CEO