The GuideStar Blog retired September 9, 2019. We invite you to visit its replacement, the Candid Blog. You’re also welcome to browse or search the GuideStar Blog archives. Onward!

GuideStar Blog

From the President's Office, October 2008

Dear Friend:

I am pleased to announce the creation of GuideStar's Forum of Nonprofit Advisors, a Web-based discussion group that advises us on issues affecting our nonprofit users. Already, a test group of advisors has given us invaluable advice on making the GuideStar Exchange accessible to smaller organizations and the types of incentives to offer nonprofits that update their GuideStar reports.

If you would like to know more about the Forum, go to or contact us at The Forum will be an invaluable resource for us as we make additions to our Web site, upgrade services, and launch new tools. We're excited about this new way to get your feedback on these important issues as we continue our efforts to make GuideStar more responsive to your needs and interests.

And now another piece of news: GuideStar's name has been officially changed to GuideStar USA, Inc. Before the paperwork went through, GuideStar was the name of our database and our "doing business as" name registered with the state of Virginia. Our legal name was Philanthropic Research, Inc.

Philanthropic Research, Inc. was the right name for us when we were established in 1994. Then, as now, our mission was to promote philanthropy and improve the nonprofit sector by making nonprofit information widely available. We were going to create a resource where donors could research their charitable giving. Once we named that resource GuideStar, however, the term became synonymous not just with the database but also with our Web site and our entire organization.

Side note: We often receive calls from nonprofits that have changed their names, asking how they can get their new names reflected in our database. We can only change an organization's name if the change has been requested through the IRS. Often, however, we can add a doing business as (dba) name to a nonprofit's listing. For more information, see our FAQ on name changes.

A new name and a new advisory group: evidence of our commitment to growing and adapting while remaining true to our mission.


Bob Ottenhoff
President and CEO
Topics: GuideStar