Is it better to give or to receive? How about both? Members of the GuideStar Exchange give the public more information about their organization's mission and activities. In return, they receive the ability to customize upgraded GuideStar report pages.Today's donors want more than your assurances that you're good people doing good work. They want to know how you define your mission. They want details about your programs and how those activities support your mission. They want to know how you use their contributions. And they're looking for measurable results.
The GuideStar Exchange is a new initiative designed to connect nonprofits with current and potential supporters. By leveraging GuideStar's vast on-line audience of grantmakers and individual donors, your organization can reach engaged donors and share a wealth of up-to-date information with them.
"Individual donors and professional grantmakers come to GuideStar every day to find information about nonprofits they are interested in," said Bob Ottenhoff, GuideStar's president and CEO. "These donors are empowered and engaged in their philanthropy. The most successful nonprofit leader is proactive in sharing information. A listing on the GuideStar Exchange extends your marketing reach by meeting these donors where they are and giving them what they have come to expect—accurate and timely information about your mission, your programs, and your funding needs."
There is no cost to have your organization listed on the Exchange. Any nonprofit that has an official IRS letter of determination and conducts an annual audit is invited to apply for membership. If your organization is accepted, you'll have the opportunity to create customized report pages that feature richer information and greater visual appeal. If you act before January 31, 2008, you will also receive a free one-year subscription to GuideStar Premium (a $1,000 value).
As a member of the GuideStar Exchange, you'll be able to upload your organization's logo to your GuideStar report pages, along with photos, video, and recent news items. You'll also have the option to post direct links to your Web site and your most recent annual reports as well as a list of three "wishes"—timely appeals for the specific donations your organization needs.
GuideStar is also offering a special $10,000 Sweepstakes Giveaway as an added bonus to early adopters. Ten organizations that have been accepted as members of the Exchange will be randomly selected and awarded $1,000 each. Keep your eye on the GuideStar Web site for the official contest rules.
The GuideStar Exchange will launch on December 15. Be sure to come back and get listed on the Exchange, then use your enhanced report pages to give grantmakers and individual supporters the information they need to connect with your organization.
Patrick Ferraro, December 2007
© 2007, Philanthropic Research, Inc. (GuideStar)
Patrick Ferraro is a freelance writer in Seattle and a former editor of the Newsletter.