If you've been to GuideStar's home page over the last couple of days, you've probably noticed the handsome image featuring a sea turtle, individuals representing several causes, and text inviting you to "Take Action Guided by expert opinions & user reviews."
If you then clicked the blue "Take Action for Your Favorite Causes" button to the turtle's left or the yellow "Make a Difference" button in the upper toolbar, you would have found yourself on a page with a TakeAction@GuideStar logo and a list of 14 causes. Diving deeper would have taken you to news about a specific cause, a map of organizations working on that cause, expert discussion of the cause and how to evaluate organizations working within that cause area, expert recommendations, and user reviews of specific organizations.
Welcome to TakeAction@GuideStar.
A New Resource for Donors
TakeAction@GuideStar gathers expert analysis, recommendations, and user reviews in one place to help donors identify the organizations that are working effectively on 14 causes: child care, climate change, education in the developing world, education in the United States, global health, HIV/AIDs, homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area, job training in New York City, malaria, microfinance, neglected tropical diseases, school readiness in Massachusetts, surgery organizations in the developing world, and water. Its purpose is to give donors more information on which to base their giving decisions. At GuideStar, we believe that donors get more satisfaction from their donations when they are confident their gifts will be used wisely, and that this satisfaction ultimately translates into more giving.
GiveWell, Philanthropedia, and Root Cause are our current expert partners, and GreatNonprofits, our partner since last year, provides nonprofit user reviews. We plan to include more partners and add new causes to TakeAction@GuideStar. We also plan to start integrating TakeAction@GuideStar into our regular search. But before we do that ...
... We Want Your Feedback
Actually, we want everybody's feedback. We want to make sure that we're on the right track, that what we're doing and how we're doing it meets donors' needs. We want to know what our other users—nonprofits, journalists, academics, funders, businesspersons—think of our new program. That's why we've labeled TakeAction@GuideStar "Beta." It's ready to use but not necessarily in its final form—how it develops from here all depends on what our users tell us.
To give us your feedback, click the [+] icon on the lower portion of any TakeAction page and complete the form that pops up.
Go ahead—take TakeAction@GuideStar for a test drive and tell us what you think.
Suzanne E. Coffman, April 2010
© 2010, GuideStar USA, Inc.
Suzanne Coffman is GuideStar's director of communications and editor of the Newsletter. She really likes the turtle on the home page.