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GuideStar Blog

How to Get Your Nonprofit Listed on GuideStar


One of the questions we hear most at GuideStar is "How can I get my organization added to your database? We want to participate in AmazonSmile [or CrowdRise or some other program]."

The answer varies, depending on what type of nonprofit your organization is and whether you're registered with the IRS. Here are the most common responses to this question:

  • Your organization has applied for but hasn't received tax-exempt status from the IRS.
    We can't add you to the database—yet. Once you receive your letter of determination from the IRS, send a copy to us (see the end of this post), and we'll add you.
  • Your organization has received tax-exempt status, but you're still not in our database.
    We automatically add new exempt organizations to our database when they appear in the IRS Business Master File (BMF). But it can take several months for the IRS to include new organizations in the BMF. Send us a copy of your IRS letter of determination to be added to GuideStar sooner.
  • The IRS recognizes your organization as tax exempt, but you aren't listed in the BMF. Several types of nonprofits—including churches, agencies under a group exemption, and government entities—fall into this category. Each needs to provide a different kind of documentation to be added to our database. For specifics, visit How to Get Your Nonprofit Listed on GuideStar in the GuideStar Help Center.

Do you have other questions not addressed here? Visit the GuideStar Help Center to find answers or to start a thread to get the information you need.

Providing Documentation to GuideStar

  • By e-mail:
  • By snail mail (please include a contact e-mail in case we have questions):

    4801 Courthouse Street
    Suite 220
    Williamsburg, VA 23188

suzanne-coffman-right-margin.jpgThe preceding post is by Suzanne Coffman, GuideStar’s editorial director. See more of Suzanne’s sector findings and musings on philanthropy here on our blog. 

Topics: GuideStar database