One-Stop Shopping for DonorsGuideStar has always had great information for donors. There was a "GuideStar for Donors" page. There were articles. And, of course, there was the database.
The problem was that donors rarely found the donor's page and articles. They found the database, but many also found it overwhelming.
We've taken care of those problems in our new Web site, which we launched last month. Now donors have a section dedicated just to them. Click the "Make an Informed Giving Decision" button on our home page, and you're there. If you're not on the home page, you can get to the page by clicking the yellow "Give to Charity" tab that appears near the top of every page of our site.
Links on the left of the "Give to Charity" page provide quick access to information that can help you make your charitable giving decisions. A link on the lower right takes you to all of the articles we have for donors. The middle of the page tells you how you can use the site to research your giving decisions or even to give to charity on-line.
Go to the Give to Charity page
New Donor-Friendly ReportsOur new reports are designed to help donors find the information they told us they want most: the organization's mission and how well it accomplishes it. The new reports are available to anyone who comes to www.guidestar.org—even people who haven’t registered with the site or registered users who haven't logged in. The only time you need to log in is if you want to see an organization's IRS Forms 990, view contact information, look at a nonprofit's annual report, see who is on an organization's board, or use one of our subscription services.
Convenient tabs and intuitive design make it easy to find the information you want—and to ignore details you don't want. Photos and video links let you see nonprofits in action, not just read about their works.
Finally, peer reviews let you find out what board members, supporters, volunteers, and clients think about specific organizations. Thanks to our new partnership with GreatNonprofits, you can read firsthand accounts of people's experiences with individual nonprofits.
Becoming Part of a CommunityOur partnership with GreatNonprofits also lets you comment about your own experiences with specific charities. To review an organization, click the "Click here to write reviews" link in that nonprofit's report. All reviews posted on GuideStar also appear on www.greatnonprofits.org, and vice versa.
Just be sure to follow the policies for posting reviews.
It's a new world for donors on GuideStar. We look forward to finding out what you think about these changes (click the plus sign on the lower right of any page to give us your feedback) and to bringing you more new features and improvements in the future.
Suzanne E. Coffman, April 2009; revised August 2009
© 2009, GuideStar USA, Inc.
Suzanne Coffman is GuideStar's director of communications and editor of the Newsletter.