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

Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2016

Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2016 is an annual industry forecast about the ways we use private resources for public benefit.

What’s Better for Philanthropy than Zuckerberg’s $45 Billion Gift?

Mr. Zuckerberg’s pledge to give away 99% of his wealth - $45 billion – over his lifetime is getting lots of attention as a game-changer for nonprofits. What if I told you that nonprofits can also change the game? That by making one simple shift, they could generate up to $80 billion more each year without increasing their donations!

GlobalGiving Powers Philanthropy Behind Sustainable Development Goals

Both GuideStar and GlobalGiving are interested in highlighting the nonprofits and funders that have long been working to address the issues laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals agenda. Below is an introduction to GlobalGiving’s Global Goals initiative which aims to mobilize individual donors, corporations, and philanthropists to take action around these goals.

How Big Should Your Endowment Be?

No one has ever accused me of being a math whiz. In fact, numbers seem to roam around my brain, sometimes reconfiguring themselves in strange ways that have little to do with reality.

Occupy Wall Street: What are we going to do about it?

It took a trip to New York this week and an episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for my opinions on the Occupy Wall Street movement to begin to gel.

The Rich, the Getting Richer and the Very Rich


I had the good fortune of participating in a panel this past weekend at the Summer Symposium of the Giving Institute with two very smart observers of the nonprofit scene: Matthew Bishop of the Economist and the co-author of Philanthrocapitalism, and Patrick Rooney, the Executive Director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and the person who oversees the Giving USA Report.

Here in Washington DC the federal budget news gets crazier every day


It’s time for executives of high performing organizations to begin thinking about what the new economic normal will mean for them. Too many nonprofits are operating off of business models created in the 1960’s. Those models had several components that are no longer sustainable. For starters, after non-stop growth in total donations, the nonprofit sector experienced a significant dip in 2009 (Giving USA) and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a further decline in 2010. At the very least, growth will be much slower in the years ahead than it has been in previous decades. At the same time, investment income has declined to historically low levels affecting foundation endowments and organizational endowments alike. Finally, there is the nonprofit sector’s traditional dependence on government grants and contracts, for nearly a third of total revenue. This is a source already in decline and likely to plummet before it stabilizes.

The power of social media


We’ve learned a lot over the last month about the power of social media to bring down tyrants and corrupt governments in Tunisia and Egypt and mobilize people in Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, Iraq, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan and Oman. It’s been thrilling to watch how Facebook and Twitter, in particular, have helped to encourage thousands of people to take action.

A New Year full of change and challenge


What Would You Do With $4 Billion Dollars?


What would you do if someone gave you $4 billion dollars with only one requirement: that it is spent on promoting civic engagement, providing voter education, and encouraging efforts to get out the vote? That’s the amount of money experts are estimating was spent on Tuesday’s election campaigns. And what did we get in return?