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

The World’s Largest Online Earth Day Celebration, Spring of Sustainability (SoS), Kicks off Today, April 22nd


Register for GuideStar's Next Impact Call

Please join me and GuideStar President and CEO Jacob Harold on Monday, May 12, 2014, 2-3pm ET, for GuideStar's next Impact Call. In this call, we’ll discuss in detail our first quarter results.

James Lum, GuideStar’s CFO

Loosely based on the quarterly earnings calls held by publicly owned companies, our Impact Calls are open to everyone and give you an opportunity to learn more about GuideStar. The call will include our financial and programmatic results, recent developments in our collection of nonprofit financial and impact data and products, and our lessons learned—all in a more timely fashion, and with the ability to question us about those very results.

Our first Impact Call, held on February 24, 2014, was an experiment, and we were incredibly pleased with the outcome. More than 480 people participated in the call, and we had incredible questions during and after the call from foundations, nonprofits, donors, researchers, etc. Our Impact Call was featured in the Washington Post, and there was a robust discussion about the concept of Impact Calls here on the GuideStar Blog. Overall, we felt we took a big step forward in our goal to evolve the definition of nonprofit transparency by providing our outcomes for 2013 quickly, interactively, comprehensively—and inclusively. This time around, we’re incorporating all of your great feedback and honing in even further on the content of our presentation. To that end, we hope you will join us once more as we provide our results in four key areas—financials, programs, new developments, and failures (because all great organizations have failures, and we should all learn from them!)—and give you a sneak peek into our plans for the future.

To register for the May 12 Impact Call, or for further information on GuideStar’s results and outcomes, visit our impact page:

To access the recording of our first Impact Call and all future calls, including the live presentation and PowerPoint slides, visit our webinar archives:

Questions? Thoughts? Please email me at or leave a comment below. We hope to “see” you there!

Become a better storyteller at the FREE Weekend in Boca VII

Please join me on May 2 and 3, 2014, as nonprofits from across the country gather in Boca Raton, Florida, to network, share resources, and learn from the best in the sector at the seventh annual Office Depot Foundation Weekend in Boca Civil Society Leadership Symposium.

This year’s theme is “Innovation and Collaboration – Telling Your Story through Performance, Impact and Inspiration,” and it’s sure to be jam-packed with incredible information. As nonprofits, we inherently are story-tellers, but some of us are better than others – and even the best of us can improve! This year’s Weekend in Boca will teach you how to tell your stories concisely and effectively by focusing on:

  • Performance – communicating your success in accomplishing your goals.
  • Impact – communicating the difference that you are able to make over the long haul.
  • Inspiration – engaging the community in supporting your mission through donations, volunteerism, opportunities to collaborate and other ways both tangible and intangible.

They have an all-star line-up of speakers, among which I am honored to be:

  • Carol Cone, Global Practice Chair for Business and Social Purpose for Edelman
  • Melissa Bradley, Founder and Managing Director, New Capitalist
  • Richard Crespin, CEO, Crespin Enterprises, and Senior Fellow, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Business Civic Leadership Center
  • Lindsay Nichols, Marketing & Communications Director, GuideStar USA
  • Stacy Palmer, Editor, Chronicle of Philanthropy
  • Diane Remin, President,

Tickets are FREE, so register today:

I went last year and I can tell you that I have rarely felt so invigorated after a professional development/networking event. The speakers are engaging and have hands-on tips that you can start using that very minute, the energy is high, there is plenty of time for networking—and there is an unbelievable amount of swag that attendees take home! Best of all, you realize you aren’t alone. All of us in the nonprofit sector are working towards a greater good, but we’re sometimes in our own little worlds so much that we forget that. All in all, I remember thinking how lucky I was to be in the audience, and I know you will too. Don’t miss this incredible event!

For those of you that are going, please let me know! I’d love to meet up with you. In addition to taking the stage for a short while, I’ll be live Tweeting—from both GuideStar’s and my own Twitter handles— @GuideStarUSA and @lindsaynichols—using the symposium hashtag: #ODFWIB.

I hope to see you there!

What do you want me to speak about at Weekend in Boca VII? Let me know in the comments below!

Lindsay J.K. Nichols

Lindsay J.K. Nichols is GuideStar’s director of marketing and communications and national spokesperson. Every day she builds on GuideStar’s strong brand position and reputation to sustain awareness of its mission through dynamic and long-lasting relationships with key audiences and influencers. Before GuideStar, Lindsay worked at worldwide public relations firms including Ogilvy PR, Metropolitan Group, Manning Selvage & Lee, and Levick Strategic Communications. Lindsay earned a bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting Communications and Women’s Studies from the State University of New York at Oswego. She is a founding board member of Social Media for Nonprofits and a volunteer of Safe Shores, the DC Children’s Advocacy Center. You can reach Lindsay at

Kansas City’s Nonprofit Search Turns 10

Kansas City’s nonprofit search made its debut on the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation’s website on October 20, 2003. As we celebrate 10 years, we thought we’d look back at the history of the tool, previously known as DonorEdge.

Branding Fundraising Events: Essential to Building Lasting, Loyal Relationships

The term “branding” originates from the practice of cattle ranchers burning a distinctive symbol into the skin of their livestock to differentiate them from those of other ranchers. Today, the term has evolved to define an intangible quality.

Join Social Media for Nonprofits in San Francisco

Is your Bay Area nonprofit looking to raise funds online, use social media to drive advocacy, and turn your followers into fundraisers? Learn how at Social Media for Nonprofits and Nonprofit Boot Camp in San Francisco on October 10 & 11. The program will be the biggest nonprofit gathering of the year in the Bay Area and features an all-star lineup sharing practical tips and tools for online fundraising, marketing, and advocacy, as well as all aspects of nonprofit management.

Join us at Social Media for Nonprofits

Don't miss out as the only conference series devoted to social media for social good returns to Washington, D.C., this coming Monday, July 15.

The DonorEdge Learning Community: Transforming Institutions into Resilient Philanthropic Leadership

GuideStar enjoyed co-hosting the 2013 DonorEdge Learning Community Annual Conference last week with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. The conference was filled with thought provoking guest speakers; engaging, open conversations about problems and solutions for community foundations and community philanthropy, and the future of GuideStar and GuideStar DonorEdge. Thank you to our guest speakers:

The content presented from speakers and emerging, group conversations were diverse with a couple of highlights described below:

  • Examples of successful collaborations and communication strategies:
    • Leadership alignment
    • Willingness, readiness, capacity, and culture
  • Data, information, and knowledge:
    • The importance of visualization and design for meaning and sense-making
    • Using information and knowledge to facilitate evidenced-based (data) impact and positive social change
  • Sustainable strategies and tactics proven effective by the DonorEdge Learning Community to:
    • Become philanthropic leaders and knowledge experts in their communities
    • Strengthen relationships with donors and prospective donors
    • Build nonprofit capacity
    • Transform their community foundations into adaptable, resilient organizations

Two simple, but profound, expressions were stated at the conference that were memorable:

  • Philanthropy defines community.
  • The remarkable gets remarked about.

Each member of the DonorEdge Learning Community is defining philanthropy in its community by nontraditional collaborations and their willingness to experiment and learn from mistakes that may occur along the way. Each member of the DonorEdge Learning Community is remarkable and gets remarked about because of this same willingness and nontraditional culture and leadership. These community foundations are adapting to the rapidly changing, innovative, and disruptive world in which we live.

Stay tuned for my next blog post about how DonorEdge can help connections with millennials and how the DonorEdge Learning Community is creating evidenced-based stories of organizational effectiveness and positive social change, through data, information, and knowledge.

If you are interested in learning more about DonorEdge or the DonorEdge Learning Community, please contact Lori Larson, senior director GuideStar DonorEdge,

Lori Larson

Lori Larson is senior director of GuideStar DonorEdge and is responsible for GuideStar’s market and product strategy for DonorEdge, and growth of and customer relations of the DonorEdge Learning Community. Prior to joining GuideStar, Lori worked for the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, leading teams including knowledge development, nonprofit outreach, and donor relations. Previous to her foundation work, Lori was the operations manager of a multi-entity oil and gas corporation in Houston, Texas, and was assistant publisher of a software company in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Lori holds a B.A. in Economics, With Distinction, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and an MBA in Finance from Baker College Center for Graduate Studies. Lori holds a Ph.D (ABD) in Leadership and Organizational Change at Walden University. Her dissertation, “Adaptive Business Models for Community Foundation Resilience,” is in progress with expected full doctorate graduation December 2013. You may reach Lori directly at

LAST CALL: Social Media for Nonprofits & Nonprofit Boot Camp Silicon Valley

LAST CALL for Social Media for Nonprofits & Nonprofit Boot Camp on June 12 and 13 in Silicon Valley! Register now to take advantage of expert nonprofit insights, best practices, and social media training from Beth Kanter, Mitch & Freada Kapor, Kay Sprinkel Grace, and more.

Register now and use “Star” code to save $20:

San Francisco Bay area nonprofits: you can get a FREE scholarship via Knight Foundation to attend. Organizations working with digital inclusion can apply now at

We hope to see you there!

Wishing you a happy Memorial Day

GuideStar wishes you a very happy Memorial Day! We remember those who have given their lives serving our country. We hope you take a moment to celebrate those who have sacrificed so much so that we could have so much, and honor their memories with your loved ones. It’s a great time for a picnic or BBQ with your family and friends!