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

Is Your Advocacy Making a Difference?

If you run an advocacy campaign, you definitely have ideas about the ways it’s making progress. You can see the stumbling blocks, and you may be able to point to dramatic and obvious success. If you are documenting and reflecting on all this, you are also engaging in evaluation and learning—even if you don’t call it that! But along the way, chances are you have bumped up against these types of questions:


Why Your Organization Needs to Share Metrics as Well as Anecdotes

While teaching a university course on nonprofit leadership, we were addressing the importance of return on investment (ROI) for nonprofits. That is, how funders who make large investments in a nonprofit expect measurements that indicate their assistance is having an impact. One student, who was a nonprofit executive director, pushed back, saying that even her major donors were “just fine with stories, pictures, and anecdotal evidence” of their program’s effectiveness. Therefore, there was no need for metrics or ROI. When I asked how large a “major gift” was, she answered, “$1,000.”


Moving from Overhead to Outcomes

Why are nonprofits judged on their overhead costs as opposed to the results they create for society? The reason may be more practical than philosophical: charity impact data simply doesn’t exist in a standardized format. What if we could change that? 

GuideStar, the nation’s largest source of nonprofit data, and Mission Measurement, a global leader in outcomes measurement, are working together to tackle this most difficult of problems. 


Impact Management: New Kid on the Block

The following article is cross-posted with permission from Alliance magazine blog. Based out of the UK, Alliance magazine is the leading global magazine on philanthropy and social investment.

Impact measurement has come a long way since NPC was set up 15 years ago. From inception to today, we have maintained our forensic focus on the measurement of outcomes and impact. But there is still much more work to do. We still are not finding consistent evidence that charities are using the data that they are carefully collecting to make changes to their programmes and services.


  Your Nonprofit Profile on GuideStar has a new Demographics section.