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

Chicago Dance Ecosystem Report Highlights Gaps in Arts Sector Data

As the communications and development specialist at Sustain Arts, a project that synthesizes and relays data on the arts sector, I had the privilege of partnering with Candid and See Chicago Dance (the leading dance service organization in Chicago) to publish Mapping the Dance Ecosystem in Chicagoland. This study revisits seminal Dance/USA research published in 2002 and synthesizes data about dance organizations, funding, and participation in Chicago.

First Data Analysis of the Chicagoland Dance Sector Since 2002 Reveals Growth and Challenges

A new report, Mapping the Dance Landscape in Chicagoland, released today by Candid (formerly Foundation Center and GuideStar), Sustain Arts, and See Chicago Dance demonstrates a 97 percent increase in the number of dance studios and schools and a 23 percent increase in the number of dance-makers from 2002 to 2016. The study revisits the seminal Dance/USA research published in 2002 and synthesizes data about dance organizations, funding, and participation.

NPO Leaders: This Is So Worth 25 Minutes of Your Time

As nonprofit leaders, we have a responsibility to show the country what’s working and what’s at stake on the frontlines of America’s most vulnerable communities. But social-sector hard data is sparse at best, and real-time data is even rarer. The longer our sector remains an outlier in a data-driven world, the greater the opportunity cost—and the greater the risk that others will inappropriately use what numbers there are to justify budget cuts and other misguided decisions.

Afraid Your Data Isn't Good Enough? It's Probably Not You. It's The System.

“How many donors should I have on my mailing list?”
“Did our students meet their growth targets for this school year?”
“Are the goals for my organization truly long term?”

The IKEA Effect and the Social Sector

You worked hard to find and hire the best staff. You completely revamped your programs to make them new and innovative. You built a solid reputation within the community. And you have really great hair. Either you truly are as wonderful as you think, or, as research suggests, you may be the latest victim of the “Ikea Effect.”

The Next Generation of Nonprofit Data Standards


Our current moment in the human story is often called the age of information. And indeed, we are too-often overwhelmed by the torrent of data coursing through our lives. As a society, we have developed many tools to organize the information we rely on every day. The Dewey Decimal System helps libraries organize books. UPC codes help stores organize their products. Nutrition labels help to present information about food ingredients and nutritional value (or lack thereof) in a way that’s consistent and predictable.