If you do nothing else, register with GuideStar. Then, work towards a platinum rating. It's an easy way to measure where you are and where you want to be. It seems everyone is using GuideStar these days to make funding decisions. Even at a the first level (Bronze), you are way ahead of the pack.
GuideStar is a great resource for both nonprofits sharing information and donors researching organizations. The GuideStar platform is easy to use and allows us to create open transparency of our organization. This transparency enables donors to make better decisions. Many of our donors have mentioned that GuideStar was the first place they looked to review our programs. We thank GuideStar for the opportunity to present our nonprofit, Kids Against Hunger with a mission of fighting hunger around the world and in the United States, to everyone with a heart to feed children.
GuideStar is a great resource for nonprofits and donors alike. I've worked with them on several books and conferences, all designed to build nonprofit capacity, and find their team both professional and committed to growing the field. They produce a great newsletter, a ton of free webinars, and provide their support to as many fundraising and other strategic resources as any other group out there!
Just when I get used to using the site, they change it. How can they not have a mobile application, considering that they've been "working on it" for so many years? WORST NONPROFIT EVER! Guidestar contributes NOTHING to society.
Hi Janie, Thanks for your feedback. While we don't yet have a mobile app, we have just re-designed our GuideStar Search on guidestar.org for increased mobile functionality. You can learn more and watch a video about it here: https://trust.guidestar.org/a-better-way-to-explore-the-nonprofit-sector To learn about the progress and results our organization is making toward achieving our mission of enabling better decisions, advancing transparency, and encouraging charitable giving, check out the Progress & Results section of our Platinum Nonprofit Profile: http://www.guidestar.org/profile/54-1774039 If you have any further questions or concerns or would like to connect to a GuideStar support specialist, I encourage you to join the conversation in The GuideStar Community: https://community.guidestar.org/ Best, Courtney Cherico Content Marketing Associate GuideStar
I am giving GuideStar a mixed review because I use GuideStar as a researcher and as a nonprofit "administrator" responsible for keeping my organization's profile up to date. As a nonprofit "administrator" the support center is terrible. I have tried multiple ways to formulate my question and haven't found one even remotely helpful answer. You put out a public profile without permission or notice. There are multiple gaps because no one knew to go look at it, and now you make it virtually impossible for me to fill those gaps because we are an all-volunteer organization with no related email to verify my ability to update our record. Because of this, our nonprofit looks as though it hasn't had any income for the last four years. GuideStar is HURTING our reputation and ability to secure funds because of barriers GuideStar has put in place.
I would like to actually speak to someone, but there is not a phone number to be found. I wonder how a donor would contact the organization if they had a question
Finally, GreatNonprofits requires me to register as an individual or a nonprofit. In this case I am both. I am responding as someone who wants to update my nonprofit's profile, but also as a person who uses GuideStar as a research tool. Fortunately I am smart enough and have an understanding of GuideStar's limitation. Only 5% of the nonprofits listed have actually added even the smallest piece of information to their profile page.
Hi NFPPro, Thanks for your feedback. Since our launch of The GuideStar Community earlier this year, we've purposed to make the site user-friendly and more easily searchable. Feel free to enter questions by keyword in the search bar to see conversations that are already happening about your issues, or click "submit a request" to have a stakeholder support specialist contact you in about a business day: https://community.guidestar.org/ We have a Profiles Coach that is happy to reach out to you individually and walk you through the process of updating your Nonprofit Profile-- please leave a comment on this blog post requesting a profiles coach: https://trust.guidestar.org/the-nonprofit-summer-games-closing-ceremonies . From there, I'll be able to see your email address and connect you directly to her. Alternatley, you can "request support" in the GuideStar Community asking the same thing and someone will connect you. Best, Courtney Cherico, content marketin gassociate, GuideStar
Review from Guidestar
Guidestar's new Website makes it even easier for bad charities to make themselves look good. What people will read on Guidestar is the charity's own marketing material about all the wonderful things they do. This will let even the worse charities make themselves look good.
Saying "goodbye" to admin overhead is a blank check for many charities to continue excessive fundraising expenses, overhead, and egregious executive salaries. The 990's will make little sense to anyone other than seasoned accountants or the most savvy financial readers.
It appears Guidestar is nothing more than a vehicle to enable clever charities to promote themselves. #shameful
Thanks for your feedback. I think questions 4 & 5 of The Overhead Myth FAQ can provide some guidance regarding your concerns: http://overheadmyth.com/faqs/#q4 GuideStar urges nonprofits and their supporters to push past financial metrics to share their actual progress and results with millions, for free, with GuideStar Platinum: https://learn.guidestar.org/platinum If you have concerns over the validity of information in our profiles, I encourage you to join the conversation surrounding that topic in The GuideStar Community: https://community.guidestar.org/message/5129 Best, Courtney Cherico, content Marketing Associate, GuideStar
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Founder/CEO of Pathways For Change, Inc. I bring clinical strengths to our organization, but I've had to rely on mentors and organizations like GuideStar to learn how to implement compliant nonprofit strategies. GuideStar has allowed me, at my own pace, to explore best practices and implement those practices throughout every aspect of our organization. I highly recommend a Gold Star rating experience!
Gratefu for your kind feedback, Connie! ~Courtney Cherico, content marketing associate, GuideStar
Review from Guidestar
Thank you Guidestar for providing the platform to share the details of our hard-working organization. Founded in the 1990’s, our message of training in the absence of violence has grown in importance with the news headlines. Our presence on Guidestar is often mentioned as the first place potential donors looked after they heard about our programs. When Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II became our patron to encourage our Horse Sense and Healing program, we knew we were in the ultimate fishbowl. Guidestar was there for us, even internationally, to assure and guide the public. Thank you!
Director of Development www.Join-Up.org/veterans
We appreciate your review, Debbie! ~Courtney Cherico, content marketing associate, GuideStar
Review from Guidestar
A great tool for nonprofits to share the good work and impact they have on their community. I work for a nonprofit and refer all friends and family to check Great Nonprofits before making a donation to any organization.
Thanks for your review! ~Courtney Cherico, content marketing associate, GuideStar
If I could give them zero stars, I would. They have the WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE imaginable. If you are a nonprofit looking for help, expect to wait at least a week for each correspondence. Write them an email, wait a week for a response that doesn't even match your request. Write another email, wait another week. Maybe I'm missing the point of GuideStar, but I thought their mission is to help the nonprofit sector. Worse than that, you can't call them and if you request that they call you, you're just out of luck. If you're lucky enough to get a phone call, you'd better be at your desk the moment they decide to call you (about a week later) or you'll receive a voicemail telling you to email them. How can a multi-million dollar nonprofit brag about being the "leader" in anything if their customer service is so terrible?
Thanks for your feedback. As a nonprofit ourselves, we strive to support the sector with the capacity we do have which is currently via email and The GuideStar Community, where you can request help from a stakeholder support specialist to your personal inquiry with an average of a day response time: community.guidestar.org. BEst, Courtney Cherico, content marketing associate, GuideStar
Review from Guidestar