GuideStar for Academics

How can GuideStar help you learn more about the nonprofit sector?

Check these free GuideStar resources to help provide more insight into nonprofits and how they operate.

GuideStar Search

Search GuideStar’s database of 2.7 million nonprofits. Access summary information such as mission statement and contact information, financial data, programmatic results, and diversity data.

Get started with GuideStar Search →

White Papers

GuideStar experts along with other authorities throughout the field publish free white papers to share insights about issues affecting nonprofits, foundations, donors, and the sector as a whole. Check out these specific white papers we think can help you learn more about the nonprofit sector:

Check out our white papers →

Read our Blog Posts

GuideStar staff and industry experts contribute daily articles to the GuideStar Blog ranging from the latest sector news, best practices, updates about GuideStar products, and tools for foundations and nonprofits. Here are some relevant key words to search for:

Law and Regulation · Nonprofits · Policy Big Data · Trends

Go to GuideStar Blog →

For info and updates sent directly to your email, sign up to receive GuideStar’s bi-weekly e-Newsletter.

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For more info, check out additional public resources.

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How can GuideStar help you learn more about the nonprofit sector?

We offer free and discounted access to our nonprofit database for the classroom to qualified educators.

GuideStar Library Services

Academic and public libraries can offer their patrons and researchers on-site and remote access to GuideStar’s nonprofit database. GuideStar’s Library Services provides patrons the ability to search and filter organizations by a 40+ filters, view organizational financial trends analysis year-over-year, and verify an organization’s eligibility to accept tax-deductible contributions.

Learn More About GuideStar Library Services →

GuideStar for Education

Instructors, individuals, and academic institutions doing research on nonprofit organizations can apply for limited pro bono access to GuideStar Premium for themselves and their students, allowing users to search, compare, and analyze millions of nonprofit organizations.

Apply for GuideStar for Education →

GuideStar Complimentary Data Set

We are happy to offer free Nonprofit E-File 990 data as a part of our participation with the Nonprofit Open Data Collective. The free data set contains 2015 FY E-file information for ~160,000 charitable organizations and includes EIN, mission statement, key financial data points, and more.

Download for Free Now →

How can I get access to GuideStar nonprofit data for individual research purposes?

GuideStar provides the following options to individuals conducting research on the nonprofit sector.

GuideStar Research Fundamentals/Research Fundamentals Plus Dataset

In partnership with DataLake, GuideStar is proud to offer nonprofit data sets exclusively for academic users. Faculty, students, and researchers can now access this in-depth data for an extremely discounted price.

Research Fundamentals: key nonprofit data with 53 data fields for 400,000 public charities. You can choose to purchase discounted data sets from 2014, 2015, and or 2016

Research Fundamentals Plus: advanced nonprofit data with 350 data fields for 250,000 public charities. You can choose to purchase discounted data sets from 2014, 2015, and or 2016

Learn more about the data sets →

GuideStar Pro

GuideStar Pro offers you the advanced search and analysis tools and the ability to verify an organization’s eligibility to accept tax-deductable contributions with GuideStar Charity Check, now built in.

Check out our GuideStar Pro →

Custom Data

Access data based on the parameters of your choosing. Select from hundreds of data fields available for more than 2.7 millionstrong> nonprofits, both 501(c)(3) organizations and those that fall outside that category. Data sources include IRS Forms 990, 990-EZ, and 990-PF as well as the IRS Business Master File and GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles. Historical as well as current information is available.

Learn more about Custom Data →

GuideStar Complimentary Data Set

We are happy to offer free Nonprofit E-File 990 data as a part of our participation with the Nonprofit Open Data Collective. The free data set contains 2015 FY E-file information for 160,000+ charitable organizations and includes EIN, mission statement, key financial data points, and more.

Download for Free Now →

Additional Public Resources

Resource Description
Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract (EO BMF) IRS page where the BMF is published. BMF is a listing of exempt organizations. The data is generally updated monthly and the IRS also makes data available by state and region.
Tax Exempt Organization Search Bulk Data Downloads IRS page providing multiple lists: Pub 78, Automatic Revocation, Form 990-N, and Form 990 Series data.
Charitable & Exempt Organizations Statistics Resource Page IRS page provides links to the Statistics of Income studies relating to the tax-exempt sector. For each of these areas, there are statistical tables and text articles that include both recent and historical data.
National Center for Charitable Statistics Data Archive NCCS is part of the Urban Institute. The data produced by NCCS and made available on this site are intended for use by researchers and policy-makers in their quantitative analyses, and as a springboard for more in-depth survey or case study research.
Non-profit Open Data Collective A consoritum of organizations that are building open data assets to support the nonprofit sector.
Bridge open data Basic Registry of Identified Global Entities. A unique numbering system for identifying non-governmental organizations, programs and other social sector entities across the globe.
Publication 557, Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization An IRS publication that discusses the rules and procedures for organizations that seek recognition of exemption from federal income tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Life Cycle of an Exempt Organization IRS page that provides information about points of intersection between organizations and the IRS. Includes explanatory information, and links to forms that organizations may need to use at various points in its life cycle.
Exempt Organizations — Required Filings IRS page that explains what filings are required by different types of exempt organizations.
IRS Bulletins The Internal Revenue Bulletin is the authoritative instrument of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue for announcing official rulings and procedures of the Internal Revenue Service and for publishing Treasury Decisions, Executive Orders, Tax Conventions, legislation, court decisions, and other items of general interest. It is published weekly.
Rules regarding Churches and Religious Organizations IRS page that provides information and guidance specific to churches and religious organizations.
State Links for Exempt organizations IRS page that provides links to State government websites with useful information for tax-exempt organizations, including registration requirements for charities, taxation, information for employers, and more.
Charities and Non-profits A-Z site index IRS page that contains an index of Charity and Non-Profit IRS related links.
Fiscal Sponsorship Article by NEO Law Group on the topic of Fiscal Sponsorship
Comparing 501(c)(3) vs. 501(c)(4) for Nonprofit Startups Article by NEO Law Group regarding the difference between a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4)