Policies for Adding Nonprofits Not Listed on the IRS Business Master File to GuideStar

Faith-Based Organizations Other Than Ministries

An organization that is not required to file for charitable status with the IRS because it is a faith-based organization (e.g., church, religious school) that wishes to be included in the GuideStar database:

  • must have its own Employer Identification Number (EIN), independent from that of a parent or national office, and
  • cannot have filed or is not planning to file a Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, with the IRS.

The organization must also provide one (1) of the following to GuideStar:

  1. listing in the parent church's directory, e.g., Kenedy Directory, plus:

    1. a copy of a document received from a federal (not state) agency that is preprinted with the organization's name and EIN, such as:

      • EIN issuance letter, received from the IRS
      • copy of IRS Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return, received from the IRS
      • payroll tax receipt received from the IRS
      • other document received from a federal agency that is preprinted with the organization's name and EIN

      and

    2. year established
  2. Listing on a national church directory Web site, e.g., National Presbyterian Church Directory, Baptist General Conference Churches, Unitarian Universalist Association, plus:

    1. a copy of a document received from a federal (not state) agency preprinted with the organization's name and EIN, such as:

      • EIN issuance letter, received from the IRS
      • copy of IRS Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return, received from the IRS
      • payroll tax receipt received from the IRS
      • other document received from a federal agency that is preprinted with the organization's name and EIN

      and

    2. year established.
  3. State letter (registration) showing that the state recognizes the orgnanization as a church (this document is required for an independent, i.e., non-denominational, church), plus:

    1. a copy of a document received from a federal (not state) agency that is preprinted with the organization's name and EIN, such as:

      • EIN issuance letter, received from the IRS
      • Copy of IRS Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return, received from the IRS
      • Payroll tax receipt received from the IRS
      • Other document received from a federal agency that is preprinted with the organization's name and EIN

      and

    2. year established.

If none of the above is available, the organization must provide the Sales & Use tax exemption issued by the state; this certificate must indicate that the nonprofit is a church. In addition, the organization must provide

  1. a copy of a document received from a federal (not state) agency that is preprinted with the organization's name and EIN, such as:

    • EIN issuance letter, received from the IRS
    • Copy of IRS Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return, received from the IRS
    • Payroll tax receipt received from the IRS
    • Other document received from a federal agency that is preprinted with the organization's name and EIN

    and

  2. year established.

Nonprofits with Income Less Than $5,000

An organization that is not required to file for charitable status with the IRS because it "has gross receipts in each taxable year of normally not more than $5,000" that wishes to be included in the GuideStar database:

  • must have its own Employer Identification Number (EIN), independent from that of a parent or national office,
  • must have filed a Form 990-N with the IRS, and
  • cannot have filed or is not planning to file a Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, with the IRS.

The organization must also provide the following to GuideStar:

  1. the year it was established;
  2. a copy of its EIN issuance letter, showing that the IRS accepted the request for an EIN;
  3. a signed copy of a certificate of incorporation, filed with the state and stamped by that authority, OR a complete, signed copy of its articles of incorporation;
  4. a copy of a business license if required by the state in which the organization is located, that includes the organization's EIN;
  5. a complete, signed copy of its bylaws if required by the state in which the organization is located.

Providing Documentation to GuideStar

  • By e-mail: support@guidestar.org
  • By fax (please include a contact e-mail in case we have questions): 757-229-8912
  • By snail mail (please include a contact e-mail in case we have questions):

    GuideStar
    4801 Courthouse Street
    Suite 220
    Williamsburg, VA 23188

Ministries

A ministry that wishes to be included in the GuideStar database must:

  • have its own Employer Identification Number (EIN), independent from that of a parent or national office, and
  • provide a copy of its IRS letter of determination showing 501(c)(3) designation.

Small Nonprofits with a 501(c)(3) Fiscal Sponsor

An organization that has not registered with the IRS but does have a fiscal sponsor recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization that wishes to be included in the GuideStar database:

  • must have its own Employer Identification Number (EIN), independent from that of a parent or national office, and
  • cannot have filed or is not planning to file a Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, with the IRS.

The organization must also provide the following to GuideStar:

  1. a copy of the EIN issuance letter, showing that the IRS accepted the request for an EIN;
  2. a copy of the organization's registration with the appropriate state governing office; and
  3. a copy of a letter from the fiscal sponsor that acknowledges the fiscal sponsor agreement between the two entities.

Government Entities

An organization that has not registered with the IRS because it is a government entity (e.g., City of San Bernadino, LimeStone County Commission, public school districts, military programs) that wishes to be included in the GuideStar database:

  • must have its own Employer Identification Number (EIN), independent from that of a parent or national office, and
  • cannot have filed or is not planning to file a Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, with the IRS.

The organization must also provide the following to GuideStar:

  1. a copy of the EIN issuance letter, showing that the IRS accepted the request for an EIN, and
  2. statement on letterhead stating that the organization is a government entity.

GuideStar staff will verify this information in a follow-up telephone call.

Agencies Under a Group Exemption

An organization that has not registered with the IRS because it is covered under a group exemption (e.g., chapters of the Alzheimer's Association) that wishes to be included in the GuideStar database:

  • must have its own Employer Identification Number (EIN), independent from that of a parent or national office, and
  • cannot have filed or is not planning to file a Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, with the IRS.

The organization must also provide the following to GuideStar:

  1. a copy of the EIN issuance letter, showing that the IRS accepted the request for an EIN, and
  2. a copy of a charter or other documentation stating that the organization is an official chapter or affiliate of the national organization.

U.S. Territory Organizations

An organization that is located in a U.S. territory (e.g., Guam, Puerto Rico) that wishes to be included in the GuideStar database must provide the following to GuideStar:

  • letter of determination issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.