Federal Grant to GuideStar Funds Creation of National Charity Registry

Release date: October 14, 2003
GuideStar, the national database of nonprofit information, has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to develop a one-step registration system that will save charities millions of dollars and permit more efficient state oversight.

The Technology Opportunities Program (TOP) grant will fund the creation of NASCONet, a national on-line charity registration and information system. GuideStar will undertake this $1.3 million project in partnership with the National Association of State Charities Officials (NASCO).

"Currently, 40 states require charities to register with and report to them," explained GuideStar president and CEO Robert G. Ottenhoff. "State regulators spend more than 50 percent of their budgets on collecting and managing charity data—often the same information from state to state—and it costs an individual charity approximately $25,000 to register in all 40 states. NASCONet will interconnect state charity offices, allowing charity officials to share information and giving charities a common registration system. This streamlined process will enable state regulators to spend more time on charity oversight, save charities millions of dollars, and protect donors from giving to fraudulent or unethical organizations."

Mark Pacella, Pennsylvania's chief deputy attorney general and president of NASCO, commented, "NASCO's membership of state regulators is excited about the opportunity this grant creates to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of state regulatory efforts while expanding the public's access to information about charitable organizations and their fundraisers. It's an ambitious project that will ultimately benefit all donors, charities, fundraisers, and regulators, at both the state and federal levels. NASCO will be working hard over the next two years to help make it a success."

About GuideStar

GuideStar, www.guidestar.org, offers information about the programs and finances of 1.7 million IRS-recognized charitable organizations. GuideStar powers many on-line giving systems and distributes both free and subscription-based nonprofit data to grantmakers, nonprofits, donors, government charity regulators, and professionals serving the sector. To find out more about GuideStar services, go to www.guidestar.org.

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