GuideStar Survey Reveals Mixed Economic Picture for Charities

Release date: November 13, 2003
A new GuideStar survey indicates that, although the economic picture has brightened for nonprofits since the end of 2002, charities continue to face serious challenges.

GuideStar, the national database of nonprofit information, asked individuals associated with charitable organizations how their organizations fared financially during the first nine months of 2003 compared to the first nine months of 2002. Some 39 percent of the nonprofit participants reported that contributions had increased. Another 35 percent said they had decreased, 22 percent stated they had stayed about the same, and 4 percent did not know.

The majority, 70 percent, indicated that demand for their organizations' services had increased, with 31 percent noting that demand had "increased greatly."

These results parallel those of a July 2003 GuideStar survey and show a slight improvement over one conducted at the end of last year. In November 2002, 48 percent of respondents said contributions had decreased, 28 percent stated they had increased, 22 percent reported they were about the same, and 3 percent did not know.

"We were pleased to learn that many charities are receiving increased support compared to 2002," said Robert G. Ottenhoff, GuideStar's president and CEO. "It is significant, however, that most participants reported greater demand for their organizations' services. A number also noted that they have to work harder to garner the same level of contributions and that their organizations' expenses have risen. Thus even charities that have received increased support are facing substantial challenges."

To request a copy of the survey report, which contains both statistical analysis and narrative comments, contact Suzanne Coffman at 757-229-4631, ext. 27.

About GuideStar

GuideStar,, 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

News Contact

Suzanne E. Coffman
Director of Communications
757-229-4631, ext. 27