GuideStar International Formed

Release date: October 4, 2004
Williamsburg, Va.—GuideStar, the national database of nonprofit information, has announced the creation of GuideStar International. This new nonprofit organization expands on the GuideStar model of making nonprofit information more accessible by setting up charitable databases and Web sites in countries outside the United States.

New initiatives are set to commence in Germany and, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, in South Africa. Ultimately, the new GuideStar agencies will form a collaborative network sharing technology, data, best practices, and international fundraising.

Bob Ottenhoff, GuideStar's president and chief executive officer, said, "As GuideStar's importance to the America's nonprofit infrastructure continues to grow, the value of our work has begun to resonate in other countries. Our technical team is currently working with the United Kingdom to ensure a successful launch of GuideStar UK."

Now an independent British charity, GuideStar UK has become a formal collaboration of leaders from the United Kingdom's voluntary sector, the Home Office, Her Majesty's Treasury, and the Charity Commission of England and Wales.

Buzz Schmidt, GuideStar's founder and now chairman emeritus, will be GuideStar International's chief executive, and Bill Dietel, long-time GuideStar director and well-known leader in the American voluntary sector, will serve as board chair. Hilary Browne-Wilkinson, Director of the Institute for Philanthropy in London and co-founder with Schmidt of GuideStar UK, will also join the fledgling board.

Schmidt noted, "Little did we know 10 years ago when we began to work on the concept of a comprehensive information system for the American nonprofit sector that it would become a model for civil society development around the world."

During its first year of operations, in addition to its activities in Germany and South Africa, GuideStar International will work with leaders in other countries to assess the feasibility of and develop plans for creating comprehensive nonprofit sector information systems.

GuideStar International will maintain principal offices in Williamsburg, Virginia, and London.

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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