GuideStar Web Site Gets Makeover

Upgraded search engine, revised navigation, and new features improve the user experience, expand information available
Release date: March 27, 2009
Washington, D.C., and Williamsburg, Va.—GuideStar, the leading provider of nonprofit information, has launched a new Web site that offers new features and enhances old ones. Among the highlights:

  • GuideStar’s powerful search engine now has a "did you mean" function that suggests alternate search terms; this feature is particularly helpful when a user misspells a keyword or does not know an organization’s exact name. Similarly, new clustering functionality offers related keywords for searches. These features have been added to the longstanding convenience of being able to search GuideStar’s database of 1.8 million nonprofits from any page on the site.

  • A new section has been added for donors. GuideStar has always offered information for donors, but it was scattered throughout the site. Now there is a central location from which donors can access this information.

  • New task-oriented navigation makes it easier for users of all types to get what they want from the site. To give users the most flexibility, this navigation is available from every page on the site, and it is linked to the action users want to take, not to how they identified themselves when they registered with GuideStar.

  • More information is now available to users who have not registered with GuideStar and to users who have not logged in. New nonprofit reports detailing individual organizations’ missions, programs, goals, accomplishments, and more are available to unregistered and un-logged-in users. The reports were created to provide donors with the nonprofit data they told GuideStar they find the most helpful. There is no charge to access this information.

  • The new reports also feature charity reviews, made possible through a partnership between GuideStar and GreatNonprofits. Users can both read and write reviews on either the GuideStar Web site,, or the GreatNonprofits site, All reviews appear on both sites. There is no charge for reading and writing reviews.

  • Other information for the new reports is gathered through the GuideStar Exchange, a new program that allows nonprofits to reach out to the many donors among GuideStar’s users. In addition to providing narrative information about their organizations, GuideStar Exchange members can upload photographs to their reports and link from them to YouTube videos, letting donors see them in action.

  • The GuideStar Exchange also enables nonprofits to be more transparent by uploading their IRS letters of determination, annual reports, and other important documents to the database. There is no charge for uploading documents or for participating in the Exchange.

"Our new site represents the next generation of GuideStar," stated Bob Ottenhoff, GuideStar’s president and CEO. "We are providing different kinds of information for different types of users, and we are creating a more well-rounded picture of nonprofits' activities and performance. Extensive conversations with our wide range of users guided the development of our new site. We look forward to continuing the dialogue through the feedback links provided on the lower right of every page."

About GuideStar USA, Inc.

GuideStar,, connects people and organizations with information on the programs and finances of more than 1.8 million IRS-recognized nonprofits. GuideStar serves a wide audience inside and outside the nonprofit sector, including individual donors, nonprofit leaders, grantmakers, government officials, academic researchers, and the media.

News Contact:

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