Washington, D.C.—GuideStar—the leading source of nonprofit information—today rolled out new updates to the GuideStar Exchange, an initiative designed to help nonprofits connect with key stakeholders, including funders. These changes allow the nonprofits that enter their organizations' information into the GuideStar Exchange to do so with fewer hurdles, thereby ensuring that more people see their information more quickly.
"Everyone knows we have nonprofit Forms 990 in our database, but not many realize that our GuideStar Exchange program helps nonprofits complete their overall picture," said José Fernández, director of the GuideStar Exchange. "Through the Exchange nonprofits can provide photos, videos, additional program information, documentation, and so much more to allow stakeholders—and especially funders—connect with their organizations in a more meaningful way."
The changes to the GuideStar Exchange include:
- Nonprofits can now assign unlimited administrators to their organization's profiles—no need to contact GuideStar and wait for approval.
- Nonprofits can develop all of their copy in a Word document and paste it into the GuideStar Exchange form. No more retyping or funny characters.
- No more audit requirements for organizations with revenues under $1 million ($2 million in California). If, however, a nonprofit wants to earn the GuideStar Exchange Seal, it will need to provide some form of independently reviewed financial statements.
The GuideStar Exchange updates are just the latest in a robust program designed to help nonprofits engage with their stakeholders. Other initiatives include a new online resource called GX Connects for those seeking help—from both GuideStar and nonprofit professionals going through the process themselves—in completing their profiles as well as 30-minute small group demos led by Fernández to help nonprofits work through specific issues on their GuideStar Exchange Forms.
Upcoming demos include:
- TODAY, September 1, 2011, 11:30 a.m. EDT, How to Update Your Nonprofit Report: Key Stakeholders
- Wednesday, September 7, 2011, 1 p.m. EDT, How to Update Your Nonprofit Report: Claiming Your Profile
- Thursday, September 8, 2011, 12:30 p.m. EDT, How to Update Your Nonprofit Report: Programs Information
- Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 12:30 p.m. EDT, How to Update Your Nonprofit Report: Key Documents Section
In addition, because many grantmakers require their potential grantees to update their GuideStar Exchange reports before their applications are considered, GuideStar is also providing foundation support in the form of one-on-one help for those foundations and nonprofits that request additional help. Foundations that want to work with specific nonprofits, as well as nonprofits themselves, can request support by joining GX Connects and posting a request for support.
"We know how tight budgets make it more important than ever for nonprofits to get the word out about their causes," added Fernández. "Through the demos, GX Connects, foundation support, and now these updates, we hope that all nonprofits will have the tools they need to complete their GuideStar Exchange profiles and tell the world—and funders—their complete story, and ultimately get the funding that is so needed."
The GuideStar Exchange provides nonprofits with a variety of benefits, including:
- The GuideStar Exchange Seal on the organization's GuideStar profile, which instantly informs GuideStar's vast audience of the organization's commitment to transparency.
- Access to new fundraising tools, including a special 20 percent discount on the Not for Profit Group's online development training videos.
- FREE one-year subscription to GuideStar Premium (a $1,500 value)—a great way to identify foundations that are funding other nonprofits in your sector/area.
Once a nonprofit has completed its GuideStar Exchange report, it can enhance its existing marketing program for free by sharing its online profile with stakeholders.
"The bottom line is that the more funders know, the more they will want to give," stated Fernández.
GuideStar, www.guidestar.org, 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.
Lindsay J.K. Nichols