Washington, D.C.—GuideStar, the leading source of nonprofit information, today announced a new feature on more than 2,300 of its nonprofit reports that specifically focuses on the impact of these organizations. Nonprofits granted a "Top Nonprofit" medal from Philanthropedia—organizations that have received recommendations by foundation professionals, academics, researchers, nonprofit senior staff, and other field experts about the nonprofits' high impact—will now have information about the evidence of their impact, organizational strengths, areas of improvement, and expert quotes displayed in a new section of GuideStar's standard nonprofit reports. Additionally, GuideStar's Quick View summary at the top of the nonprofit report will show a green checkmark if the expert information is available. This new area of GuideStar's nonprofit reports, known as the "Impact Tab," signifies a complete merging of databases between GuideStar and Philanthropedia, acquired by GuideStar in early 2011.
"The demonstration of nonprofit impact—the outcomes of an organization's work to serve and achieve its mission—is an increasingly important metric that donors are searching for before deciding where to direct their charitable contributions," said Erinn Andrews, GuideStar's senior director of nonprofit initiatives. GuideStar's Money for Good II research, conducted by Hope Consulting, shows that among all of the pieces of information that donors and funders want to see about nonprofits, the greatest unmet need in the philanthropic sector is information about impact and effectiveness. The research found that donors and foundations want trusted third-party portals, like GuideStar and Philanthropedia, to provide this information to the general public.
"Although it's important to have a financially healthy and mission-focused organization, those measurements don't guarantee that a nonprofit is effective at fulfilling its charitable goals," stated Andrews. Similarly, a nonprofit's overhead ratio, which is too often the sector's metric of choice when determining worthy organizations, is only one piece of the overall puzzle that people should consider. Andrews added, "By measuring an organization's impact, donors and funders can discover nonprofits that are really doing the most good. GuideStar had already included a nonprofit's own description of its impact, as reported through the GuideStar Exchange program, in an area of the nonprofit report titled 'Impact Statement.' The new Impact Tab is entirely from third-party experts, and underscores GuideStar's commitment to revolutionizing the sector, helping people make informed charitable decisions and focusing energies on high-performing nonprofits."
Another feature of the new Impact Tab is a section called "From the Nonprofit," where nonprofits with expert reviews can e-mail a request to leave a comment in the Impact Tab to email@example.com. To see examples of the new Impact Tab, visit two of Philanthropedia's Top Nonprofits: Water for People and Teach for America.
Philanthropedia uses a crowd-sourcing methodology when assessing impact. Their expert network is a balanced representation of qualified professionals from numerous fields, with diverse geographical representation and diverse areas of expertise. Experts are asked to identify effective nonprofits working in the area of their expertise. Senior nonprofit staff members are encouraged to firstname.lastname@example.org to request an invitation to participate in Philanthropedia's research in their respective cause areas. Staff members should send their name, title, e-mail, phone number, organization name, and the cause they believe their organization falls under.
For more information about GuideStar's Impact Tab, please visit http://www.guidestar.org/rxg/give-to-charity/focusing-on-nonprofit-impact.aspx.
Philanthropedia, www.myphilanthropedia.org, is an online resource for donors who want to make a bigger difference with their charitable giving. Philanthropedia was founded on the belief that experts working in the field, such as foundation professionals, researchers, and nonprofit senior staff, are best suited to evaluate nonprofits in a more holistic way. In April 2011, Philanthropedia was acquired by GuideStar.
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