Washington, D.C.—Today GuideStar announced major changes to the GuideStar Exchange, the only program of its kind that encourages nonprofit transparency on a national scale and allows nonprofits to supplement the public information that is available from the IRS. The program is now made up of bronze, silver, and gold participation levels that reward nonprofits based on the amount of information they share with the public via GuideStar, rather than an all-or-nothing Seal program. The GuideStar Exchange is free, open to nonprofits of all sizes, and is designed to connect nonprofits with donors, funders, and other stakeholders through information sharing. The program was overhauled to benefit all nonprofits regardless of experience, impact, or revenue and to reward all participants that are committed to nonprofit transparency.
"We overhauled our GuideStar Exchange to align with what our Money for Good II research showed: that donors, institutional funders, and financial advisors want to know basic, financial, and impact and effectiveness information about nonprofits," said Erinn Andrews, senior director of nonprofit strategy at GuideStar, the premier nonprofit information provider. "Nonprofits will additionally benefit from our new interface, which makes information sharing less burdensome. That is a key concern that we hear from nonprofits."
The improved GuideStar Exchange program is more fluid and less time-consuming to update. The information-collection process is now streamlined into 8 key areas, down from 18, reflecting the information most important to donors and funders. The new, easy-to-navigate interface includes clear explanations of what information is required and what is optional, and gives nonprofits the ability to skip between sections easily, save progress, and update later. The fields collected include general information, such as e-mail, Web site and physical addresses, and contact information; financials; officer and director information; mission and programs; additional documentation; and impact information.
A new key feature of the GuideStar Exchange program is the incorporation of Charting Impact, the only program of its kind that provides a standardized report for collecting nonprofit impact information. Nonprofits that complete a Charting Impact report have the opportunity to reach the GuideStar Exchange Gold level, the program's highest distinction.
In addition to increased exposure to donors, funders, and GuideStar's vast online audience, the benefits of becoming a GuideStar Exchange participant include the ability to share the gold, silver, or bronze level logo with supporters. Depending on the level of participation, nonprofits also have access to a variety of discounts on fundraising support, exclusive access to free technology tools and webinars, and, for those reaching the highest gold level, one free annual subscription to GuideStar Premium, GuideStar's flagship nonprofit research and analysis tool.
"The overhaul of our GuideStar Exchange is really our first step in creating a standard for nonprofit information collection in the sector," added Andrews. "Our vision is for up-to-date, comprehensive, and accurate nonprofit information to be available wherever donors, funders, and others are searching for it, making it easier for nonprofits to reach more audiences. In the coming months, we will be distributing these data to even more partners across the Web and will be developing the ability for nonprofits to use these third-party Web sites to keep their GuideStar Exchange profiles up to date, rather than only being able to update through www.guidestar.org. This is just the beginning of the exciting changes we have in store for the GuideStar Exchange!"
For more information or to participate in the improved GuideStar Exchange, please visit http://www.guidestar.org/rxg/update-nonprofit-report/index.aspx.
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