GuideStar Platinum Offers Alternative to Overhead Ratios
Maryland SPCA was a GuideStar Platinum
early adopter. (Click image to view larger.)
WASHINGTON, DC—GuideStar, the world's largest information hub of nonprofit organizations, today announced the launch of GuideStar Platinum, a free tool enabling nonprofits to share quantitative measures of their progress and results. The collection and distribution of Platinum metrics through GuideStar's network of hundreds of websites and applications will be the first-of-its-kind, sector-wide effort to share hard data about their programs.
GuideStar Platinum gives nonprofits a way to share meaningful metrics about their work, providing concrete alternatives to overly simplistic financial ratios when assessing nonprofit progress. Instead of evaluating charities based on financial metrics offered without context, donors and key decision makers can now see the measurable difference individual nonprofits are making both in their communities and at scale.
"GuideStar Platinum is a natural next step in efforts to break the Overhead Myth," said Jacob Harold, president and chief executive officer, GuideStar. "Nonprofits don't exist to make money, they exist to make a difference. With Platinum nonprofits can share quantitative metrics that show the difference they are making."
Nonprofits can earn the Platinum Seal of Transparency by adding quantitative metrics to their GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles. Organizations can choose from GuideStar's Common Results Catalog, which boasts more than 700 expertly-vetted metrics. The catalog was curated using nearly 100 sources including practitioners, academic researchers, and funders. Each nonprofit can also add metrics it already tracks that are most appropriate for its mission and programs. By encouraging nonprofits to share the metrics that matter most to their respective missions, GuideStar is helping to create a common language throughout the sector.
"This new effort by GuideStar is promising and exciting," said Phil Buchanan, president, Center for Effective Philanthropy, a Platinum Early Adopter. "Easily accessible data on nonprofit performance will allow donors to make better decisions, targeting resources to those who are working hard to gauge and improve their performance."
GuideStar pre-launched Platinum by inviting beta-testers to become Platinum Early Adopters. Nearly 900 nonprofits applied to become Early Adopters and more than 1900 metrics have already been reported. Among those who applied to become Early Adopters including a wide variety of organizations including the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, Center for Effective Philanthropy, GlobalGiving, International Cancer Advocacy Network, High Risk Hope, and The Wild Animal Sanctuary.
"GuideStar Platinum gives our organization, and all nonprofits, the ability to track crucial data on free web-based software that all key players can access," said Heather Barrow, founder and executive director, High Risk Hope. "We are committed to transparency and we have finally found a tool to present this information in a clear and effective manner."
Before reaching the Platinum level, organizations must complete the preceding levels of Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Each level provides a different type of information ranging from basic contact information to program information. Completing each level allows a nonprofit to tell its whole story. To learn more about GuideStar Platinum, click here or go to guidestar.org/platinum.
GuideStar, www.guidestar.org, is the world's largest hub of nonprofit information, connecting people and organizations with data on 2.4 million IRS-recognized nonprofits. Each year, more than 7 million people, including individual donors, nonprofit leaders, grantmakers, government officials, academic researchers, and the media, use GuideStar data to make intelligent decisions about the social sector. GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles are populated with information directly from nonprofits, from the IRS, and via other partners in the nonprofit sector. In addition, users see GuideStar data on more than 185 philanthropic websites and applications. GuideStar is itself a 501(c)(3) public charity.