Foundation Center and GuideStar Join Forces to Become a New Nonprofit Entity Named Candid

Release date: February 5, 2019

Candid to Offer Most Comprehensive, Global Source of Knowledge About Nonprofit Work

Candid logo: the word Candid followed by a periodNew York, N.Y.—Foundation Center, the leading source for insight on philanthropy worldwide, and GuideStar, the leading source of information on nonprofit organizations, today announced they have joined forces to become a new nonprofit entity named Candid.

Candid brings together the deep expertise of the two organizations in data, technology, research, and training to serve the entire social sector—nonprofits, foundations, social enterprises, and individual donors—and promote more and smarter giving. Building on more than 85 years of combined experience, Candid will enable new kinds of transparency about who is working where in the world and on what issues. Candid will also promote data standards and tools that can accelerate knowledge sharing and enhance collaboration. Powered with new insights, richer data, and increased access, Candid’s more than 16 million users will be better equipped to make more strategic decisions and better advance their missions.

Bradford Smith, previously president of Foundation Center, will be the president of Candid; Jacob Harold, previously president and CEO of GuideStar, will be Candid’s executive vice president.

“We are combining operations to fulfill a shared vision: connecting people who want to change the world with the resources they need to succeed,” said Bradford Smith, president of Candid. “And our name, Candid, speaks to our deep historical legacy of telling the story of foundations and nonprofits in a fair and objective manner as well as our renewed commitment to provide trusted data and knowledge for the sector.”

“Candid is a new organization but it is rooted in eight decades of experience in and connection to the nonprofit community,” said Jacob Harold, executive vice president of Candid. “With billions of pieces of data and millions of users, Candid will have the scale to weave together the stories of changemakers around the world. Our combined data and networks will allow us to understand the current state of the field in new ways. But, more importantly, Candid will be positioned to help the field imagine better ways of working for a better future.”

Users will still be able to rely on the GuideStar and Foundation Center services that are so vital to their daily work, while benefiting from a steady stream of improvements. By integrating data and insights from nonprofits, foundations and institutional funders, governments, and tech companies, Candid can offer the philanthropic sector holistic insights and analysis not possible previously.

Informed by the needs of users, the Candid team will explore a far-reaching range of new services. Currently in the planning phase, these initiatives will be developed over a period of years and include:

  • weaving together databases to enable much more inclusive search results;
  • enabling results-driven analysis based upon improved program data;
  • expanding and accelerating the adoption of data standards across the field;
  • driving a common profile—and, eventually, a common grant application and reporting framework—by providing a consistent data framework, a next-generation distribution system, and place-based campaigns;
  • providing people working in the social sector with opportunities to develop skills to help them succeed;
  • creating social functionality, including “give lists” and deeper integration into social media platforms;
  • developing a technology and knowledge-driven marketplace for RFPs;
  • creating a fundraising planning tool for nonprofits; and
  • directly integrating data and analysis into the tools that nonprofits, foundations, and their partners use every day. 

Candid will be governed by a board composed of the current trustees of Foundation Center and GuideStar. Leading the board will be co-chairs Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, who has served as the chair of Foundation Center and serves as president & CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, and Mari Kuraishi, who served as chair of GuideStar and is the new president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. Prior to joining the Fund, Kuraishi was the co-founder and president of GlobalGiving.

“It is vital for the nonprofit world to have robust data platforms that are run by nonprofit organizations whose first duty is to a social mission,” said Mari Kuraishi, co-chair of the Candid board of directors. “We aspire for Candid to be an institution that benefits everyone, and the best way to achieve this mission is for Candid to be a nonprofit itself."

“The creation of Candid is a case where the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts,” said Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, co-chair of the Candid board of directors. “I know from my work at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo how invaluable the services of Foundation Center and GuideStar are to the field. As Candid, we look forward to making an even greater impact than was ever possible as separate entities.”

“We have for many years partnered with and funded Foundation Center and GuideStar, and it is both exciting and gratifying to support them in joining forces to form Candid,” said Parastou Youssefi, senior program officer at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “It is vital to increase the quality and depth of data about the nonprofit sector for the simple reason that you can’t have truly effective giving without it. This investment in the field will yield a tremendous return for everyone, not only the people who work in nonprofit organizations, but all the people they serve in this country and around the world.”

“There are many exciting things about the creation of Candid. Central among them to me is the power of this new organization to give all nonprofits—from grassroots start-ups to large, long-established foundations—access to more and better information,” said Hilary Pennington, executive vice president for program at the Ford Foundation. “‘Knowledge is power’ is a well-worn aphorism, but also a deep truth. The promise of Candid is to help all of us in the nonprofit sector improve our impact as we build toward a more equitable and just world.”

To fund the costs of creating Candid and build for the future, nearly $27 million has been raised from the Bill & Melinda Gates, Charles Stewart Mott, and William and Flora Hewlett foundations and other supporters. Early stage funding for feasibility studies and legal services was provided by the Lodestar Foundation and the Fidelity Charitable Trustees’ Initiative.

Candid will have offices in New York, Williamsburg, Va., Washington, D.C., the San Francisco Bay Area, Atlanta, and Cleveland, as well as data and research partners in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Candid is also increasing investment in its Funding Information Network of more than 400 library and nonprofit resource centers around the country and world that offers free public access to database tools, reference material, and training to the public.

For more information visit

About Candid

Every year, millions of nonprofits spend trillions of dollars around the world. Candid finds out where that money comes from, where it goes, and why it matters. Through research, collaboration, and training, Candid connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to do it. Candid’s data tools on nonprofits, foundations, and grants are the most comprehensive in the world. Foundation Center and GuideStar joined forces to become Candid, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Find out more at and on Twitter @CandidDotOrg.

About Foundation Center

Foundation Center was established in 1956, in the wake of McCarthy era hearings on foundation activity, as a public information service on philanthropy. Foundation Center began by gathering documents on 7,000 American foundations for public inspection and publishing annual print directories starting in 1960. The mission evolved to encompass strengthening the social sector by advancing knowledge about philanthropy not only in the United States, but around the world. With information on more than 13 million grants and 155,000 grantmakers, Foundation Center maintains the world’s largest database on global grantmaking. Foundation Center information and services aids nonprofits in increasing organizational capacity and raising the funds to fulfill their missions, while enabling foundations to collaborate more effectively and allocate resources more efficiently.

About GuideStar

Founded in 1994, GuideStar has helped drive the nonprofit transparency revolution. GuideStar released the first-ever searchable electronic database of nonprofits in 1996. Over the years, GuideStar expanded the database to include all tax-exempt organizations registered with IRS; the database currently comprises profiles of 2.7 million organizations. Populated with data from the IRS, nonprofits, and partners, these profiles are available through the GuideStar website and more than 200 other websites and applications, including Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Fidelity Charitable. In 2018, more than 10 million people used GuideStar data to make decisions about nonprofits and the work they do.

Media Contact

Jackie Enterline Fekeci