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FAQs: For Nonprofit Organizations

  1. Where did the information on my organization's nonprofit report come from?
  2. How do I register my organization?
  3. How do I update my nonprofit report?
  4. When I tried to register, an error message said that my organization's EIN isn't in your database. How can I register my organization?
  5. My organization is part of another organization. Can we have our own listing on GuideStar?
  6. Can my religious organization have a listing on GuideStar?
  7. My organization's name has changed. How do I change it on GuideStar?
  8. What can GuideStar redact from a Form 990?
  9. Do nonprofit organizations pay to be included on GuideStar?
  10. How does my organization link to GuideStar?

  1. Where did the information on my organization's nonprofit report come from?

    GuideStar obtains information from the IRS Business Master File, IRS Forms 990, 990-EZ, and 990-PF, and individual organizations. If your organization's listing has only basic information, it is most likely from the Business Master File. More extensive information generally comes from your IRS Form 990. We invite you to add to and update your nonprofit’s report to ensure that GuideStar users get the most complete data about your organization.

  2. How do I register my organization?

    Registration is free—the first step is to create an account and sign in. Then follow the instructions in FAQ three, below ("How do I update my nonprofit report?").

  3. How do I update my nonprofit report?

    See detailed instructions on updating an organization's nonprofit report on GuideStar >

  4. When I tried to register, an error message said that my organization's EIN isn't in your database. How can I register my organization?

    You can register your nonprofit if the IRS has determined that it is a 501(c) organization. First, confirm that you typed the correct EIN. If the EIN is correct, please forward a copy of your organization's Letter of Determination, which the IRS sent to you after your organization filed a Form 1023/1024. Fax the document to 757-229-8912 or mail it to GuideStar, 4801 Courthouse Street, Suite 220, Williamsburg, VA 23188. We'll add your organization to our database.

    If your organization is a religious organization and not required to file with the IRS please see question six.

  5. My organization is part of another organization. Can we have our own listing on GuideStar?

    If your organization is registered as a separate entity with the IRS and has a different EIN (employer identification number) from the parent organization, you may update your organization’s nonprofit report. Otherwise, ask a representative of the parent organization to update their report and include a description of your organization.

  6. Can my religious organization have a listing on GuideStar?

    We can include your religious organization in the database if you provide us with the following information:

    1. EIN issuance letter
    2. Year founded
    3. A denominational listing (i.e., Kenedy Directory, Lutheran Directory, state letter for churches)

    Fax this information to 757-229-8912 or mail it to GuideStar, 4801 Courthouse Street, Suite 220, Williamsburg, VA 23188. Be sure to include your contact information in case we have questions about your request.

    Your organization will be added to the database within three to five days if it meets these requirements.

  7. My organization's name has changed. How do I change it on GuideStar?

    Name changes on GuideStar can only be performed by requesting a change through the IRS. However, you may add an additional "doing business as" (DBA) name if you follow these instructions for updating your organization's nonprofit report >

    If you elect NOT to update your nonprofit report, the name change can only be performed by the IRS. This process can take several weeks.

    To request a name change through the IRS, file a blank form 990 with the "name change" block checked or contact the IRS for more information at 877-829-5500. The IRS call center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET. You may write to them at the following address:

    Internal Revenue Service
    TE/GE Division, Customer Service
    P.O. Box 2508
    Cincinnati, OH 45201

  8. What can GuideStar redact from a Form 990?

    At the request of the filing organization, we will redact signatures other than the authorizing officer's and preparer's signatures; Social Security numbers; street addresses of private residences and of certain organizations; and the names of individuals receiving scholarships, medical care, or similar services (whether they be minors or adults). There is an initial set-up fee of $50 per return and $10 per page redacted for this service. GuideStar will redact the street address for a domestic abuse shelter at no charge to help ensure its clients' protection.

    Learn more about preparing your 990 without sensitive information >

  9. Do nonprofit organizations pay to be included on GuideStar?

    Organizations pay nothing to have their information on GuideStar.

  10. How does my organization link to GuideStar?

    We appreciate your link to our home page. If your organization participates in the GuideStar Exchange, you can link to your Nonprofit Report using the widget for your level of participation.

    You must request permission in advance to link to any other pages on our site. To request permission to link to articles posted on GuideStar, contact Suzanne Coffman, our editorial director, at scoffman@guidestar.org. For permission to link to any other page, contact us online.