GuideStar USA

aka GuideStar   |   Williamsburg, VA   |  Guidestar.org

Mission

As of February 2019, GuideStar joined forces with Foundation Center to become a new organization called Candid. To see current information, go to https://www.guidestar.org/profile/13-1837418 or search for Candid in the navigation bar above. The below reflects GuideStar’s historical mission statement as of January 31, 2019. GuideStar USA's mission is to revolutionize philanthropy and nonprofit practice by providing information that advances transparency, enables users to make better decisions, and encourages charitable giving.

Notes from the nonprofit

As of February 2019, GuideStar joined forces with Foundation Center to become a new organization called Candid. To see current information, go to https://www.guidestar.org/profile/13-1837418 or search for Candid in the navigation bar above. The information on this profile is an archive of GuideStar’s historical data. The below sections reflect information as of January 31, 2019: Names & contacts, addresses, mission statement, founding information, donation information, programs & maps, categorization, finances, Charting Impact questions, metrics, photos & videos, social media channels, demographics, and board leadership practices. The following sections have been updated to reflect the current structure of GuideStar as of February 1, 2019: Leadership & staff and board members.

Ruling year info

1996

Senior Advisor

Mr. Jacob Harold

Main address

4801 Courthouse St Ste. 220

Williamsburg, VA 23188 USA

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Formerly known as

Philanthropic Research, Inc.

EIN

54-1774039

NTEE code info

Philanthropy / Charity / Voluntarism Promotion (General) (T50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

As of February 2019, GuideStar joined forces with Foundation Center to become a new organization called Candid. The below reflects GuideStar’s historical programs as of January 31, 2019. Across the globe, nonprofits play an important role within the evolving social contract: they provide services, drive innovation, and shape political discourse. Unfortunately, the culture and systems of the nonprofit sector do not always drive excellence, learning, or collaboration. The whole is less than the sum of its parts. For example: - proven impact rarely draws additional capital; - failure seldom drives learning; - shared goals rarely inspire collaboration; - the voices of those we try to serve are lost. These obstacles limit the overall impact of the field. Until we fix these problems the nonprofit sector will continue to underperform—with profound consequences across society.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Web Program -

GuideStar believes the more people understand the philanthropic sector, the more effectively and efficiently it will operate, and the more support it will receive. To achieve that goal, we provide web-based tools (both free and paid) through www.guidestar.org.

The backbone for each tool is the GuideStar database, which comprises information on more than 2.6 million current and historic tax-exempt organizations, including 1.9 million 501(c)(3) entities. Nearly 8 million unique users visited our website in 2017 to explore nonprofit information.

GuideStar continues to enhance its decision-making resources. We offer free tools to help our users find and manage the information on our website. In 2017, we updated our Nonprofit Profiles to simplify navigation and make nonprofit program information more prominent. The new profiles present an enhanced view of data on individual nonprofit organizations that allows users to easily find and compare relevant information alongside historical trends. We also refreshed our search tool in 2017. The new search engine improves the initial relevancy of results and allows users to filter by geography, issue area, Seal of Transparency, and different financial metrics. These advances in user interface design and dynamic data visualization offer new opportunities to understand and analyze nonprofit data.

Our paid products include GuideStar Charity Check, a pre-grant due-diligence tool that is 100% compliant with IRS regulations for verifying nonprofits’ eligibility to receive grants. In addition, we offer GuideStar Premium and Pro, which give users deep and comprehensive research capabilities.

GuideStar also hosts an online support community that includes nearly 10,000 registered users. The GuideStar Community allows our users and customers to more easily find solutions to issues and receive responses to inquiries within one business day. It provides a forum for GuideStar to better understand the challenges our users face. More important, the community provides a space for community participants to engage with one another and share needs, challenges, and successes.

Population(s) Served
Adults

GuideStar works to ensure that nonprofit information is available whenever and wherever it is needed. We’ve improved our Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to better facilitate data delivery to our partners and customers. GuideStar shares the information from our database, comprising nearly 2.6 million current and historic tax-exempt organizations, including 1.9 million 501(c)(3) entities, with various types of partner organizations, including:

1. PHILANTHROPIC WEBSITES AND APPLICATIONS: GuideStar powers more than 200 philanthropic websites and applications, including Facebook, Volunteer Match, AmazonSmile, CrowdRise, and the Fidelity, Schwab, and Vanguard donor-advised funds.

2. COMMUNITY FOUNDATIONS: We support community foundations’ fundraising and engagement efforts through the DonorEdge platform. GuideStar has partnered with 20 community foundations—and counting.

3. GRANTS MANAGEMENT VENDORS: GuideStar for Grant Applications (G4G) continues to build momentum with active adoption of the tool by six grants management software vendors and more than 40 foundations. The tool allows nonprofits to auto-populate grant applications with Nonprofit Profile data. It saves nonprofits time, enabling them to focus resources on their missions, allows foundations to improve grantmaking efficiency, and ensures grantmakers have up-to-date information.

4. (NEW) GRANTMAKING ORGANIZATIONS: We have developed a new tier for out platform products suite—plug-in products that allow customers to embed GuideStar’s core functionality into their own web pages by inserting code snippets into pages on their websites. In May 2017 we launched GuideStar Local Nonprofit Directory, which lets a community foundation or other grantmaking organization provide its stakeholders with a nonprofit search limited to the location it serves. This product is ideal for smaller funders that have little or no technology staff and serve a defined geographic area. In September, Vanguard Charitable became the first partner to incorporate GuideStar National Nonprofit Directory into its offerings. GuideStar National allows a partner to embed the full power of GuideStar Premium into its website.

Population(s) Served
Adults

GuideStar provides custom support to various stakeholders working to research and report on the nonprofit sector.

NONPROFIT REPORTS: In 2017, we published the 17th edition of our annual compensation report and assisted many organizations in their research. We provided data and analysis on several topics to a number of media organizations, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and NBC News. Journalists incorporated this information into stories or used it as background to enhance the quality of their reporting on the nonprofit sector.

GUIDESTAR BLOG: Ranked as one of the top nonprofit blogs, the GuideStar Blog publishes posts by sector experts and GuideStar staff on topics ranging from the latest nonprofit trends to new programs at GuideStar.

WHITE PAPERS: We promote thought leadership by producing white papers on various topics. Our most recent white papers have provided information on foundation best practices, technology tools for community foundations, and hidden business opportunities using nonprofit data.

WEBINARS: In addition to publishing reports and white papers, we hosts monthly webinars to bring relevant information to our users. We have partnered with such organizations as Classy, Facebook, Big Duck, and the Atlantic. We also showcase our products and programs and provide support by answering stakeholders’ questions.

Population(s) Served
Adults

We are working to create a common profile for nonprofit organizations. The creation of a comprehensive profile will help improve the nonprofit sector’s efficiency. Nonprofits, foundations, and others will more easily be able to compare and benchmark nonprofit programs, progress, and results. The GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles are a free resource, available for any tax-exempt organization to better share its story.


In 2015, we initiated the GuideStar Profile Standard (GSPS), a best-practice guide for collecting and sharing information about nonprofit organizations. The GSPS document is refreshed yearly to reflect changes and developments. Our GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles are now structured by the GSPS, and it is used to determine an organization’s qualifications for a GuideStar Seal of Transparency.


Nonprofits can earn Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum Seals of Transparency depending on the amount of information they share. In 2016, GuideStar launched a feature on Nonprofit Profiles to enable nonprofits to share quantitative program results data, known as the Platinum level of transparency. Organizations are empowered to tell their stories and explain their impact through programmatic metrics. As part of this process, GuideStar also created the first sector-wide database of common programmatic metrics, the Common Results Catalog, with nearly 1000 common metrics applicable to different cause areas.


In 2017, GuideStar also continued to enhance the design of the GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles to emphasize an organization’s programs and results with a new map featuring geographic area served; leverage interactive data visualization and pre-calculated metrics for insight into financial performance and stability; and offer deeper understanding of nonprofit practice.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Accreditations

test 1994

Awards

test 1995

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Affiliations & memberships

test 1994

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of organizations you can find on GuideStar

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Nonprofit Profile Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We feature various types of nonprofit organizations on GuideStar. The most common type is the 501(c)(3) --1.89 million of these can be found on GuideStar.

Number of organizations who share enough information to earn a Seal of Transparency on GuideStar

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Nonprofit Profile Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Seals of Transparency are tied to sharing up-to-date and relevant information with stakeholders. The 2015 drop was the result of removing seal holders with out-of-date information.

Number of organizations sharing their organization’s demographics information through their GuideStar Nonprofit Profile

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Web Program -

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We encourage nonprofits to share the demographic characteristics of their staff, board, and volunteers. We developed the survey along with the D5 coalition and launched in Oct 2014.

Number of unique website visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Web Program -

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We fine-tuned our metrics procedure in June 2016 and want to reflect the most accurate data to date.

Number of websites and organizations (outside of our organization) that share our resources and information

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Platform Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The number of websites and applications powered by information on GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

As of February 2019, GuideStar joined forces with Foundation Center to become a new organization called Candid. The below reflects GuideStar’s Charting Impact answers as of January 31, 2019.

GuideStar believes that better data will enable people to make better decisions, leading to a better world.

Our goal is for people to make better decisions about social change based on accurate, timely information about nonprofits. Specifically, we aim to improve the quality and quantity of giving in the nonprofit sector, and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of nonprofits. We believe that, through the strategies shown below, we will be able to encourage and enable more people to make data-driven decisions, simplify fundraising, and enable faster learning for nonprofits.

1. Donor decisions influenced by data: By making more data available, providing new tools to make nonprofit data more accessible, guiding more people on how to interpret the data, and reaching more people, we hope to see an increase in data-driven decision making by both individual donors and funders.

2. Simplified fundraising systems: Our products save time and resources for foundations and nonprofits, making their jobs easier and saving them time. GuideStar for Grant Applications (G4G) simplifies the application process between foundations and nonprofits. More than six grants management vendors and more than 40 foundations have adopted this tool. GuideStar's products also make it easier for donors to find nonprofits and donate money.

3. Faster learning among nonprofits: Nonprofits use GuideStar to see a clear picture of their year-over-year information, including financial and programmatic data. They benchmark themselves against individual organizations and in the aggregate. Nonprofits also use GuideStar to establish appropriate compensation for employees. Tens of thousands of nonprofits have leveraged GuideStar solutions for learning in the past year.

As of February 2019, GuideStar joined forces with Foundation Center to become a new organization called Candid. The below reflects GuideStar’s Charting Impact answers as of January 31, 2019.

GuideStar has four main activities for realizing this vision over the next few years.

(1) Increasing the breadth, depth, and quality of data: GuideStar began 23 years ago by creating a system that shared nonprofit information more efficiently with the general public. This open platform led to the public display of the IRS Form 990, a financial document nonprofits must file annually with the IRS. Over the years, we encouraged tax-exempt organizations to move beyond this one financial document. As a result, we have collected extensive data about the programs in the sector, the beneficiaries of those programs, and the effectiveness of the organizations achieving social change. We will expand our data collection across multiple dimensions to gather (a) more (a higher number of organizations represented with more information about each), (b) better (a higher quality of information), and (c) faster (delivered and available more quickly) information.

(2) Increasing our reach through partnerships with giving platforms, foundations, and more: In addition to our current distribution channels, we will create new platforms and partnerships to distribute data more broadly—to the public, partners, and social investors around the world—so that GuideStar data can form the core of the next generation of social sector tools, services, products, and analysis.

(3) Providing tools to aid foundations, nonprofits, giving platforms, and more: Through our research and innovation efforts, we will create new forms of value and analysis, such as new products, tools, and initiatives that build on the information we've collected, while leveraging our distribution channels to reach a wide audience.

(4) Thought leadership to enable higher understanding of the nonprofit sector through data: GuideStar offers additional education in efficiency and effectiveness through our webinars, blog, and resources we publish. These resources help inform tens of thousands of people around the sector.

As of February 2019, GuideStar joined forces with Foundation Center to become a new organization called Candid. The below reflects GuideStar’s Charting Impact answers as of January 31, 2019.

After more than two decades of work supporting nonprofits, GuideStar has both the reach and reputation to help achieve our mission. Nonprofits have come to believe in the power of keeping their information updated on GuideStar. Foundations rely on us to streamline their grants processes. Donors and those working in support of the nonprofits trust the information they see on GuideStar. Partners have confidence we can provide them with the latest and best nonprofit information to power their platforms.

These factors combined create an information cycle that is unique in the sector and positions GuideStar as the hub of nonprofit sector.

GuideStar is also fortunate to have an incredible staff of 80+ professionals skilled in building tools and delivering services to nonprofits, professionals, and individuals; stable financials and a plan for continued sustainability; an engaged board of directors from a wide variety of disciplines; and a large group of committed funders.

As of February 2019, GuideStar joined forces with Foundation Center to become a new organization called Candid. The below reflects GuideStar’s Charting Impact answers as of January 31, 2019.

Today, the GuideStar database comprises information on 2.7 million nonprofits, of which 1.3 million are 501(c)(3)s. The organizations in our database include all tax-exempt organizations registered with the IRS, thousands of tax-exempt religious organizations, and nearly 1 million formerly tax-exempt organizations.

GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles are populated with information directly from nonprofits, the IRS, and other partners in the nonprofit sector. We post PDFs of the actual IRS Forms 990, 990-EZ, and 990-PF as well as digitizing the information from them. Currently, we have 8.6 million Form 990 images on the site. We have data directly from more than 180,000 nonprofits that have updated their GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles since 2008. More than 66,000 nonprofits have updated their profiles with information from the most recent two years.

In addition, we have grown the network of partner sites and applications that are powered by GuideStar data to more than 240.

We are developing new tools to support our mission in the near future, including: a system to aggregate quantitative programmatic data across nonprofit categories; issue pages to highlight information about social indicators, interventions, and resources in various cause areas; and overall nonprofit sector indices. We aim to acquire information about educational and faith-based organizations to enhance our database and will explore expanding it to include international organizations. We also are implementing better delivery of our content via mobile devices, thus delivering on our commitment to have nonprofit information readily available whenever and wherever it is needed. In sum, GuideStar is committed to better data for better decisions for a better world.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

GuideStar USA
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

GuideStar USA

Board of directors
as of 8/16/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Alix Guerrier

LearnZillion

Alix Guerrier

LearnZillion

Jacob Harold

GuideStar USA, Inc.

Sunand Menon

New Media Insight

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/12/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/02/2021

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.