Have you checked your GuideStar rating lately?  A GuideStar report is similar to a consumer credit report.  Does your organization do what it says it will do?  Is the money spent properly?  These questions and more can be answered by a GuideStar report.

Today’s responsible donors are taking time to perform due diligence on organizations before directing their donations.  GuideStar is one tool that donors can use to find useful, accurate, and reliable information.  With 22,000 visitors each day to the GuideStar website, keeping your GuideStar report updated is more important than ever.

Update your report

Updating your GuideStar report is simple, even if you’ve never done it before.  There are six key pieces of information that you’ll want to have at your fingertips before you begin.

1. Nonprofit contact information
2. Search criteria (geographic area, key words)
3. Mission statement and background information
4. Programs
5. Names of at least one board member and the board chair
6. Names of the management team (CEO/Executive Director/President)

If you’d like to display the Guide Star Exchange Seal on your website, you also need to upload an annual report, audit, or GuideStar Basic Financial Statement.


GuideStar doesn’t just benefit donors.  They also provide valuable insights to nonprofit organizations.  One benefit is the annual Nonprofit Compensation Report, which analyzes over 116,000 positions with over 77,000 organizations.  Research fair and reasonable compensation and avoid getting assessed millions of dollars in penalties by the IRS due to excessive compensation.

Your nonprofit not in any danger of providing excessive compensation?  You can also use the report to assist in setting salary guidelines.  If you find that you are consistently losing good employees, perhaps your salary packages are below market rate.

GuideStar is also a resource for development training.  Download a copy of their free book, More Money for More Good, for concrete ways to raise more money.  And raising money is the bottom line.  Without it, a nonprofit can’t fulfill its mission.

Have you used GuideStar or have tips for our Esamaritan community? Tell us all about them!