A group of nine foundations has committed a total of $11.5 million over five years to fund the operations of GuideStar, a leading online source of information on U.S. nonprofit organizations.
GuideStar — the operating name of Williamsburg, Virginia-based Philanthropic Research, Inc. — has collected basic program and financial data for some 850,000 nonprofits that are recognized as having 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service. The GuideStar database also includes more than 730,000 digitized 990 forms, the financial returns that nonprofits are required to file with the IRS. The information made available through the GuideStar site helps the public understand the work of individual nonprofits and allows nonprofits to establish and compare performance benchmarks.
The foundations that have joined forces to fund the operations of GuideStar include Atlantic Philanthropies, the Ford Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Surdna Foundation.
"Reliable information about nonprofits and their work is key to making sound investments for individuals and organizations," said Tom Reis, a program director at the Kellogg Foundation. "GuideStar is contributing to the overall improvement of reliable and accessible information and we are pleased to be part of the collaborative that is supporting this work."