Before we dive into rankings, their importance, and how to improve it, let’s talk about what Guidestar is. Guidestar is the world’s largest source of information for nonprofits. Guidestar connects donors and grantmakers to nonprofit organizations in areas that they wish to serve by providing 990s, organizational breakdowns, summaries, statistics, outcomes, data, and more. More often than not, before a grantor issues out a grant they check Guidestar to make sure that they are making a smart decision with their funds.
Programs and services like AmazonSmile, Network for Good, and JustGive (and 230+ donation sites) pull your organization’s information from Guidestar, so it is vital that your information be up to date or else you are missing out on potential funds.
In a nutshell: Fundraising is built on Guidestar.
Updated information aside, your ranking is just as, if not more important. But why? Every year millions of dollars are donated by large corporations that have corporate responsibility endeavors. Most times, nonprofit organizations are selected by proposals from employees or from organizations themselves. However, what is important to note here (an insider tip if you will) is that many corporations have minimum amounts that they have to give, and if they don’t have enough proposals they turn to sites like Guidestar to select a nonprofit and mail a check. Oftentimes, employees who submit proposals look for a nonprofit that serves the people they want to help, and then their company mails a check.
You may be wondering why you haven’t received an unsolicited check, and the answer could easily be because your ranking isn’t high enough. As an example, people who search “nonprofits that help young mothers and infants” see the highest ranking nonprofit organization first. Your organization may be the leading the field, but if you don’t have a Platinum ranking on Guidestar, no one who uses Guidestar (millions of people for reference) is going to know what your organization is doing and want to help by donating.
Even aside from companies that have to give back to the community, other organizations, foundations, and individual donors use Guidestar to find you, and with over 1.8 million nonprofit organizations listed, it is far too easy for you to get lost. However, with their ranking system Platinum level organizations are listed at the top, and visibility exponentially increases. Now as people have less and less time to vet out organizations to give their philanthropic dollars to, even a Gold or Silver ranking organization is pushed to the wayside in favor of Platinum level organizations on the first page.
The work that you do is important. It helps change the world for better. However, if you’re not being seen on sites like Guidestar and Charity Navigator you are potentially missing out on vital funds that can help make your organization’s goals a reality.
Now the lingering question remains, how do you improve your ranking? Fortunately for you, that is a service that we provide. Our team at Sharpshooter Communications has the capability and proven success record to take your organization from unranked to Platinum in less than 2 weeks. Yes, you read that correctly.
Send us an email for more information. Especially as we are drawing near the calendar year end and the final days to meet philanthropy goals, every second counts.