Guidestar’s mission is to revolutionize philanthropy by providing information that advances transparency, enables users to make better decisions, and encourages charitable giving.
GuideStar rigorously gathers information about every single IRS-registered nonprofit organization. They then provide as much information as possible about each nonprofit’s mission, legitimacy, impact, reputation, finances, programs, transparency, governance, and so much more. Any nonprofit in their database can update its GuideStar Nonprofit Profile—for free. Guidestar will combine the information that nonprofits supply with data from several other sources to build out your nonprofits robust and transparent profile.
Below is a Q&A with Andy Rowe, Business Development Director at Guidestar about his journey and Guidestar’s mission to revolutionize trust in charity.
Tell us a little bit about your own history. How have your past experiences prepared you for the work you do at Guidestar?
I spent most my professional life in the media and publishing business, where the focus became increasingly on bottom line results verses the people and products. I wanted to find a company that was focused beyond the bottom line and had a mission that I believed in.
During this time, one of the most important lessons I learned was the value of data and how data is becoming increasingly important to organizations to support their operations and to make informed decisions.
When I came to a career crossroads I was looking for an opportunity to apply my skills, knowledge, and interest in data in a different environment. An opportunity at GuideStar presented itself and it was a great fit for both these reasons.
What motivated you to get involved? Why do you think Guidestar’s mission is important?
At GuideStar, the work we do is more important than the earnings we collect. We’re problem solvers. We like to help, whether our client is a .com or an .edu. So each time I help a graduate student acquire a set of data for their doctoral thesis, I can see the difference I’m making and go home feeling rewarded. This type of work drove me to get involved with GuideStar.
Guidetar’s mission is to increase charitable giving through transparency. As a nonprofit ourselves, GuideStar has a diverse revenue model. Part of GuideStar’s income is derived from donations and grants. However, these alone don’t cover the expenses required to support the products and staff that contribute to GuideStar’s mission. So myself and the rest of the Business Development team, under Bunkie Righter, are focused on building relationships and generating revenue by licensing GuideStar’s products to companies that need nonprofit data to support their businesses.
How does the collection and distribution of information empower donors and nonprofits?
GuideStar acts as a marketplace to bring donors and nonprofits together. It gives donors the ability to research the organizations they care most about. And it gives nonprofits the opportunity to share their information with millions of donors instantly across the internet. GuideStar’s database powers over 200 charitable websites and applications, allowing nonprofits, no matter their size, to connect with donors, no matter their location.
Guidestar has thousands of nonprofits in its database. Which nonprofit(s) do you support and why?
I am very much a think globally, act locally guy. Where I live, in New Hampshire, we have a charity called Share Outreach that supports area families in need with food, clothing, utilities, financial, assistance, and more. Every Christmas they partner with other local charities to create the Holiday Toy Store where parents can come and get gifts for their children ensuring that they have presents.
Share is a highly visible and important part of the community. One way I support them is designating them as my charity of choice on Amazon Smile, Charity Charge, and other similar platforms. I also do some fundraising work for some of the local youth sports teams and while it isn’t a charity, I volunteer to announce the local high school’s baseball games when time permits.
What is Guidestar’s vision? Why should nonprofits be on board to support it?
GuideStar believes that better data leads to better decisions, and that leads to a better world. Hence our tagline “better data, better decisions, better world.”
We support nonprofits by providing them with a free platform where they can share information that donors and funders are looking for. It’s beneficial for nonprofits to clearly articulate the difference they are making, as it may lead to more funding opportunities. By taking advantage of GuideStar’s platform, nonprofits have everything to gain.
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