Guidestar Seal of Transparency
GuideStar USA, Inc. is an information service specializing in reporting on U.S. nonprofit companies (www.guidestar.org). Have you registered your nonprofit with them yet? If not, you will want to claim your profile as soon as possible. Then, you may want to apply for a Guidestar Seal of Transparency. It doesn't take very long to complete the levels, and you can save your work as you go along. Once you complete a level, you are given access to a widget so that you can display your Guidestar seal of transparency on your foundation's web page.
The report must be updated annually to earn the current year's seal, but the update doesn't take long. Check it out at https://learn.guidestar.org/seals.
What is the benefit of doing this to an organization?
Hi Randy! I decided to pursue the seal in order to show that our nonprofit practiced transparency, which is very important to our community donors. Several years ago we had a very high-profile executive director embezzle funds and it shook our community to its core. But even if you haven't been through that trial, it enhances the reputation of your nonprofit to have this accreditation. So many people will check out your organization online before they give to you, and displaying that seal on your web is the nonprofit equivalent of a BBB endorsement.
Another benefit is that you can add a DONATE button to your Guidestar profile once you receive your first seal (Bronze), and there are added benefits at each level. At the Platinum level, you can attend GuideStar webinars, use their outreach tool kit, and sign up for alerts from them for certain IRS updates or changes to your account.
And the best part....there's no charge to participate. 🙂
We currently earned our Gold Seal of Transparency. I think it definitely speaks to the credibility of a program, especially for large donors
We have our Platinum level with Guide Star. We did this year's ago for complete transparency for our donors, especially our supporters who have left legacy gifts with named endowments. It takes a little time to update but well worth the additional level of engaging philanthropic support. Highly recommend pursuing obtaining your Guide Star seals.