To date, GuideStar has provided only basic information, and only information at the level of “charities,” not “causes.” A donor searching for a particular charity could find financial information and (in some cases) open-participation reviews from Great Nonprofits, but could not find (a) information about the charities’ likely effectiveness & impact; (b) information to help get basic grounding in a cause, and choose the best charities within it.
We are particularly excited about the latter change. We believe strongly in “active giving” (finding the best charity possible in your cause of interest) as opposed to “passive giving” (starting with a particular charity in mind and giving as long as it raises no red flags). We believe that GuideStar’s new content is a major and important step toward helping its users give to the best possible organizations, and create healthier incentives in the sector.
TakeAction is new, and we expect that it has a lot of progress yet to make. (We believe that all three of the partner organizations have a lot of progress of our own to make, hopefully leading to coverage of more causes among other things). Today’s launch is only a preliminary step. GuideStar recognizes this and is eager for feedback, so please send it using the “Feedback” links on their various pages.
But for a sector that has been dominated by flawed, superficial metrics and giving focused on donors’ needs, rather than recipients’, this is an enormously encouraging development. One of the oldest, best-established donor resources is partnering with new ventures so that it can make real progress in what it enables donors to do. We hope this is just the beginning.