On the Horizon: More Meaningful Nonprofit Knowledge Sharing

April 14, 2013

good newsGuideStar, our technology partner for The Giving Partner and the organization that you may know best as the publisher of IRS Form 990s, has a very important mission for individual donors, funders and nonprofits—including yours.

It seeks to revolutionize philanthropy by providing information that advances transparency, enables users to make better decisions, and encourages charitable giving.

(Many of you had the pleasure of meeting Lori Larson, GuideStar’s senior director of DonorEdge, during the 36-Hour Giving Challenge.)

Jacob Harold, president and CEO of GuideStar, just shared his thoughts about proposed changes from the White House that could have a positive impact on our work.

The potential changes are past-due:

  1. All nonprofits would be required to file their annual IRS Form 990 returns electronically.  (Yes, folks, the digital train has long since left the station! That paper and pencil will have to be put in the archives.)
  2. The IRS must release the charitable information contained in the IRS Form 990s in a “structured, digital form.”

Jacob confirms that these proposals would mean change for GuideStar, but he acknowledges that GuideStar is both ready and happy about the possibilities.

“As it becomes easier to access nonprofit financial data – it will allow us to move beyond our focus on it,” Jacob said in his post. This is exciting, folks.

If you are a fan of Dan Pallotta, this is great news. If you are a fan of equipping today’s donors and funders with more than your financials alone—i.e. more of the impact-focused and strategy-related information you share in your Giving Partner profiles—this is great news.

We are confident in the great philanthropic leadership and thinking of GuideStar and know that the future is bright for us as we look to more meaningful nonprofit knowledge sharing.

Guess who’s ahead of the curve? Your nonprofit, because you are part of The Giving Partner. We’re already collecting, sharing and elevating this kind of knowledge, thanks to you.

Jacob reminds us that these changes are only proposed at the time, but they point to better conversations about our sector and allow us to keep moving on up. We’re ready!

You can read Jacob’s full post here.

-Susie Bowie
Community Foundation of Sarasota County


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