I want to make something very clear regarding Google Finance’s inclusion of nonprofits and my visit to next week.

In my last post I wrote, “ owes me nothing and anything I tell them might be ignored.” I want to expand on that so that everyone’s expectations are clear. Google Finance is a product of is separate from and did not work with them on Google Finance. I am not clear how it came to be that nonprofits are in the Google Finance database, but was not involved.

I was invited to meet with an employee of after a program officer at another foundation introduced us by email and pointed the employee to my blog postings on nonprofit data within Google Finance. My conversation with this employee is off the record.

Why am I meeting with I believe that it is critical that better information about nonprofits be made available so that philanthropic capital flows more efficiently. is THE dominate source of information in the world today. They are currently making a certain set of information about nonprofits available. It is clear from the data being presented that the information is not complete (some of the information, like profit margin is not even relevant). While is separate from, it is’s philanthropic wing and is more closely aligned with the parent company than any other corporate foundation. has two choices with what to do with the nonprofit data in Google Finance. Delete it or significantly improve it. My hope is that given the expertise and influence of the Tactical Philanthropy readership, we can impress upon via to keep the data and improve it in a way that will help the field. I also hope that if does not already recognize the opportunity, that the attention all of us are putting on it will help them realize the massive leverage they could attain by improving the information flow in the philanthropic capital markets and improving the efficiency with which the $300 billion+ donated to nonprofits each year is allocated.

Now that we’re all on the same page, dive into the comments section of my last post and add your thoughts to the growing conversation.


  1. Donna says:

    Hi Sean,
    Just an observation – it appears that the Google Finance data is merely a pull from Hoovers, their content provider. I contacted Hoovers to see how non profits get “listed” and got a voicemail from a guy there saying that Hoovers only includes organizations with “$100 million or more.” Not clear is this is revenue, assets, or what. I haven’t personally spent the time to evaluate whether every .org that shows up on Google Finance has $100MM of something, but it appears that it’s not for the little guy for sure. Bottom line, my view is that this stuff doesn’t belong in the Finance area, but in a non profit section they could easily create using others’ data (Guidestar being the obvious partner for US, perhaps GG for non 501(c)3s. Just some additional info as you go talk to them…
    Good luck,
    Donna @

  2. Donna, I’ve speculated in previous posts about whether this data is in Google Finance on purpose or if Hoover’s just added it to the feed without Google really being aware (note that many cities have pages as well). However, the people at, while not saying they have any plans to doing anything with the Finance portal (nor saying that does) have been very interested in these posts and reader comments. I’m operating under the assumption that will do something to significantly improve the current nonprofit data.

    Thanks for the investigative work!