Last year, GuideStar, Charity Navigator, GiveWell, Philanthropedia, GreatNonprofits and Philanthropy Action put out a joint press release announcing their rejection of overhead expense ratios as the primary approach to evaluating nonprofits. GuideStar was a little bit of an odd group to sign the press release, because while they provide information about nonprofits, they do not rate or rank nonprofits.
However, for some time GuideStar has been looking at ways to offer visitors more evaluative information. Now, they’ve launched TakeAction @ GuideStar.
Click here to visit the new website.
The site seeks to help donors select which nonprofits to fund, objectively making available rating information from GiveWell, GreatNonprofits, Philanthropedia and RootCause.
One interesting aspect of the new platform is that it reorients the way in which users seek information. GuideStar, like many nonprofit databases, has traditionally assumed that users are looking for information about a specific nonprofit. Their search interface prompts people to enter an organization name. This format makes sense if we assume that users are checking to see if an organization is compliant and has no red flags. But if a donor is seeking the best organization, they need to search by cause area since they presumably do not already know the organization they are looking for. The TakeAction platform reorganizes the GuideStar database by cause area.
One more step towards helping donors make smart decisions about their giving, even if it doesn’t quite turn GuideStar into “the one platform to rule them all”.