The website “Zavit Shalosh” [The Third Perspective] posted on their site yesterday (in Hebrew) that Guidestar has officially come to Israel. Currently, the Guidestar site is in its pilot stage and is inviting Israeli amutot [nonprofits] to participate.
For those that are unfamiliar, Guidestar markets itself as providing “trusted nonprofit information” so interested parties can make “informed decisions” (quotes from the Guidestar site). The Guidestar website does this by posting organizations’ financial documents. For United States charities this means that the site posts the IRS’s 990 form — going back to about 2005 for some organizations. (To date, Guidestar has had the financials for every organization that I have searched for.) Started in the United States, Guidestar has been slowly entering additional international nonprofit markets.
For those of us working in Israel, finding information about amutot [Israeli nonprofits] can be a real pain. The only place that has the information is the Rasham Ha’amutot [Registrar of Charities] and you need to go there in-person to get the information. Currently, the Registrar is scanning its files so some of the files you need might not even be there (call in advance to find out).
Zavit Shalosh writes that in addition to Guidestar posting documents from the Rasham, the site will also allow organizations to upload information to their charity bio on the site. This feature will allow viewers to get a richer understanding of the organization beyond whatever documents might appear on the site. (The Guidestar USA site has recently undergone a heavy upgrade to also allow this possibility.)
Guidestar is planning to launch the site with 50 amutot for its trial period. Each participating organization will be able to view their financials and add details — before the site is open to the public. Sessions will be held with each of the organization to teach them about the site and its tools.
The site is being launched in conjunction with the Israeli Ministry of Justice, JDC Israel (Joint), and Yad Hanadiv (Rothchild Foundation) — big names indeed. A link to the press release can be found here.
Interested nonprofit organizations can email firstname.lastname@example.org call 077-540-2923. A form is also available on the Guidestar Site. To read the original Hebrew article posted on Zavit Shalosh, click here.
In an age when the power of the web is proving to be an invaluable tool in free marketing and donor research, joining the Guidestar site can be a real benefit to a nonprofit.
Tizku LeMitzvot [May you continue to merit doing good deeds],