Nonprofits can now add quantitative metrics to their profiles on GuideStar.org with the launch of the website’s Platinum Seal of Transparency. GuideStar, which provides data on 2.4 million nonprofits, describes it as the first of its kind, sector-wide effort to share hard data about programs.
GuideStar President and CEO Jacob Harold called Platinum “a natural next step in efforts to break the Overhead Myth. Nonprofits don’t exist to make money; they exist to make a difference. With Platinum, nonprofits can share quantitative metrics that show the difference they are making,” he said.
To help nonprofits determine what to measure, GuideStar Platinum offers a “Common Results Catalog,” a 35-page outline of more than 700 metrics from its database. Metrics are general, on topics like advocacy and policy or capacity building, but also can be specific to subject areas, such as, arts and culture, animals, and education. The catalog was curated using almost 100 sources, including practitioners, academic researchers, and funders.
Nonprofits are encouraged to pick the metrics that best fit them or create custom metrics, both of which can be entered into the Platinum section of the nonprofit’s profile.
Almost 900 nonprofits applied to become early adopters of Platinum when GuideStar pre-launched the platform for beta-testers. More than 1,300 metrics already have been reported by organizations. Among the early adopters were Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, The Center for Effective Philanthropy, Global Giving, and The Wild Animal Sanctuary.
Organizations must complete the preceding levels of Bronze, Silver, and Gold before reaching Platinum. Each level provides a different type of information ranging from basic contact information to program information and currently there are more than 8,600 nonprofits at the Gold level; more than 16,800 at Silver, and more than 8,400 at Bronze.
“Easily accessible data on nonprofit performance will allow donors to make better decisions, targeting resources to those who are working hard to gauge and improve their performance,” said Phil Buchanan, president of The Center for Effective Philanthropy.