FAQs: For Nonprofit Organizations


  1. Where did the information on my organization's nonprofit report come from?

    GuideStar obtains information from the IRS Business Master File, IRS Forms 990, 990-EZ, and 990-PF, and individual organizations. If your organization's listing has only basic information, it is most likely from the Business Master File. More extensive information generally comes from your IRS Form 990. We invite you to add to and update your nonprofit’s report to ensure that GuideStar users get the most complete data about your organization.

  2. How do I register my organization?

    Registration is free—the first step is to create an account and sign in. Then follow the instructions in FAQ three, below ("How do I update my nonprofit report?").

  3. How do I update my nonprofit report?

    See detailed instructions on updating an organization's nonprofit report on GuideStar >

  4. When I tried to register, an error message said that my organization's EIN isn't in your database. How can I register my organization?

    You can register your nonprofit if the IRS has determined that it is a 501(c) organization. First, confirm that you typed the correct EIN. If the EIN is correct, please forward a copy of your organization's Letter of Determination, which the IRS sent to you after your organization filed a Form 1023/1024. Fax the document to 757-229-8912 or mail it to GuideStar, 4801 Courthouse Street, Suite 220, Williamsburg, VA 23188. We'll add your organization to our database.

    If your organization is a religious organization and not required to file with the IRS please see question six.

  5. My organization is part of another organization. Can we have our own listing on GuideStar?

    If your organization is registered as a separate entity with the IRS and has a different EIN (employer identification number) from the parent organization, you may update your organization’s nonprofit report. Otherwise, ask a representative of the parent organization to update their report and include a description of your organization.

  6. Can my religious organization have a listing on GuideStar?

    We can include your religious organization in the database if you provide us with the following information:

    1. EIN issuance letter
    2. Year founded
    3. A denominational listing (i.e., Kenedy Directory, Lutheran Directory, state letter for churches)

    Fax this information to 757-229-8912 or mail it to GuideStar, 4801 Courthouse Street, Suite 220, Williamsburg, VA 23188. Be sure to include your contact information in case we have questions about your request.

    Your organization will be added to the database within three to five days if it meets these requirements.

  7. My organization's name has changed. How do I change it on GuideStar?

    1. Once you have claimed your nonprofit's report, sign in at www.GuideStar.org.
    2. Click the “Update Nonprofit Profile” link at the top of the home page.
    3. When you are signed in, you should see your organization listed on the page. Click on your organization's name. You will be taken to a form to update your organization's GuideStar profile page.
    4. Fill in the required fields to earn one of the GuideStar Logos and please be sure to click the Save or the Publish Changes Now button at the bottom of each page after you have added or changed information.
    5. Once you have changed the organization’s name and completed all required fields on the form, click the Publish Changes Now button; then click the Finish and Publish button.

  8. What can GuideStar redact from a Form 990?

    The following information may be masked on a 990 image at the filing organization's request:

    • Social Security numbers
    • Preparers’ Signature (replaced with typewritten name)
    • Street addresses of private residences
    • Street addresses of certain organizations, such as battered women's shelters
    • Names of individuals receiving hardship scholarships, medical care, or other services (whether they be minors or adults)

    Neither GuideStar nor the IRS, however, will mask other information on the 990s. To request a redaction, send an e-mail to nposervices@guidestar.org. Include the following information in your request:

    • Your organization’s Employer Identification Number
    • Your organization’s name
    • The year(s) of the 990(s) you want redacted
    • The page number(s) in each 990 that should be redacted, and the information on each page that should be redacted

    Note: Without all of the information noted above, we cannot process your redaction request.

  9. Do nonprofit organizations pay to be included on GuideStar?

    Organizations pay nothing to have their information on GuideStar.

  10. How does my organization link to GuideStar?

    We appreciate your link to our home page. If your organization participates in the GuideStar Exchange, you can link to your Nonprofit Report using the widget for your level of participation.

    You must request permission in advance to link to any other pages on our site. To request permission to link to articles posted on GuideStar, contact Suzanne Coffman, our editorial director, at scoffman@guidestar.org. For permission to link to any other page, contact us online.