fromGuideStar on the state of nonprofit transparency.Our goal is to report on nonprofits’ voluntary disclosure practices and to serve as a catalyst toencourage greater sharing of nonprofitinformation. We believe that sharing relevant andtimely information is essential to building andmaintaining the public’s trust in the nonprofitsector.GuideStar’s work on transparency is inspired by our mission statement: “To revolutionizephilanthropy and nonprofit practice by providing information that advances transparency, enablesusers to make better decisions, and encouragescharitable giving.” Simply put, we believe that— armed with more information—donors will makebetter and more confident decisions and nonprofitleaders will operate more effective and efficientorganizations, thereby increasing their publicservice. We are pleased that GuideStar’s long commitmentto transparency is shared by others in the nonprofitsector. The Panel on the Nonprofit Sector’s
Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice
(2007) calls on every charitable organization to“make information about its operations, including its governance, finances, programs and activities, widely available to the public.”Community foundations that meet the NationalStandards for U.S. Community Foundations havealso long embraced the values of operating in anopen, transparent, and accountable manner. Werecognize these efforts, and other voluntary standard-setting groups that promote nonprofittransparency, for their contributions to the field.I want to recognize and thank the staff and interns who participated in the work that is presented inthis report:
Dan Moore, GuideStar’s vice president of nonprofit programs, has led us in our strategy development in creating the GuideStarExchange and guided our important partnership with DonorEdge, a consortium of leading community foundations. He is the primary author of this report.
Karen Rayzor, director of nonprofit outreach,recruited, trained, and supported our team of intern researchers. This report is the fruit of herhard work.
Our team of intern researchers, all from American Humanics programs in colleges anduniversities across the country: Tony Bowen,Carleigh McDonald, Jenna Dunlap, and Laura Aylmer. These next-generation nonprofit leadersdid the grunt work for this report, surfing theInternet, assessing nonprofit Web sites, andcontacting the organizations by e-mail and by phone. To them we owe our thanks and deepappreciation for a job well done.
Carol Brouwer, research assistant, compiled theresearch, analyzed the results, and produced thestatistics that inform this report. I thank Carolfor her skill in carefully tabulating the resultsand presenting the findings in an accessibleformat.
Suzanne Coffman, director of communications,edited the report and helped shape how wepresent the data in it.I hope that you will find this report on the state of nonprofit transparency to be of interest and that it will stimulate your thinking about what informationis relevant for nonprofits to disclose on theInternet.But most important, my colleagues and I hope thatthis report will motivate nonprofit leaders to act, tobecome more transparent, and to use their own Web sites and sites such as GuideStar to tell theimportant stories of how their work is making adifference in the lives of those we all serve. Thank you.Bob Ottenhoff President and CEOGuideStar USA, Inc.3