Monday, December 10

What if Google made a play at Guidestar

For years, Guidestar has been the accepted source for information on nonprofits. Sure, they make it a little difficult to get a .pdf of 990s from several years back... but if you (or your organization) has a login, it is has always been the "leading source of information."

In fact, recently they even launched a way to donate directly to your favorite nonprofit.

One reader emailed me over the weekend to say that she was searching for information on the American Red Cross and she was surprised to find this page on the Google Finance website. The profile contains a summary, top news stories, top staff listing, a simplified balance sheet, and a list of similar organizations.

I did a quick search and found several dozen other nonprofits... and I must admit... I never knew these pages existed.

Meanwhile, I saw Trent Stamp linked to an article by Ben Gose at the Chronicle of Philanthropy which reports:

Mark W. Everson, the former president of the American Red Cross, did not improperly use the charity’s money while having an affair with the head of a Red Cross chapter in Mississippi, the Red Cross has announced.

The review of Mr. Everson’s spending focused on travel costs and expense reports, according to Carrie Martin, a Red Cross spokeswoman. It was conducted by the charity’s office of investigations, compliance and ethics, under the direction of the general counsel.

“This was just a matter of due diligence,” Ms Martin said. “We started looking into this as soon as we heard the news. It’s a question that is immediately raised in any kind of situation like this, and the Red Cross has a responsibility to determine that there was no misuse of donor dollars.”
Interesting to note that the Chronicle dedicated not to publish Paige Roberts name.


Anonymous said...

Have you looked up any charities on Google Finance? I tried several, including the Red Cross, no financial information of any sort.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't resist creating this after reading your post