01 March 2023
Guidestar (also known as "Candid") has recently included the International Innocence Initiative on its published list of not-for-profit charities. The first thing to discuss is "what is Guidestar and is being on their list important?" The answer to that is as follows.
Guidestar is a public charity and the World's largest information portal about IRS-registered not-for-profit organizations. It provides as much information as possible about each nonprofit's mission, legitimacy, impact, reputation, finances, programs, and so much more. It is set up so people can search and check to see if a charity they want to donate to is legitimate and reliable. It is a candid resource to guide those who want to donate to and support worthy charitable causes. (Hence the branding as "Guidestar/Candid")
Guidestar also connects grant makers to not-for-profits in areas that they wish to serve. More often than not, before a grantor issues out any grant, they check Guidestar to make sure that they are making a smart decision with their funds.
Another important aspect of Guidestar is how they report on the transparency and level of information disclosed to the public by not-for-profits. In this way it grades the not-for-profits, and awards them "badges" for being candid and transparent with key information that is of use to gauge the charitable nature and legitimacy of the entity and its use of donations. So, not-for-profits that are listed on Guidestar have several possible badges or "grades" - ranging from:
a) No badge (just being listed is an honor and recognition of the not-for-profit that many are happy to attain);
b) Bronze Badge Status;
c) Silver Badge Status;
d) Gold Badge Status; and
e) Platinum Badge Status.
For charities that have attained Silver Transparency Badges or higher, Guidestar even solicits donations directly from the Guidestar website on behalf of the not-for-profits, utilizing Network for Good's Donor Advised Fund as a donation processor.
Several other organizations that are also engaged in Innocence - related work are also listed on Guidestar, so that the addition of the International Innocence Initiative is truly a great honor and distinction.
The next question you will want answered is "Well, does the International Innocence Initiative have a Badge on Guidestar?"
The answer is yes! Despite being a newly formed and recognized not-for-profit organization, the International Innocence Initiative was founded upon sound fundamentals deeply rooted in the best practices of tax-exempt charitable activities. We are proud to announce that Guidestar has recognized our commitment to transparency and the not-for-profit best practices by awarding us a "Silver Badge of Transparency." Many not-for-profits that have been in existence much longer than us have been unable to attain that status - so it is truly humbling that we have been recognized, and it gives us encouragement that we are leading our organization in the right direction and manner. We are now doubling our efforts to grow our not-for-profit and try and present our candidacy for consideration of a Gold badge status, as soon as we meet Guidestar's eligibility requirements for the same.
The most important next question you probably wondering is "hey - you said Guidestar solicits donations for Silver Transparency Badge organizations on its website - does that mean we can donate to the International Innocence Initiative in that manner?" The answer is YES! Donations can be made via the Guidestar listing for the International Innocence Initiative. Just search for our website, and click to donate. All donations will solicited by Guidestar on our behalf are tax deductible, and a receipt will be provided by Network for Good. The donated funds will be provided to the International Innocence Initiative to further our charitble work. There are no restrictions on who can donate via our Guidestar profile (by means of the Network for Good Donor Advised Fund).
Finally, we hope to soon finalize our own donations page for our website, and we will keep our supporters informed as soon as our page goes live. But Guidestar's solicitation of donations on our behalf is already live and functioning, and will remain in place so long as we maintain our badge and status.
For more information and to search the Guidestar list - check out www.guidestar.org