Second Harvest recently earned the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, the world’s largest database of nonprofit organizations. Less than five percent of non-profits registered with GuideStar are recognized with a Gold Seal. A Gold Seal status is the leading symbol of non-profit transparency and accountability.
The Gold Seal means Second Harvest has published qualitative information about our goals, strategies, and vision. Second Harvest is dedicated to providing current and potential donors with accurate and in-depth knowledge about the many ways we are responsibly advancing our mission and vision with all donations we receive.
GuideStar provides a Seal rating (Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum) on all 1.8 million IRS-registered nonprofit organizations. The goal is to provide as much information as they can so that a donor can make his or her own determination of where to donate money. The elements provided on each nonprofit can include:
- Verification of registration with the IRS
- Financial data: Annual Revenue and Expenses, including IRS Forms 990 and independent audit reports
- Mission Objectives
- Impact Summary: from the nonprofit
- Individual reviews from those who’ve volunteered information on the nonprofit either directly through GuideStar or through the partner organization, GreatNonprofits.
This information can then be used by both the nonprofit to encourage prospective donors, and, by donors to best determine who should get their money. Most information is available free online to website visitors. Additional information, plus data in downloadable formats, are available by subscription.
GuideStar is often utilized by businesses, organizations, and foundations to quickly get information on a nonprofit. For example, Google’s giving arm – Google Grants – uses the GuideStar list to verify the existence and registration status of each nonprofit applying for a grant worth $120,000 per year of free AdWords advertising. Because of this reliance by grantmakers, it is important to nonprofits to insure their information is up-to-date and as complete as possible in the GuideStar database. To learn more about GuideStar, visit: http://www.guidestar.org, and search for Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana.
Second Harvest is also pleased to announce the upgraded designation to a Four Star Charity Navigator Non–Profit.
Charity Navigator focuses on how and where donations are spent:
- what is being spent on programs;
- administrative expenses;
- fundraising costs; and
- “fundraising efficiency” – how much do you spend to bring in a $1 of donation?
They also include accountability and transparency utilizing information extracted from our IRS Form 990 and information from our website (governance; independent audits; etc.). The focus is around the charity’s obligation and willingness to expose their business practices to the public and our responsiveness in answering questions about those practices.
Charity Navigator currently rates approximately 8,000 charities on their website and over 7 million people have visited the site to-date to learn more about those organizations. The ratings and underlying data for a nonprofit are available online and free to the public.
For more information about our rating, visit http://www.charitynavigator.org, and search for Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana.