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Vanguard Charitable Adds Tool to Help Donors Research Nonprofits

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Vanguard Charitable, a donor-advised fund sponsor, has added a search function to its services to help donors vet organizations they may be interested in supporting.

The GuideStar National Nonprofit Directory offers Vanguard Charitable account holders free access to information about individual groups, nonprofits that serve a specific geographical location and organizations that share similar missions or cause areas.

“We are excited to work with Vanguard Charitable to strengthen the nonprofit intelligence it offers donors,” Adrian Bordone, GuideStar’s vice president of strategic partnerships, said in a statement. 

“As our first partner to implement our new Nonprofit Directory, Vanguard Charitable is making it even easier for its donors to find nonprofits that align with their interests and to identify the organizations making the greatest impact.”

GuideStar already offers a local directory.

The new national directory, which is available through each Vanguard Charitable donor’s account homepage, provides the following:

  • Detailed profiles of 1.6 million active nonprofits and historical information on one million former and merged nonprofits
  • 12 search filters to sort by geographic area, nonprofit size, transparency rating, cause area and affiliation type
  • Nonprofits’ public documents, including IRS Form 990, balance sheets, officer and director compensation, revenue and expense data, audited financials and IRS letters of determination

In the statement, Vanguard Charitable said such in-depth information would typically cost $1,000 annually per user.

“Access to the Nonprofit Directory provides Vanguard Charitable donors with a streamlined way to evaluate nonprofits they might be interested in supporting and will facilitate their ability to grant money to charities with more conviction,” said Jane Greenfield, president of Vanguard Charitable.

Organization profiles have been redesigned to incorporate both narrative and dynamic visualization, and offer information on each nonprofit’s mission, programs, financials and operations.

GuideStar assigns four transparency ratings based on the level of data that nonprofit groups have supplied. These range from basic information (Bronze level) to more comprehensive detail that includes quantitative program results (Platinum level).

Vanguard Charitable said it had earned a Platinum Seal of Transparency on GuideStar, indicating its own commitment to the highest level of nonprofit transparency.

Earlier this year, Vanguard Charitable offered guidance to its client donors worried about tax reform.

— Check out Helping Clients Be Charitable Is Good for Advisors’ Business: Foundation Source on ThinkAdvisor.