GuideStar Search FAQs

Document created by robin.burdick Employee on Aug 9, 2016Last modified by communitymanager on Aug 3, 2018
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GuideStar Search 17.4


How do I match keywords to an organization's name?

(or go to GuideStar Search)

To match keywords only to an Organization's Name, preface the keywords with the “+” character.  For example: + wildlife conservation. This will result in a list of all nonprofits with all keywords in the organization's name.



How do I match keywords to organization's programs?

To match keywords only to an Organization's Programs,  preface the keywords with the “++” character. For example: ++ wildlife conservation. This will result in a list of nonprofits with all keywords found in the Program section.

To match keywords as a “nearly exact” phrase to the Organization's Name, Mission, and Programs, enclose the chosen words within double quotes. For example: “computer programming languages”.  A “nearly exact” phrase is one in which the words appear in close proximity to each other and/or may not be as ordered.


Also, a phrase can be combined with either of the other two operators (“+”, “++”), to limit the phrase matching to only the Organization's Name or Programs. 


For the use case of a phrase with additional keyword(s) not included in the quoted phrase, for example: "wildlife conservation" foundation; the words wildlife and conservation must be matched in proximity, but the word foundation can be found/matched anywhere on its own.



GuideStar Search 17.2


How does the County filter work?

Users can type in a county name, or, they can first select a state or metro area and then choose from a dropdown of included counties.



Why do organizations with no digitized 990 data no longer appear when the revenue filter is applied? 

Because we don’t have their 990 data. Applying the filter will exclude them, just as any of the other financial filters would have in the past. Generally, these will be organizations with total income (gross receipts) under $200k (which are required to file either a 990EZ* or a 990N).


Why do the sort values and the values returned for each result differ from the filter value?

Not all organizations have digitized 990 data, so to allow users to sort by across all organizations, we used the BMF ‘gross receipts’ value for sort and display. 


Can we add titles and title associations over time?  

Yes, title names and synonyms can (and likely will) be expanded over time in regular intervals. For example, if users provide feedback that they expect ‘CIO’ and ‘CTO’ should be synonymous, we can add that association to the dictionary. 

Can we add new ‘nicknames’ and name synonyms over time?

Yes. As with titles, our dictionary/thesaurus of name associations is expected to grow. 


I am trying to find people associated with a specific organization, but the results include additional organizations with similar names. How do I hone in on one organization? 

It is recommended to enter the EIN of an organization to ensure a completely accurate match.  



Why was the title category filter removed?

Users generally found it unsatisfactory. They preferred the flexibility of being able to enter a title as it appeared in the 990. 



Do you have additional questions?

If the above FAQs did not answer your question and you need further assistance, submit your question to stakeholder support.


The New GuideStar Search (Released on August 16, 2016)


Demo video


Where is the advanced search page?

GuideStar Search now includes all advanced search filters, eliminating the need for an additional advance search page.


Users access filters by either performing a keyword search directly from GuideStar’s home page, or going straight to the search page and using the Geography, Organization, and/or Financial filters to refine their search results. 


GuideStar Search affords users same functionality as the old advanced search page, but with the benefit of filtering results in real time using text-entry, drop-down, and slider bar functionality.


That feature is no longer available due to lack of widespread adoption, but its core content (i.e., GuideStar newsletter articles) is still available on the GuideStar blog.


We’ve upgraded the entire search architecture to give users much more relevant results, especially in the case of keyword searches by organization name. These adjustments changed the search algorithm. You can easily fine-tune results by adjusting the filters located on the left-hand side of the results page.


Where is the Category search filter?

The old Category search filter has been replaced with two similar filters, Cause Area and Subcause Area, under the Organization tab.


The Cause Area filter is based on the primary NTEE categories, and the Subcause filter is based on the more granular NTEE codes, as defined in the National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE).


Why are so many filters unavailable on the search page?

If you are a basic registered user or GuideStar Premium subscriber, some filters may be unavailable for your use. Only GuideStar Pro subscribers have all filters available to them. Learn more about GuideStar Premium and Pro.


The People Search functionality is only available to GuideStar Premium and Pro subscribers. To access it, click the down arrow in the search type dropdown at the top of the search page.

GuideStar Pro users will also notice the addition of new filters, such as Title Category and Responsibility.


Where are my saved searches?

Because of the drastic change in the search architecture, we were unable to migrate GuideStar Premium and GuideStar Pro subscribers’ previously saved searches.  You can, however, save searches you do in the new search.


We tried to inform GuideStar Premium and GuideStar Pro subscribers about this change before we launched the new GuideStar Search. If we missed you, we deeply apologize for any inconvenience.


Why do I no longer have instantaneous access to my download file?

We have doubled the Download Queue file limit from 2,500 organizations to 5,000. In order to allow for this increase, we also had to increase the time it takes to generate the downloaded file.

Instead of being able to download your file immediately, an email will be sent to the address associated with your GuideStar account as soon as the file is ready. This process should take no longer than 15 minutes on average. Files will still be available on your Download Queue for 30 days.


How do I manually enter financial criteria?

In the Financial tab, hover your mouse over the $0 and/or max text underneath the slider bar to enter your criteria manually.


You can use abbreviations for thousands, millions, and billions (k, m, and b, respectively) to save the trouble of entering multiple zeros (e.g., enter 2m instead of 2000000).


Where is the data depth indicator?

The new GuideStar Profile Level filter has replaced the data depth functionality previously available to GuideStar Premium and GuideStar Pro
users. You’ll find the GuideStar Profile Level filter at the top of the Organization tab of the search results page.


This new filter indicates the amount of data available based on an organization’s GuideStar Nonprofit Profile level but now has a better interface.


Do you have additional questions?

If the above FAQs did not answer your question and you need further assistance, submit your question to stakeholder support.