Charity Check Help Guide - How To Access GuideStar Charity Check On A Nonprofit Profile, Create a Watch List, and Set Up Alerts

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How To Access GuideStar Charity Check On A Nonprofit Profile

  1. Search Guidestar to find an organization.
  2. Select a Nonprofit Profile.
  3. Find the GuideStar Charity Check section immediately above the blue "Operations" box near the top of the profile. 
  4. Click the drop-down arrow next to "GuideStar Charity Check." You will see the list shown below.
  5. Click the "View Charity Check Summary Report" or "View Full Charity Check Report (PDF)" link.

View a sample report.

 

*Note: Donations to volunteer fire companies are deductible as charitable contributions on the donor's federal income tax return, but only if made for exclusively public purposes.  Similarly, contributions to certain war veterans organizations are deductible.  If the contributions are deductible as charitable contributions, substantiation and disclosure requirements may apply. Volunteer Fire Companies | Internal Revenue Service 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating and Managing a Watch List

There are three ways to create a watch list:

 

NOTE: If you already have an existing watch list and you need to add additional organizations, be sure to add the new organizations to your existing file and re-upload the file. If you upload a new file, the previous list will be overwritten to accommodate the new list.

 

1.  From a nonprofit's profile

  1.  Find the GuideStar Charity Check section immediately above the "Operations" box near the top of the profile.  Click the drop-down arrow next to "GuideStar Charity Check."
  2. Click the "Add to Watch List" link.

 

2.  By uploading Employer Identification Numbers (EIN) from a spreadsheet

  1. Click the drop-down next to your name in the top right-hand corner of your screen, then click on My Account. You should see a section labeled Charity Check.
  2. Click the Manage Watched Organizations link.

 

 

  1. Use the browser button under Upload New Watched Organizations List to find your .csv, .xlx or .xlsx file with the EIN numbers.

 

 

  1. Click the "Replace List" button to upload the file.

 

3.  By the EIN Number

  1. Click the drop-down arrow next to your name in the top right-hand corner of your screen, then click on "My Account".  You should see a tab labeled Charity Check.
  2. Click the Manage Watched Organizations link.
  3. Type the EIN numbers into the text box under Add Multiple Organizations to Watched Organizations List.  Use commas between the EIN numbers.
  4. Click the Add Watched Organizations button.

 

Editing Your Watch List

To remove organizations from your watch list, scroll to the bottom of the "Manage Watched Organizations" page and follow the instructions under Your Watched Organizations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating Alerts

  • If you are on the Manage Watched Organizations page, click the Manage Alert Events link on the upper-left side of the page.
  • If you are elsewhere on our site, click the drop-down arrow next to your name in the top right hand corner of your screen then click on My Account.  You should see a section labeled Charity Check.
  • Click the Manage Alerts link.
  • You will see a list events that will trigger email notification of key status changes in organizations on your watch list.  Select the alerts you are interested in, then click the Request These Alerts button.
  • You can update your alerts at any time by returning to this page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charity Check FAQs

 

What are Charity Check alerts?

Charity Check alerts are e-mails that inform you of various status changes (or "events") for organizations in your watch list (see question 5 to learn how to set up a watch list).

 

Which events will trigger e-mail alerts?

You select which events will trigger alerts for the organizations in your watch list. An alert can be triggered when an organization in your watch list is:
  • Included in the Automatic Revocation of Exemption List.
  • Excluded from IRS Publication 78.
  • Excluded from the IRS Business Master File (BMF).
  • Reported in the Internal Revenue Bulletin as having had its exempt status revoked.
  • Reported in the Internal Revenue Bulletin as having had a change in nonprofit status, i.e., type of exempt organization.
  • Reported in the BMF as having had a change in subsection code, i.e., type of tax-exempt organization
  • Reported in the BMF as having had a change in 509(a) status, i.e., reason for non-private foundation status.
  • Included in the Office of Foreign Assets Control's SDN list, i.e., the OFAC terrorist watch list.
  • Reported in the Internal Revenue Bulletin as having had its exempt status suspended under section 501(p) of the tax code.

Note: All alert events you select will automatically apply to all organizations in your watch list.

 

How do I set up alerts?

Click the Configure Alerts link within the Charity Check preview or full report on any organization's report page, or use the Manage Alerts interface located within the Charity Check area of your My Account page. To access your My Account page, click the My Account link at the top of most pages on our site.

 

What is a watch list?

Your watch list comprises up to 20,000 organizations for which you would like to receive alerts. You can add organizations at the time you set up your watch list or at any time thereafter.

 

How do I add organizations to my watch list?

You can add organizations to your watch list in any of the following ways:

  • Uploading an Excel or csv file containing the EINs (Employer Identification Numbers) of the organizations you want on your watch list from the Manage Watch List page; see question 6 for more information on this option. Access the Manage Watch List page from your My Account page.
  • Adding any number of EINs, separated by commas, from the Manage Watch List page.
  • Clicking the Add This Organization link for an individual organization; the link will be located on the organization's Charity Check preview pane and Charity Check full report. Note: this link is only present after you have configured your alerts.

 

How do I import a file of organizations to create or manage my watch list?

Use an Excel (.xls, .xlsx, .csv) file containing only the organizations' EINs. Note: The import will overwrite organizations already in your watch list.

View sample Excel file
View sample CSV file

 

Can I edit alerts after they’re initially set up?

Yes. Visit the Manage Alerts section of your My Account page area to edit your alerts. Access your My Account page by clicking the My Account link that appears at the top of most pages on the site.

 

Where are the alerts sent?

Alerts will be sent to the e-mail address associated with your GuideStar account. If you prefer alerts be sent to a different e-mail address, you will need to change the e-mail associated with your GuideStar account. Click the My Account link at the top of most pages on our site, then the Edit Account Settings link under Manage My Account. If you need assistance, contact us at products@guidestar.org, and we'll be happy to help. Note: If you change the e-mail address associated with your GuideStar account, you will need to use the new address to sign in to GuideStar.

 

Are individual alert e-mails sent for each organization in my watch list?

No. Alert e-mails are sent as a digest per alert event. For example, if alerts are configured for Business Master File exclusion and 10 organizations in your watch list are excluded from the latest BMF, you will receive a single e-mail containing information about those 10 excluded organizations.

 

My organization has a multi-seat license for Charity Check. Will alerts be set up at the account holder level or at the individual seat holder level?

To allow for maximum flexibility, Charity Check alerts are configured at the individual seat level. Each seat holder can maintain his or her own watch list.

 

When are the alerts sent?

When information on the following events affecting an organization on a watch list is imported into the GuideStar database; imports occur automatically upon publication of the data by the IRS or OFAC:

  • Inclusion in the Automatic Revocation of Exemption List
  • Publication 78 exclusion
  • BMF exclusion
  • Exempt status revocation reported in the Internal Revenue Bulletin
  • Change in foundation code reported in the Internal Revenue Bulletin
  • Change in subsection code reported in the BMF
  • Change in 509(a) status reported in the BMF
  • Inclusion in OFAC SDN list
  • Exempt status suspension under section 501(p) reported in the Internal Revenue Bulletin

     

When are the revocation list, BMF, Publication 78, Internal Revenue Bulletin, and OFAC updates published?

  • The Automatic Revocation of Exemption List generally is published monthly.*
  • Publication 78 generally is published monthly.*
  • The BMF generally is published monthly.*
  • The Internal Revenue Bulletin generally is published weekly.*
  • The OFAC SDN list is updated frequently, whenever OFAC deems it necessary and appropriate to add names to or remove names from the list. There is no predetermined publication schedule for the SDN list.

*Note: The release date of all IRS publications is solely at the IRS's discretion. In the past, there have been exceptions to the publishing schedules noted above.

 

I haven't received an alert since setting up my watch list. Is there a problem?

There are several reasons why you may have not received an alert

  • You may not have any organizations in your watch list, or you may not have selected the events that would trigger an alert for the organizations in your list. Alerts are sent only when alert events apply to organizations you watch. Check your watch list to ensure that organizations are listed in it and that you have selected the events that you wish to trigger alerts.

 

  • The alerts may have gone to your Spam or Junk folders. Check those folders in your e-mail program, and make sure that your program is set to allow e-mails from products@guidestar.org.
  • The e-mail address associated with your GuideStar account (the same e-mail address you use to sign in to GuideStar) is not valid. Check the address to make sure it's an active address where you can receive e-mails.
  • Finally, events that would trigger alerts are generally pretty rare. The most frequent alerts would probably be based on events triggered by the weekly Internal Revenue Bulletin, such as revocation of an organization's tax-exempt status for reasons other than failure to file annual returns for three consecutive years. Such revocations are relatively rare, however.

 

Will I receive an alert when an organization is removed from the Nonfiler Automatic Revocation List, or reinserted into Publication 78 or the Business Master File?

 

No. Alerts are only sent for "red flag" events, and they are sent each time such an event occurs.

 

For example, you receive an alert advising you that an organization on your watch list does not appear in the in the latest release of Publication 78. A month later, after an update to Publication 78 has uploaded automatically to the GuideStar database, you receive another alert advising you that the organization is not in the latest Publication 78. You will continue to receive an alert upon each successive release of the Publication 78 until the organization in question once again is included in Publication 78

 

Is there a maximum number of organizations I can place on my watch list?

Yes, 20,000 organizations.

What if my question wasn't answered here?

Create a support case.

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