Free site has financial data on charities

On the Web

Your Money

January 25, 2004|By Matthew Kauffman The Hartford Courant

Americans donate $200 billion a year to hundreds of thousands of charities. Now, finding one that will spend your money wisely doesn't have to be a leap of faith.

GuideStar (www.guidestar. org) is a free online resource with financial information on more than 850,000 charities.

For many organizations, the site includes images of the actual Internal Revenue Service documents that most large nonprofits are required to file. That gives potential donors a detailed look at how a charity gets its money, and how much it spends on programs, fund-raising, salaries and other expenses.

The site also offers a glossary of nonprofit financial terms, tips for donors and information on the rights of donors, and details a variety of pay services for non-profits and grant makers.

Among the nonprofits in GuideStar's database: Philanthropic Research Inc., based in Williamsburg, Va., which runs GuideStar and whose president was paid $167,619 in 2002.

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