GuideStar Launches Platinum Seal

As part of mounting efforts to debunk the “overhead myth,” the charity rating system GuideStar has launched a new feature that recognizes nonprofits for transparency about their effectiveness.

GuideStar Platinum, a seal the company unrolled on Wednesday, identifies groups that track and disclose their program outcomes.  Platinum charities must share with GuideStar at least one measure of program success and one year of data (though many share more).  The new indicator comes on the heels of a January redesign that placed greater emphasis on programming and results and less on spending.

Along with the new seal, GuideStar has published the Common Results Catalogue, a list of 700 effectiveness measures currently used by the charities it rates.  Nonprofits are free to update the document, adding new measures and providing more details on those already listed.  Over 900 nonprofits got to preview the new features, and about 150 have already done the legwork to earn a Platinum seal.  In order to qualify for Platinum, an organization must have obtained GuideStar’s Gold seal, which reflects transparency around qualitative impact data.

Read more about the launch in this week’s Chronicle of Philanthropy.