On September 9, 2021, the Williamsburg Health Foundation informed current grantees of a new requirement for grant applications starting in 2022. With exceptions for new or discretionary grants as well as government agencies, grantees must obtain the Platinum Seal of Transparency at GuideStar by Candid, a national database of all IRS-registered 501(c)3 organizations.
WHF President and CEO, Carol L. Sale says, “WHF strives to have fair, consistent, and high standards for grantees. At the same time, we do not want to impose overly burdensome standards or standards which must be met solely for WHF. We believe that Platinum Seal is a relevant standard for all.” The standard also comes with multiple benefits for organizations that meet it.
According to GuideStar research, “Nonprofits that earned a GuideStar Seal averaged 53% more in contributions the following year than organizations with no Seal. The research also found organizations that elect to be more transparent had stronger performance across a range of governance, financial, and operational dimensions.”
GuideStar’s data is the backbone of the donation portion of websites like AmazonSmile, Facebook, and Network for Good. GuideStar has found that non-profit profiles with Gold or Platinum Seals also get twice the views as other profiles. “GuideStar enhances fund development opportunities,” said Sale. “It will also simplify the application process for our grants.”
With this Seal, applicants will no longer need to attach as many documents (such as the Form 990 or an IRS Letter of Determination) to complete a WHF Letter of Intent (LOI) or grant application. Once information is at GuideStar, Program Officers will find organizational information there.
“WHF has obtained Platinum status at GuideStar. We found that completing the application was not overly burdensome, and the process made us ask ourselves some important questions,” said Sale.
WHF provides flexible capacity-building opportunities to health and human service agencies that serve the Greater Williamsburg community. Catchafire.org allows organizations to speak with consultants and accomplish projects on their own timeframe. As the experts are volunteers, the meter is never running. WHF partners with NetworkPeninsula to provide tuition reimbursement for staff or board members at the Nonprofit Management Institute. “We want organizations to focus on their growth as their leaders direct,” said Sale. “At the same time, we need to be sure we have consistent standards for all.” For questions or additional information, write firstname.lastname@example.org