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GuideStar digs data – Focus on finance, analysis

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By Todd Cohen

After considering whether to become a for-profit entity, GuideStar in Williamsburg, Va., expects to remain a nonprofit.

That strategy will require Philanthropic Research Inc. – the nonprofit that operates GuideStar — to raise about $8 million in the next year, and about $10 million a year in about three years, says Arthur “Buzz” Schmidt, the group’s founder and president.

Rather than serving individual consumers, GuideStar aims to be a one-stop data site, or “platform,” that supports other Web sites serving institutions.

Content likely will include financial data and other documents and reports on charities, as well as data analysis for managers of nonprofits and foundations and for groups of nonprofits organized by geography or field of interest.

“Financial services or Internet companies that are more marketing-oriented have a better sense of the needs of their customer-clients and have a better sense of how to unleash action by those customers,” Schmidt says. “I think those folks are in a position to really bring our information to the donor public.”

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