What is GuideStar for Education?

Instructors, individuals, and academic institutions conducting research on nonprofit organizations can apply for pro bono access to GuideStar Premium for themselves and their students. 

GuideStar Premium allows users at nonprofit institutions to search, compare, and analyze millions of nonprofit organizations, filtering by size, revenue, location, etc. Interested instructors and researchers can apply online and provide a summary of how they plan to use GuideStar’s information and services. 

After reviewing your application, GuideStar will contact you to discuss next steps—be on the lookout for this email.

Who is Eligible?

Class instructors, their students, and individuals doing academic research at nonprofit colleges or universities may apply for access. Discounts and/or complimentary access are awarded based on the availability of pro bono funds from GuideStar, the budgetary constraints of the institution requesting access, and the specific use case. 

If your university or academic institution has a subscription to GuideStar Library Services, you may already have access to GuideStar. Please complete the application and we will let you know if your university already has access.

Ready to Apply?

Before applying, you must sign in or create a free account on GuideStar. Your email address must be associated with your institution (ending in “.edu”).

Once you are registered, start the application process by selecting your role and telling us about your project and plan. After reviewing your application, we will contact you. 

Complimentary seats for GuideStar Premium will be awarded at GuideStar’s sole discretion, but will be based on availability, need, project plan, and alignment with GuideStar’s mission. 

Please note: Applications are reviewed every Monday and applicants can expect a response by the following Wednesday. Be sure to check your junk folder for an email from GuideStar.

Availability of Seats

There is a maximum number of 50 seats available for GuideStar Premium to each school each academic year. Seats are made available for a maximum of 6 months at a time. An extension may be requested online: navigate to My Account, Manage my Account, Manage my EDU Applications and click on Reapply.

Level of Access

University libraries that have a Pro subscription will have download capabilities, however seats of Premium issued through the EDU offering will not. We have a wonderful new Library Services Program for institutions looking to use GuideStar data and tools at scale in their programs. Check out the GuideStar Library Services  page for more information.

Additional Data

In terms of accessing downloadable nonprofit information for your research, you have a few options.

  • Work with your campus library to get a school subscription to GuideStar’s Library Services product, which is a campus-wide service that allows you to download data. Learn more about GuideStar Library Services.
  • Purchase one of our Research data sets. These are GuideStar data sets available at reduced rates for graduate students doing research. We offer two different research data set options, each offering different fields for Fiscal Years 2014 through 2016 filings. Learn more about Research data sets and the fields available Data Sets for Research.
  • Purchase a custom data set. This is an extract from our database specifically tailored to meet your needs and can provide a richer set of fields, compared to what is available on the website and in the Research data sets. However, because it is custom, it is often the more expensive option, starting at $2,500. 
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