For organizations that are not currently listed within the IRS business master file, GuideStar requires documentation to validate their non-profit status. If your organization falls within that category, simply email us the required documentation outlined below to verify your organization’s nonprofit status. Your verified documents will enable your nonprofit profile to remain active.

Required Documents

Only the following documents will be accepted to verify a nonprofit’s tax-exempt status for listing on GuideStar:

IRS letter of determination. Visit “Applying for Tax-Exempt Status” on the IRS website for instructions on obtaining a letter of determination.


Certification that your organization is exempt under a group exemption. You will need to provide two (2) documents:

1. A copy of an IRS-issued document with the name and EIN of your organization pre-printed on it. Federal IRS EIN Issuance, EIN Verification letters or IRS correspondence are all acceptable documents. Self-certifying documents will not be accepted.

  • An EIN verification letter can be requested from the IRS if needed. Please see the instructions detailed in the last bullet here.


2. A copy of the letter from the parent organization verifying your organization's inclusion as a subordinate in good standing under its 501(c)(3) group exemption with the IRS. Letter must fit the following specifications:

  • Includes the name, address, and EIN of your organization

  • Signed by an authorized representative of the parent organization. The signature must include the signer's printed name and title.

  • Must be dated no older than six months at the time of submission to Candid.

  • Please provide in non-editable PDF format. Word documents are not acceptable. Links to web documents are not acceptable

Email this documentation to


My organization is not required to apply to the IRS for tax-exempt status. Do we still have to provide you with a letter of determination or documentation that we’re covered under a group exemption?

If you want to be listed on GuideStar, yes. We realize that certain organizations, such as houses of worship, independent ministries, governmental organizations, and other nonprofits may not be legally required by the federal government to apply for tax exemption through the IRS. However, to ensure the integrity of GuideStar’s information, we need to rely on definitive documentation about your organization’s tax-exempt status, either a letter of determination from the IRS or a group exemption letter.

What is a group exemption?

A group exemption is the IRS’s recognition of a parent organization and its subordinates as tax exempt. A group exemption letter has the same effect as an individual exemption letter except that it applies to more than one organization. See IRS Publication 4573 for more information.

Organizations that have a group exemption include the American Cancer Society, Ducks Unlimited, Mayo Clinic, Military Order of the Purple Heart of the USA, and the United Methodist Church.

What happens if we don’t provide the documentation mentioned at the top of the page?

Your organization’s nonprofit profile will no longer be listed.

How can we keep our organization on GuideStar?

Send the documentation specified at the top of this page to

Does it cost money to apply for tax exemption?

Yes. The IRS has published the fees on its website.

Once we submit our application for exemption, how long will it take to receive a response from the IRS?

It depends on which application form you file. See “Where’s My Exemption Application?” on the IRS website for more information.

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