Nonprofit companies exist for a variety of reasons. Churches, schools, scientific organizations, civil rights groups and even soup kitchens often operate as a nonprofit organization. Professional fundraisers and companies with fundraising products or services need resources to find nonprofit companies. Just like for-profit corporations, some companies compile and maintain a non profit database. Companies seeking to work with nonprofit corporations should use one of the databases to find nonprofit organizations and negotiate to work with them for mutual benefit.
This non profit database provider actually provides free contact information for hundreds of thousands of charities. Although the site is geared towards and may be used to verify the nonprofit status of indivdual companies, you may use it to compile contact information, as well.
To use GuideStar to find nonprofit companies, first go the home page and click on “Advanced Search” next to the Search GuideStar search feature (see Sources). You will then see a dedicated search page.
To find multiple nonprofits with GuideStar, you first need to decide what kind of search to run. For example, you can do a keyword search if you are looking for specific kinds of nonprofits. If you want to find scientific organizations, enter the word “science” in the Keywords search.
On the other hand, let’s say you want to find nonprofits and don’t really care what kind of mission they have. The best way to use the non profit database for a large search is to scroll down to the state drop-down menu and either select “All’ or select an individual state. Do not select any keywords if you want to see all nonprofits. For example, you can just select “Alabama” and get find nonprofits registered in Alabama. This returns over 25,000 nonprofits as of July 2010. If you select “All,” then you may get no results. In that case, go back and select one state at a time.
Once you run your search, you can click on each nonprofit corporation’s name to get further details. To get contact information, you need to register a free GuideStar account. Although GuideStar has some paid options, you can get basic contact information with the free non profit database.
GuideStar is probably the most efficient way to find nonprofit companies out there. However, there are other ways to find nonprofit companies. For one, keep in mind that nonprofits incorporate within a single state and then apply for 501(c)(3) status as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization with the Internal Revenue Service.
Therefore, there are at least two additional sources of non profit databases in the United States: the Internal Revenue Service and state agencies (usually the Secretary of State) that process incorporation filings for nonprofit companies in each state.
The IRS has a database of all tax-exempt organizations. Access the online version of Publication 78 to search for charities (see Sources). Although this nonprofit database does not have contact information for each company, you can use other sources like online YellowPages listings to find local contact information.
States generally have a corporate lookup tool for finding companies that incorporated in that particular state. For example, you can access the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations “Document Searches” page to search for the names of nonprofit companies (see Sources). Enter the phrase “(state name here) corporation search” in a search engine to find the corporate lookup tool for an individual state. Although this is the least efficient way to use a non profit database, using a corporate lookup tool can be valuable for getting reliable contact information for finding nonprofit companies.
GuideStar Home Page
Online Version of Publication 78 to Find Nonprofit Companies with 501(c)(3) Status
Florida’s “Document Searches” Page to Find Florida Corporations