There are various sources of information that can be used in classifying individual nonprofit organizations. The best place to start is with the GuideStar web site at www.guidestar.org. Drawing on a database of more than 850,000 IRS-recognized nonprofit organizations, information freely available includes missions and programs, goals and results, financials, leadership profiles, and IRS Forms 990 and 990EZ, annual reports filed by nonprofit organizations. The information on the site is derived from the IRS Forms 990 and supplemented by information from the nonprofit organizations themselves.
When available, links to the nonprofit organizations’ web site offer even more valuable information including mission statements, and often, “who we are” and “what we do” statements. Downloadable IRS Form 990s can be tapped into and the program descriptions contained in the Part III Statement of Program Service Descriptions can be assessed.
Other sources of information include published directories and direct contact.