Hello, my name is Jacob Harold. I'm the president and CEO of GuideStar USA, the largest database of information about nonprofit organizations. And it's worth noting I'm also an alum of Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen's course on philanthropy. And I'm here today to talk about how we make smart choices in philanthropy. And in particular how to research nonprofit organizations. For anyone who's tried, you'll know that social change is difficult. It is no small task to build the great world that we all imagine and in particular we have to think about, how do make smart decisions with limited resources, limited time, energy. In order to have the best chance of creating that better world. And in the context of the nonprofit sector, I'd like to talk about the two elephants in the philanthropic room. These are the two hard truths that we all know deep down are the reality that confronts us, but we don't always talk about them, and we need to. The first one is that some nonprofit organizations are better than ones. They simply create more social or environmental impact per dollar than other organizations. And the second truth is that some donors are better than others. They create more social environmental impact with their own dollars through the organizations that they give to. So given these two elephants we have to engage in a conversation about what does effectiveness really look like, and how do we figure out which organizations are most worthy of attention, or money, or volunteers. And that requires good information. In the act of social change there are what I believe are four categories of information that are important. So, the first category of information is information about the issue itself, about climate change, about poverty, about literacy. The second category of information is the interventions. It's information about what we try and do, to create that better world. The third category is about the organizations themselves, that do the intervention. And the fourth category are the resources, that go to the organization to do the intervention, to address the issue. Now historically, we have unfortunately in the non-profit sector kept these different kinds of information in silos. And one of the great challenges that we face as we try and build a stronger information system for philanthropy is to bring all these different kinds of information together. Now when it comes to organizations which is the focus of this module. There's one source of data that's been dominant in the minds of many non-profit executives, donors, journalists, etc. And that's the Form 990. This is the document that most non-profits are required to file with the Internal Revenue Service. And there are a number of strengths to this document. One is that it's a relatively comprehensive data source because so may different nonprofits have to fill out the form. Second, because organizations are answering the same questions, you get standardized data that allows for certain kinds of comparison. And thirdly, in some categories of information like mission statements, staff, board financials there's really some quite high quality data. But there are also weaknesses to the Form 990 as a source of data for understanding nonprofits. Most importantly, as a regulatory document it doesn't tend to have great data about the programs that the nonprofits engage in, or the impact that they create. Often this information is also a year and a half or more old, out of date, just because of the natural cycles of filling out this regulatory document. And it's also designed for the entire nonprofit sector. In a way, it's a one size fits all approach. Now that said, it could still be very useful for many kinds of questions that we face when trying to make a better world, when trying to find the right nonprofit partner to do that. And at this URL here, you'll find a number of different tutorial videos that helps you understand the different parts of the document if there are a particular set of questions that you're trying to answer. We at GuideStar, as the largest source of information about nonprofits with about two and a half billion pieces of data, are trying to supplement the data that we have, which mostly comes from the Form 990 with data directly from nonprofits themselves. And we have a number of tiers of data. At the bronze level you'll find basic descriptive data. At the silver level, basic financial data. And with both of these cases you could find some of this data on the Form 990, but again as I said it's often quite out of date. This allows non-profits to keep it absolutely up to date. And then as you move up the chain, you begin to get to kinds of data that are not available through the IRS form. Qualitative programmatic information, what a census description to what are non-profits trying to accomplish. How it's going to get there? What capacity is, etc.? And soon we'll be launching, what we call platinum level, which would be quantitative programmatic information. Data that actually, in a quantitive manner, helps an organization lay out the good it's trying to do in the world. We've had more than 100,000 non-profits give us data through this mechanism. So over time, you'll see that this becomes a more and more powerful source of data to complement the Form 990. Now, in addition there are many other organizations in the non-profit sector that are trying to help donors make the decisions, help journalists find the right stories that help non-profits find good partners. And in many ways they parallel efforts that we've seen in the private sector to help people navigate a complex situation. Whether that's Yelp trying to help someone figure out what restaurant to go to, or a survey of experts to determine the best college basketball team. Or something like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval to create a basic standard or baseline for consumer purchase, or tools that we've seen on Wall Street for analyzing securities, companies, et cetera. Or mechanisms like the common application for applying to college. And we've seen in the nonprofit sector, in this right hand column, efforts to use these sort of frameworks that help us navigate this complexity. The challenge of course is that many of these are on different websites. And so it can require immense amount of work to find all of the right data at the right time. And we at GuideStar are trying to build a supply chain of this information that brings it all together to make it easier for you, the user, to see all these different aspects of nonprofit performance. But in the end there are two things to know. One is that nonprofits are really complex, and that they deserve, when we're thinking about them, an approach to understanding them that reflects that complexity. And the second thing is that as a field, we don't yet have all that data. In a manner or a mechanism that's easy to use. We're getting there. But in the interim, it's gonna require a bit of work to really go out and find that data. But you can know that over time it's gonna get easier and that all of us will be able to operate with more vision, with more understanding, with more clarity and agility as we try and make smart decisions about where to give our money, where to spend our time. How we as a social sector can create as much good as possible. Thanks a lot.