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Frequently Asked Questions

What is ConnectingLA.org?

ConnectingLA.org is an online database created by the California Community Foundation to connect donors with causes that they care about by providing high-quality, comprehensive information about the impact, leadership, governance and financial management of Los Angeles nonprofits. ConnectingLA.org encourages transparency, accountability and best practices by putting nonprofit information at the fingertips of community members in an easy-to-use, searchable online database. ConnectingLA.org contains hundreds of detailed profiles of local nonprofit organizations, and is FREE to nonprofits and public users.

What is GuideStar?

ConnectingLA.org is powered by GuideStar. GuideStar connects people and organizations with information on the programs and finances of more than 1.9 million IRS-recognized nonprofits. GuideStar serves a wide audience inside and outside the nonprofit sector, including individual donors, nonprofit leaders, grantmakers, government officials, academic researchers, and the media. GuideStar is revolutionizing philanthropy and nonprofit practice by providing information that advances transparency, enables users to make better decisions, and encourages charitable giving. The California Community Foundation uses GuideStar on a daily basis in its due diligence process to verify the tax status and review available organizational and financial information of potential grant recipients.

What is a ConnectingLA.org profile?

ConnectingLA.org profiles are designed to provide potential donors with comprehensive information about nonprofits so that they can give with confidence. Profiles provide participating nonprofits with a FREE online marketing and fundraising tool to reach potential donors that care about Los Angeles.  Each profile contains program descriptions, leadership and governance information, operational plans and policies, community impact, financial stability, and more.

Because of the extent of information available on ConnectingLA.org profiles and the due diligence process required to participate, the California Community Foundation encourages regional foundations, corporations, government agencies, and private grantmakers to make ConnectingLA.org profiles an integral part of their grantmaking processes. In turn, the Foundation asks participating nonprofits to maintain an up-to-date profile to ensure that potential funders have access to the most accurate information as possible. Individuals may also use ConnectingLA.org to make online contributions to their favorite organizations via the Donate Now feature available on each profile.

Where does the Profile information come from?

ConnectingLA.org profile information is provided on a voluntary basis by area nonprofits. When a profile request is submitted, nonprofits are provided a User Name and Password allowing them to log in to their organization’s profile and enter information directly into the system. ConnectingLA.org  staff reviews and verifies information including financial data (which is obtained from IRS Form 990s and financial statements) and  IRS compliance, and                                                                                                                registrations before publishing anything to the site. Profiles can be updated by the nonprofit at any time, but specific required fields must be updated at least once annually to maintain “Reviewed” status.

The California Community Foundation receives financial documents from nonprofits including the IRS Form 990 and financial audits/reviews/compilations. Our staff analyzes these official financial documents and enters financial figures to the site. Original financial documents are available to the public on ConnectingLA.org  for download. A nonprofit’s Executive Director/CEO has an opportunity to comment in the financial section; these comments can be helpful in understanding nuanced financial trends and changes within an organization.

Does this mean that the California Community Foundation is endorsing or recommending these organizations for funding?

Inclusion on ConnectingLA.org does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of nonprofit organizations by the California Community Foundation. The information is being provided as a service to donors and nonprofits in Los Angeles County.

What does the "Reviewed" icon mean?

The Reviewed icon indicates a nonprofit’s profile is complete and has been updated within the last year. These profiles have been reviewed by ConnectingLA.org/California Community Foundation staff to ensure that financial information is consistent with official documents (IRS Form 990 or audited financial statements).

Does the California Community Foundation guarantee accuracy of the data on ConnectingLA.org?

The narrative information in each profile is provided voluntarily by the nonprofit. ConnectingLA.org and the California Community Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy of any such data, make any representations or warranties with regard to nonprofits in the database, or guarantee they are in compliance with all state and federal requirements. However, ConnectingLA.org and the California Community Foundation does seek to include the most accurate data available through document verification and a due diligence process.

What nonprofit organizations are included in the ConnectingLA database?

With more than 35,000 nonprofits registered in Los Angeles County, the California Community Foundation is limited in its capacity to vet profiles for ConnectingLA.org for all local nonprofits.  For the time being through 2017, the California Community Foundation has given priority to those nonprofits that have been vetted through its discretionary and/or donor-advised grantmaking within the past three years.  Plans are underway to expanding eligibility to include grantees of other regional funders, so stay tuned for announcements in 2017. Finally, ConnectingLA.org does not profile religious organizations operating for religious purposes (i.e. churches, synagogues, mosques). In some instances, programs that are operating within a church but are serving the community outside of the congregation are eligible to be profiled on ConnectingLA.org. These situations are handled on a case by case basis.

Can I print a Profile from ConnectingLA.org?

Yes, visit any public nonprofit profile on ConnectingLA.org and click the “View Printable Profile” or “View Printable Summary” buttons to create a printer-friendly .pdf file of the nonprofit’s profile information. The Printable Profile can easily be saved, shared or printed with the click of a button.