GuideStar is great for researching charities and, if they pass muster, donating to them on-site. It’s a gathering place for data on other nonprofit organizations, too — apparently for any that file IRS Form 990, which is marked “Open to Public Inspection.”
One I looked over recently is DeKalb Corn Fest, Inc., a group that continually gets a bad rap. There are several reasons for this — totally my personal opinion, based on observation — starting with the mistaken but widespread notion that Corn Fest is a city committee spending taxpayers’ money. Tied to that is the expense of participating as a vendor. Then there’s the perception of a takeover by the unpopular ReNew DeKalb, as well as an old buildup of resentment over one or two former members who reputedly had what I call “bulldozer” personalities.
At any rate, if you’ve ever wondered where the money goes, you can register with GuideStar and read three years’ worth of DCF 990s. Check out the administrative expenses and the grants made to local charitable organizations, which is part of its mission. It may change how you think about the Corn Fest group.