GuideStar Israel, an online database aimed at making Israeli not-for-profit organisations more transparent was finally launched this week at the Ministry of Justice in Jerusalem. For the first time, financial and operational information on Israeli non-profit organisations (NPOs), numbering some 29,000, has been made transparent to the public online. The GuideStar Israel portal, which is in Hebrew, Arabic and English, lists each not-for-profit organisation registered with the National Registrar of Non-profit Organisations in Israel.
The combination of this official information, approved by the Registrar, together with more in-depth information provided by the NPOs themselves, creates the most comprehensive and qualitative database of nonprofit organisations in Israel. It also provides an Internet presence to all non-profit organisations in Israel, since it includes the country’s smallest NPOs that have not been online before.
GuideStar Israel is a joint nonprofit project of the Ministry of Justice, Yad Hanadiv and JDC Israel, and is operated by NPTech – Technologies for Nonprofit Organizations Ltd. (CPB). NPTech is a public benefit company that helps nonprofit organisations (NPOs) in Israel to utilise information communications technology to better reach their goals. It operates for the benefit of the philanthropic sector, in the belief that public transparency is important for the development of the Israeli NPO sector.
Guidestar Israel joins its predecessors Guidestar USA and Guidestar UK in providing a really useful tool for searching not only charities, but funders as well. Currently also in the pipeline are Guidestar website’s for Belgium, The Netherlands, Hungary, India, Republic of Korea, Japan and South Africa. Countries currently in the earliest phase of development include Canada, Uruguay, Uganda and Pakistan. This is exciting as it opens up a whole new world of intelligence on countries where information on the charitable sector has been previously difficult to find.
I’m not sure about the randomness to selected countries; I’d have liked to have seen a Guidestar being developed for Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, China (yeah right!) and obviously more European countries like France and Spain, for example, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers. If they can keep up the momentum, these developments will begin to open up the global third sector, giving us a much clearer picture of the differences and similarties between countries and continents.