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Strategic Communication: PR and Advertising: STR 324 Researching your Non-Profit

A resource guide for research in marketing, advertising, and public relations

Finding Information on your Non-Profit

Top strategies for locating information on your non-profit organization (for Indiana organizations):

  • Search GuideStar.  Not all non-profits are included, but it is a must to start with.
  • Search both the indexed version of the Indianapolis Star, the eEdition, and the free IndyStar website.  All three platforms may lead you to different content.
  • Search the Indianapolis Business Journal via ABI/INFORM and the free online version.  Again, different content may be found in both.
  • Perform an Advanced Google Search on your organization and limit it to the "PDF" format.  Many annual reports, program reviews, and grant applications will be on the web in this format.
  • For organizations outside of the Indiana area, consult NexisUni, local newspaper websites, and the PDF google search noted above.


If your nonprofit is registered with GuideStar, you can find:

  • Offices/Headquarters location
  • the organization's mission
  • Key programs and services of the organization
  • Target audiences of the organization
  • How the organization is structured in terms of employees,
    volunteers, etc.
  • Financials of the organization 


GuideStar automatically creates a Nonprofit Profile for 501(c) organizations registered
with the IRS.  The data GuideStar has on nonprofits comes from the IRS Business Master File,
IRS Forms 990/990EZ/990PF, and from the nonprofits themselves. 

GuideStar database image

How to cite a GuideStar report:  
GuideStar by Candid. (2018). Indianapolis Shakespeare Company—GuideStar Profile. Retrieved from Candid GuideStar database.

News Resources

Indianapolis Star Indexes

Indianapolis Star - Print version on microfilm

Butler Collegian

Other local news sources

Search a television program or network website to see if there is a broadcast video archive.

Looking for magazine or professional/trade journal articles on a topic?  Try these databases:

Top strategies for researching your local organization (if Indiana-based):

  • Check out GuideStar (above).  Not all non-profits will be listed in this source, but it is a must place to start.
  • Search both the indexed version of the Indianapolis Star and the online free version.  Different content will be available in these platforms
  • For the magazine Indiana Business, search both;  
  • Do an internet search for your organization and limited your search to "PDF" within the Advanced Search of Google.  This could quickly bring up an organization's annual report.


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