The GuideStar APIs are RESTful. They are simple, predictable, and uses standard HTTP response codes to indicate statues and errors. We also use standard HTTP verbs, which are understood by all HTTP clients. All of our APIs' return responses are in JSON format.

Getting Started with a Free Trial for 60 days:

    1 Sign up so we can set up your account.
    2 You will receive a confirmation email and temporary password within two working days.
    3 You are then ready to test drive the APIs. Your API key is available on your Profile page, found under your name in the top right of the portal.


You can manage your Subscription keys in the Dashboard, available through Developer Portal under your Profile page. Your Subscription keys carry many privileges, so be sure to keep them secret! Do not share your secret keys in publicly accessible areas.

There will be primary and secondary subscription keys and you might be wondering why. The purpose is to allow for "rolling" key upgrades when needed without downtime. In most cases, you can just use the primary subscription key.

Authentication to the API is performed via HTTP Header or URL as a query parameter. However, we do strongly recommend passing the key via HTTP Header Subscription-Key for production applications. During development, you may use the URL query parameter as a convinient method - append ?Subscription-Key={key}

All API requests must be made over HTTPS. Calls made over plain HTTP will fail. API requests without authentication will also fail.

Example: Subscription Key via HTTP Header (Recommended for Production)
    GET HTTP/1.1
    Subscription-Key: {Your Subscription Key}
Example: Subscription Key via URL as a query parameter (Not Recommended for Production){Your Subscription Key}

Our APIs

We offer three primary API products:

GuideStar Essentials API

Find relevant nonprofits by using search terms or search criteria. Generate a list of nonprofits that meet your search criteria then gain a summary of each.

Use the Org ID in the results to get additional data from the Premier API.

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Charity Check API, Bulk, and PDF

GuideStar Charity Check is the only pre-grant due-diligence tool that is 100% compliant with IRS requirements. We offer this functionality in three different forms. The Charity Check API gives all of the information necessary to verify an organization. The Charity Check Bulk API allows you to verify multiple organizations with one call. Lastly, the Charity Check PDF API allows you to transform the data into a PDF for users to save and file.

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GuideStar Premier API

The GuideStar Premier API combines nonprofit-supplied data with data from other sources to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information about millions of organizations.

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