Over a decade ago, community leaders saw a need for an Inventory of Community Needs and Resources. While donors were inundated with requests for contributions, they felt less aware of the needs—and the resources to address those needs—within the Middle Tennessee community, and weren’t always confident about how their philanthropic dollars were being put to use. Local philanthropic leaders envisioned a tool that would empower givers to understand the needs of the local nonprofit community, and to feel confident in their philanthropic investments.

In 2004, this took the shape of GivingMatters.com—a tool for nonprofits, donors, and funders to research local issues and the nonprofits serving those issues. Today, GivingMatters.com hosts over 1,600 profiles of Middle Tennessee nonprofits which contain detailed information on organizations’ history, programs, governance, and finances.

GivingMatters.com furthers The Community Foundation’s mission of “connecting generosity with need” by raising the level of local nonprofit transparency, making comprehensive information available to potential donors and volunteers, and identifying emerging needs. Primary goals include:

•    Encourage more strategic giving from Middle Tennessee’s current philanthropic community
•    Expand the number of community donors by helping match donor interest with need
•    Increase dollars given by identifying pressing needs and showing donors how their leadership can impact critical issues
•    Advance the nonprofit sector as a whole by strengthening individual agencies and encouraging collaborative partnerships

After several years of growth, The Community Foundation re-launched GivingMatters.com on the DonorEdge platform, which was acquired by Guidestar.org, in November 2008. This newer platform involves an improved site design and enhanced features such as:

•    Easy navigation and Advanced Search options
•    Free online donation functionality available to all profiled nonprofits
•    Improved site design with nonprofit logos, photos and video links
•    Illustrative graphs and charts breaking down critical financial information
•    Updated Issue Overviews highlighting local needs