Search blog

How to tell a compelling story with a Seal of Transparency 

A young Black woman staring at a laptop screen.

In 2023, 62,575 nonprofits earned or renewed their Candid Seals of Transparency. Over 1,000 nonprofits attended our 2024 Seals webinar, but we know there are many more out there looking to tell their story of impact and share that story broadly with current and potential donors to make their case for funding. We’re recapping the key takeaways from our recent webinar to make it easy for nonprofits to leverage Candid’s profiles for fundraising.  

But first: What is a Seal of Transparency? A nonprofit can earn a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum Seal for its nonprofit profile on Candid’s GuideStar by sharing information about its mission, programs, financials, leadership, and/or goals and metrics.  

Here are some of the most popular questions posed during the webinar, accompanied by short video clips.  

If my nonprofit has a 2022 or 2023 Seal of Transparency, what do I need to do to get one for 2024? 

If you have a 2022 or 2023 Seal of Transparency, getting a 2024 Seal is simple. Bronze and Silver Seal holders can simply log in to edit your nonprofit profile, confirm the details on your profile, and click “Publish.” Hear directly from Wynne Chan, product manager of the Seals of Transparency program: 

Wynne Chan outlines the steps to maintain or upgrade to Bronze and Silver Seals.

To maintain or upgrade to 2024 Gold and Platinum Seals, you’ll need to share updated financials (for Gold) and enter at least one metric for 2023 (for Platinum).  

Wynne Chan outlines the steps to maintain or upgrade to Gold and Platinum Seals.

How can I let donors know about my nonprofit’s Seal of Transparency?

You can showcase your organization’s impact and commitment to transparency and accountability by displaying your Seal of Transparency on your website, sharing it on social media, including it in fundraising materials, and mentioning it in communications with donors. All Seal holders, regardless of level, receive a unique, shareable link to their Candid profile. With that link, potential and current funders can view your profile without registering. Hear about the unique shareable link from Dorothy Ho, Candid’s senior director of product marketing: 

Dorothy Ho explains how the unique, sharable link to profiles work.

If you have a Seal, the shareable profile link is available in the Benefits section of your organization’s profile.  

How does my nonprofit benefit from earning a Seal of Transparency? 

The information you share on your Candid profile shows up across more than 200 platforms where donors gather, including Facebook, Network for Good, and most major donor-advised funds:  

Wynne Chan describes how profile information is pushed out to Candid partner platforms.

Beyond the shareable link and other promotional benefits, there are two additional benefits that only Seal holders have access to: 

Donate with Apple Pay: Nonprofits with a 2024 Bronze Seal or higher can accept donations via Apple Pay, facilitating instant giving and reducing donation friction.  

Dorothy Ho explains the benefits of earning a Seal of Transparency, including Apple Pay.

Access to Foundation Directory: Does your nonprofit have a 2024 Gold Seal of Transparency and less than $1 million in annual revenue? If so, through our Go for Gold program, you can access Foundation Directory Essential for funder prospecting for free for one year.  

Dorothy Ho explains the Go for Gold program.

Can an organization get a Gold Seal without a financial audit?

Yes, absolutely. You can earn a Gold Seal of Transparency without sharing an audited financial statement. You’ll just need to fill out a few required fields, including your organization’s fiscal year, revenue, expenses, assets, and liabilities.  

Wynne Chan shares her screen to go over the financial section for Gold Seals of Transparency.

Find step-by-step guidance in our help article.  

Can multiple staff members access and update a nonprofit’s Candid profile? 

Yes! One staff member must claim your profile and validate their connection to the organization. Then, that staff member can invite additional staff as profile managers, who can make updates by logging in with their respective credentials. 

Wynne Chan demonstrates how to assign additional managers so multiple staff can update profiles.

Learn more about how to add and remove profile managers to your nonprofit’s profile.   

Does having only a Bronze Seal reflect poorly on an organization?

Not at all. Earning a Seal at any level shows that you are committed to transparency. And it helps to make sure that the information out there about your organization is accurate and up to date. By earning Seals of Transparency, you’re providing answers to donors’ and funders’ common questions about your mission, what you do, who you serve, and your impact. Having a Bronze Seal makes it easy for funders to find this basic information. 

Dorothy Ho asks whether it reflects poorly on an organization to have only a Bronze seal; Wynne Chan explains that a seal at any level showcases the organization’s commitment to transparency.

How can I showcase my nonprofit’s programs and initiatives?

Earning a Silver or Gold Seal of Transparency is a great way to highlight your nonprofit’s programs and initiatives. You can share information about up to 10 programs and initiatives, including program name, description, and geographic area served. At the Platinum level, you can also highlight metrics that demonstrate the impact of your programs and initiatives. 

Wynne Chan explains how nonprofits can highlight their programs and initiatives at the Silver level and up and showcase impact metrics at the Platinum level.

For further inspiration on how to highlight your nonprofit’s metrics and impact, visit Candid’s Common Results Catalog and our free course, “Introduction to measuring your impact.”  

Also check out Candid’s upcoming webinars and video library for more educational videos (both webinar recordings and quick tips). You can access all of these resources for free.  

Photo credit: fizkes via gettyimages


Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.