We've expanded Give Lively membership eligibility for nonprofits

Give Lively membership is now open to more 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations, including both public charities and private operating foundations.
April 23, 2024
Ethan Gelber
Content Director

In December 2023, Give Lively turned directly to public data maintained by the IRS as the source of nonprofit information, not data managed by GuideStar, which was partially sourced from the same IRS databases. 

Importantly, this shift has allowed us to expand nonprofit membership from public charities only to a new classification of 501(c)(3) nonprofits: private operating foundations. It has further given us the ability to refine membership eligibility according to IRS foundation types.

Our own nonprofit data API

When a nonprofit applies for Give Lively membership, we run two critical checks:

  • We personally review every membership application to ensure the nonprofit aligns with our values.
  • We confirm the existence and status of the nonprofit using our nonprofit data API.

For the second bullet, our proprietary nonprofit data API automatically consults public data available through the following:

  • the IRS Business Master File – a list of more than 1.8 million nonprofits registered with the IRS as tax-exempt organizations
  • IRS Publication 78 (Cumulative List of Organizations) – a list of IRS-recognized organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions
  • IRS Determination Letter database
  • California Attorney General's Registry of Charities and Fundraisers – a list of nonprofits registered in California from which we identify those marked as delinquent.

Learn more about IRS databases we reference for nonprofit data.

“This is the culmination of a long-standing desire to manage our own nonprofit data API," said Tim Lawrenz, Give Lively’s senior vice president of engineering. "Bringing it in-house has also opened up these important new avenues of engagement with the nonprofit community, something we are eager to expand on." 

Among other things, we use our nonprofit data API to collect a mailing address for nonprofits that receive disbursements via checks.

Expanded Give Lively membership eligibility

By going straight to IRS sources for nonprofit information, we are able to open membership eligibility to a broader audience of nonprofits. As mentioned above, the biggest change is our expansion to accepting Give Lively membership applications from private operating foundations, not just public charities.

“Private operating foundations do a lot of incredible work and our new ability to welcome them as members is a big plus," said Mike Spadaro, the senior partnership manager for Give Lively. “Most importantly, it gives them full access to our powerful, practical and free fundraising products and solutions, helping them do what approximately 9,000 public charities already do with Give Lively tech: satisfy their missions without sacrificing their means."    

Additionally, we can now recognize Internal Revenue Code distinctions between different types of public charities, such as schools, hospitals, certain medical research organizations, churches, publicly supported organizations, supporting organizations and more, and refine which types are eligible for Give Lively membership.

See our full list of the types of public charities and private operating foundations that are – and are not – eligible to apply for Give Lively membership.