What’s a BRIDGE Number and Why Should You Care?

Similar to the way a car’s VIN number reveals its history, so too could a nonprofit organization’s BRIDGE number.

Launched on February 4, the BRIDGE Registry now has a search feature to find your nonprofit’s unique number. By combining the databases from the Foundation Center, GlobalGiving, GuideStar, and TechSoup, the Basic Registry of Identified Global Entities (BRIDGE), has compiled information from over three million nonprofit organizations worldwide.BRIDGE-Registry-Social-Change

What you should know

1. If your nonprofit is online, you likely have a BRIDGE number

You can now conduct a search here

2. Individual nonprofit chapters no longer have to share EIN numbers

The EIN number system gets messy when multiple chapters of an organization have to share a number. This makes it harder to capture information about individual organizations’ operations and fundraising. BRIDGE numbers are assigned to each individual chapter of every nonprofit worldwide.

3. It will be a few years before the BRIDGE Registry becomes a daily installment in your organization’s activities

Eventually, more databases will be synchronized with the BRIDGE Registry, which will expand the Registry’s reach. It’s going to take the help of funders, governments, social entrepreneurs, and nonprofits to build this system and make it a success.

Why you should care

1. The BRIDGE creates a universal standard for sharing global NGO information.

The EIN numbering system currently used in the US is flawed. With the BRIDGE system you can capture hierarchical relationships between organizations, identify specific programs or projects, and numbers are recognized outside of the US.

2. Once its potential is reached, BRIDGE Registry numbers will make it easier for…

… potential donors to find and give to nonprofits.

… donors to find partner organizations in the fields they most care about.

… organizations to find members or partners to better serve their clients.

Taylor Parks is a senior at the University of Iowa going for her bachelor’s in Psychology as well as certificates in Nonprofit Management and Fundraising and Philanthropy Communication. She looks forward to someday running a nonprofit in the environmental/animal world.

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