Think about your favorite nonprofit. The one that you’ve volunteered for. Or donated to. Or perhaps you or your kids have participated in their programs. Can you remember how you found it? It’s probably through a friend or a family member who told you about it. Someone who may have said to you “this nonprofit really helps people in need and I have volunteered there.”
Imagine though people who have moved to a new city, or didn’t have the benefit of friends or family who were familiar with local nonprofits – how would they find out about your favorite nonprofit?
GreatNonprofits (www.greatnonprofits.org) is that place to get real recommendations from real people. Like a TripAdvisor for all those who have had an experience with a nonprofit. Beneficiaries, volunteers and donors can share their experiences about any nonprofit and help others learn about those nonprofits – local or national.
The stories are both informative and inspiring. A young volunteer wrote about her life-changing experience with the Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation where she helped monitor biodiversity at an organic farm in Equador; a former felon wrote a review about GoodWill San Francisco and his job training there. He now has a job in the warehouse and can be a good role model to his sons; a biker wrote about how Bike Pittsburgh has helped put in more bike lanes and bike racks in the city.
People have contributed nearly 90,000 such stories in digital form that are freely and easily accessible to anyone who wants to read them. It’s become the largest database of first-person stories about nonprofit organizations ever assembled. These are real stories of real people — clients, donors, volunteers and others — who have experienced the impacts of nonprofit work up close. This valuable resource helps potential volunteers, individual donors, foundation executives, government regulators, journalists, and concerned citizens to find quality the nonprofit services available in their communities.
You can read these stories on our site, GreatNonprofits.org or on any of our partner sites, GuideStar, CharityNavigator, JustGive and GlobalGiving.
We know that online reviews influence the majority of purchase decisions. In our survey of donors, more than 80% of donors say that first-hand reviews influence their giving decision and 90% say that the reviews help them better understand the nonprofits’ work.
So many donors and volunteers are looking for a great nonprofit to be part of. If you have an experience with a nonprofit, share it by writing a review and help others discover that nonprofit.
Perla Ni is the Founder and CEO of GreatNonprofits (www.greatnonprofits.org) and the former publisher and founder of the Stanford Social Innovation Review.