Have you noticed that there are now reviews of nonprofits on GuideStar? These reviews are provided by GreatNonprofits and appear on both the GuideStar and GreatNonprofits Web sites. They are "user-generated" reviews written by people who have had an experience with a nonprofit. The writers are your nonprofit's volunteers, clients served, board members, donors, interns, and other non-paid stakeholders.
Why reviews? How many of you have used Yelp, Tripadvisor, or Amazon Book Reviews in the past month before making a buying decision? If you have, you are like the majority of consumers on-line, who read user-generated reviews of products and services before making buying decisions.
Reviews on GuideStar make it easier for your stakeholders to share their experiences with you so that other people can discover you. Reviews provide a vivid, emotionally engaging, and authentic perspective on a nonprofit. The impact of your nonprofit is visible on a human scale and through the voices of people who have witnessed your work. All nonprofits have stories to tell—stories about the clients you've served, policies that you've influenced, and communities you've made a difference in. This is an easy, fast, and free way to collect those stories for all to see.
Plus, you're getting instantaneous feedback about your programs and services—what your nonprofit is good at and what areas it can improve on. None of us are perfect, but as a sector, we all aim for continuous improvement and transparency.
Yes, you can encourage non-paid stakeholders—your volunteers, clients served, board members, donors, interns, and others—to write reviews. You can ask for reviews and provide the link to your Write a Review page via:
We know that nonprofits value their reputations. We have built-in safeguards to protect them:
A number of nonprofits have found the constructive criticism offered in reviews useful and have changed their operations and implemented reviewers' suggestions. Negative feedback also offers a great chance to ask all of the people who know the positive work you've done to write about their experiences with you. Their reviews will balance critical ones. In the world of on-line reviews, readers understand that there are going to be different perspectives, and they don't expect any product, service, or organization to be perfect.
Perla Ni, GreatNonprofits© 2009, GreatNonprofits
Perla Ni is the founder and CEO of GreatNonprofits.
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