Article by Catchafire.org
Your most valuable advocates may be closer to home than you realize.
With a little encouragement, you can turn your employees into active brand ambassadors who strengthen your brand recognition, attract potential hires, impress new donors, and connect top influencers with your cause.
published by Emerson & Church
Many of us are apologetic when asking – as if we’re asking the donor to give as a personal favor to us. That’s not what we’re doing. We’re seeking help for a worthy cause. Why can’t we seem to approach it that way?
You’ve been wondering, what has GreatNonprofits done for me lately? We’ve listened to what you’ve wanted, and here are the details about our latest release’s new features! (more…)
It’s no surprise that social media is big and it’s here to stay. While we know you’re probably already using social media to the hilt, we want to help you maximize your potential on dynamic platforms and highlight your amazing work. Since the GreatNonprofits mission is to help nonprofits showcase stories of impact, we thought what better way to do this than by surveying our nonprofits to see how they are using social media to showcase their reviews and ratings. Read on for more. If you can’t find yourself below, but are marketing yourselves well on social media, click here to tell us about it and we’ll share your story. (more…)
Summer’s almost here; time to start making those vacation plans. As you glance through guidebooks, you’ll be sure to see lists of “don’t miss” monuments, parks, and museums. But take a little time, and you’ll also find places where the local population strives to keep local cultural heritage and customs thriving Look for places where people are working together to save a remnant of history, turn an urban landscape into a swath of greenery, or keep a cherished craft alive. The places highlighted below are just a small sample of what awaits you on your travels – we’ve highlighted nonprofits promoting our cultural heritage in the Northeast, Southeast, South, Midwest and West.
Amid Central Florida attractions such as Walt Disney World and SeaWorld lies Give Kids The World Village, a 70-acre nonprofit storybook resort that hosts children with life-threatening diseases, along with their families. Founded in 1986 by Henri Landwirth, a successful hotelier who survived five years as a child in Auschwitz, children come here from every state and 75 countries for complimentary vacations, intended as a respite from the weight of their illnesses. In addition to accommodations in one of the Village’s 144 villas, their vacation includes meals, entertainment and donated tickets to nearby attractions like SeaWorld, Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World. (more…)
Article written by Tom Ahern
I’ve found that most donors just browse – they don’t really read our materials. Considering the time and cost involved, why keep sending them?
I teach a workshop called “Writing for Results.” It’s about winning new donors and keeping existing donors. The first thing I tell the audience is this: donor communications are NOT about reading; donor communications are about getting people to ACT on your behalf — either now or later. What does a newsletter do for a charity? It helps retain donors. Not because they read the articles and decide they’ll stay, but because you show how you love and need them as they skim the photos and headlines. (more…)
Earth Day is coming up. Spring and spring fever are in the air. Kids are getting anxious for summer to come. Why not start planning outings that combine awareness of our fragile environment with the joys of the great outdoors? GreatNonprofits provides information about environmental organizations with great programs for kids. What captures the imagination of your kids? Is it caring for animals, learning about whales, looking at fossils? (more…)
Amid the woods and swamps of rural Citrus Country, Fla., Mission in Citrus—a small nonprofit offering homeless shelters and services—has garnered a whopping 178 reviews on GreatNonprofits. Despite the fact that it operates on a shoestring budget with two paid employees, Mission in Citrus also receives an average rating of five stars (the highest rating possible). We inquired with its founder, Pastor James Sleighter, to learn more about how Mission in Citrus earns such high marks from those it serves. (more…)
REDWOOD CITY, CA, April 2, 2014 – Foundant Technologies, provider of the most recommended online grants management system, Grant Lifecycle Manager (GLM), and GreatNonprofits, the largest social review site for charities, announced a partnership today to share data across their platforms.
“Foundant Technologies believes in transparency and listening. We practice this every day with our clients. Now we’re excited to bring a new level of transparency through third party feedback from GreatNonprofits,” says Daren Nordhagen, President of Foundant Technologies. “GreatNonprofits takes a uniquely social approach to how charities are evaluated, getting crowd sourced reviews similar to the ones used on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor to help their users choose nonprofits.” (more…)
Top Rated Awards: Coming April, 2014
The GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Awards has been running since 2009. Think of the program like a people’s choice awards where volunteers, donors and people served by the great work of each and every nonprofit can cast their vote in the form of a review to express their appreciation and potentially win nonprofits a spot on the List. Read about the previous Top-Rated winners.
Four Ways Your Spring Cleaning Can Be Used For Social Good.
Housebound by bad weather? Why not do a little pre-emptive spring cleaning. Start small; maybe you have a linen closet or a bookshelf that could use some pruning. Don’t think of it as chore, but as a way to pass along items you no longer need to someone in need. Here are four things you can do: donate books, linens, clothing, or if you’re selling on eBay, donate a portion of the proceeds. You’ll be surprised how good you’ll feel and how much you can help. (more…)
In the business world, it’s the magic number that executives follow. It’s the metric that tells companies what products need to be improved, what products need to be revised and which ones are doing well. The Net Promoter Score is the one-step customer satisfaction survey that more and more businesses use to measure success. NPS has won over many of the world’s largest businesses – for instance, Apple, eBay, and LinkedIn use NPS to improve their services.
Higher customer satisfaction is linked with higher product quality. For example, Apple’s NPS was 58 in 2007, when it began measuring, and by 2011 its stores had reached an average of 72. During the same time, their revenue skyrocketed from $20,000 million to nearly $115,000 million. Most companies average an NPS of around 20-30, while other high performing businesses like Charles Schwab, Amazon, and Costco reach 50-80. (more…)
Fifth-grader Oskar walks around his schoolyard with an overstuffed backpack and a big grin. He’s smitten with his new, white-as-snow sneakers and having a fine day… that is, until his friend Frank accidentally steps on his shoes. Instead of stopping to say how it makes him feel, Oskar reacts harshly and starts bullying Frank.
Thus enfolds the introductory scene to “Oskar and the Big Bully Battle,” an anti-bullying play for students in grade K-5. Produced by TheatreWorks, Silicon Valley’s professional theatre, this traveling show is set to visit at least 20 elementary schools in the Bay Area on its next tour, which runs through March 28. The play’s goal is straightforward: to build awareness of bullying in elementary schoolchildren so that when they reach middle school—when bullying behavior often peaks—they’ll be prepared. (more…)
The Social Impact Statement – piloted by GreatNonprofits and the Pittsburgh Foundation provides transparency to donors and a direct link between their gift and the positive change affected in the community.
It’s a fact we face daily in the nonprofit sector: philanthropy has been relatively stagnant for years. Giving has only been growing at two percent, year over year.
What’s the cause of this lack of real growth and more importantly, how can we change it? There is a definite lack of tools in the sector for connecting donors to their direct impact. Donors want to know the on-the-ground difference that their money is making. Foundations, and their grantees, face a difficult task in communicating this impact to donors. And while overall philanthropy is sluggish, community-based giving is growing. So we know that donors want that kind of local connection—they want to know how their dollars are changing their communities. (more…)
GreatNonprofits, in collaboration with America’s Charities, invites you to participate in the Snapshot 2014 survey. Your participation in this survey will provide valuable insights into how nonprofits work with companies and their employees to build strong partnerships, and how nonprofits demonstrate impact from the contributions they receive.
Your input is vital to Snapshot 2014. The findings will be published by America’s Charities and shared with corporate funders in April 2014. We will also provide you with a copy of the report. To participate in this short, 15-minute survey, click this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/0114GNP
Please complete the survey by February 7, 2014. Your responses will be kept anonymous and will only be used in an aggregated format. Thank you for your help and contribution to this important topic. (more…)
Guidestar – our partner – has declared February the month of February Nonprofit Love (we concur!). To help nonprofits, Guidestar is launching a series of webinars that are coming up in February. Both of these webinars are topics we at GreatNonprofits care about – transparency and feedback. And, we’re speaking at one of the events. So please, come one, come all. Register for the events below. Collectively, we can’t wait to have you.
The World Of Corporate Giving Has Changed
Did you know that:
- Less than 6% of the $320 Billion that is donated annually to North American charities is done online.
- Less than 5% of that amount comes from corporations.
- 70% of employees are not engaged in their jobs – and 25% are actively disengaged.
These are all statistics that Benevity, a software social enterprise that helps companies engage their customers and employees through giving back, hopes to change. And they highlight issues that corporate social good efforts, like employee giving and volunteering programs, are evolving to address. “Doing well by doing” good is more than just a tagline; it’s a business imperative. The good news is that an increasing number of companies are doing more – they’re part of a significant shift towards integrating support for causes into their operations. (more…)
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I’m still rounding up stray pine needles stuck in the rug and eating the few remaining arms and legs of broken gingerbread men. I really don’t need a tempting box of fancy chocolates or a lavish prix-fixe meal out on the town. How can I bring more meaning to a day that has become yet another opportunity to show affection and commitment through expensive presents and bouquets of flowers forced to bloom in the dead of winter?
You don’t have to look far to figure that one out. People in our communities need help all year long. We feel good about ourselves during the holidays when we buy a gift for a needy child or serve a holiday meal at a shelter. Why stop there when you can volunteer or donate to a local nonprofit or charity.
According to last year’s “Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey” by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, the average annual Valentine’s Day spending reached $13.19 billion. The amount the average American spends on Valentine’s Day is $116.21. Think of how a local nonprofit might spend that money.
Here are five ways to involve nonprofits or volunteering to celebrate Valentine’s Day with meaning.
Instead of going out to dinner, stay in and cook a special meal for your loved ones. Consider donating the money you saved to a community meal program, like these 2013 top-rated nonprofits:
- FOCO Café (Feeding Our Community Ourselves), Fort Collins, CO. “This team is focused on providing access to healthy, delicious and sustainable food to all members of our community.
- Widbey Island Nourishes, Whidbey Island, WA. One of the volunteers says this program “…provides highly nutritious, ready-made meals at no cost to food insecure youth on South Whidbey Island. Meals are prepared with love by volunteers using high-quality ingredients, including produce from local farms and fruit gleaned from trees throughout the community.”
Rather than a buying a bouquet of flowers, give to a community garden. Your donation will continue to give back as the months go by; those flowers will droop in just a few days. Check out these top-rated nonprofits:
- Square foot gardening, Ogden, UT. Volunteers are enthusiastic: “I support this foundation because it saves the environment, promotes healthy lifestyles, reduces our carbon footprint (no more local than in your own yard!) and helps the poor cut their food bills.”
- Generous Garden project, Greenville, SC. Here’s a thoughtful volunteer’s comment about this project: “I have truly enjoyed the work and getting my hands dirty, but most of all it’s the people that make the difference. It is great to meet new people each week and to know that we are all working to help other people in need.
Instead of a romantic weekend away, a donation can help people find a caring place to sleep during the harsh winter nights. Check out these 2013 top-rated organizations:
- Aurora Warms the Night, Aurora, CO. The mission of this organization is heart-felt: Preserve the life, health and stability of Aurora’s men, women, and children experiencing homelessness. “Aurora Warms the Night is a compassionate organization that reaches out to help the homeless of Aurora with vital and life-saving housing assistance on the coldest of nights.”
- Beverly’s Birthdays, North Huntingdon, PA. All children need to be recognized and feel valued. This organization provides birthday celebrations for homeless children living in shelters. As one volunteer says: “I think the most rewarding thing when attending a Beverly’s Birthdays party is seeing the smiles on the children’s faces.”
Set a wonderful example for your kids, showing them ways to embrace others. Ask them to help you pick a need that your donation can fill. These two organizations were top-rated in 2013:
- Camp Sunshine at Sebago Lake, Sebego, ME. This camp provides respite, support, joy and hope to children with life-threatening illnesses and their immediate families from around the world through the various stages of their journeys. Says one volunteer: “I have now had the opportunity to volunteer at camp four times and will be returning this weekend to volunteer again. As a former client served I cannot even begin to describe how much of an impact this organization has had on my family and my life.”
- GlamourGals, Foundation, Commack, NY. Teen volunteers in GlamourGals chapters around the country make regularly scheduled visits to senior homes to perform complimentary facials and makeovers. This comment from one volunteer captures the spirit of this organization: “Joining Glamour Gals, I hoped to gain experience and give back to the community. I lost my grandparents a couple years ago and it was very hard because I was so close to them. It left a huge hole in my heart that I thought would never heal. Glamour Gals has healed that hole in my heart. Every month I’m spending time with grandparents who aren’t mine, and it’s a blessing.”
Help someone in your own neighborhood. You may discover that a senior living near by needs a lift to the doctor or help getting groceries. Here’s one organization that matches drivers with riders:
- Neighbor Ride, Columbia, MD. This 2013 top-rated organization connects people: “volunteers drive – seniors thrive.” One volunteer summed up the experience this way: “While helping others, I get to meet some wonderful people who often touch my life with joy.”
For more inspiration, read through the descriptions of GreatNonprofit’s 2013 top-rated organizations here: http://greatnonprofits.org/awards/browse.
Contributing writer: Big thanks to our volunteer writer, Kathryn Maclaury for her time and contribution to this article.
What’s the most common mistake organizations make when recruiting board members?
Not fully describing what’s expected in terms of their role and responsibilities. Too often we understate expectations because we want people to serve. That’s self-defeating. Full disclosure from the beginning will bring you amazingly dedicated and committed board members. By the same token, understating the requirements (“You only have to come to meetings – the staff does everything else”) will backfire and create resentment. (more…)