Tag: Perla Ni

Feedback in the Nonprofit Sector

Leave a Comment March 14, 2014

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…)

Giving Wisely and Joyfully

Leave a Comment December 27, 2013

It’s that time of the year! There is just a couple of days remaining in the year to make your charitable donation. The stock market’s been good to many of you this year – so celebrate and give. As they say, “Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.”

This year you have so many great choices among organizations to give to. How do you choose?

Here’s a checklist –

1. What issues do you care about? You can make a difference on a wide array of issues. There are many ways in which you can give and make an impact. Your donations could…

  • Provide dental care in communities where no doctors took children under 7 or accepted Medicare: PRASAD
  • Build camp, latrines, provide food and water for families fleeing violence in the Central Condo Republic: International Rescue Committee
  • Bridge the gap between science and policy, provide interesting briefings to Congress, open to the public, about complex energy and environmental issues: Environmental and Energy Study Institute
  • Provide counseling, homework and SAT help: A Place Called Home
  • Match volunteers with people with HIV/AIDS to ensure that men and women do not have to face their illnesses alone: Shanti Project
  • Pay for fees for kids’ activities such as tutoring, summer camp, ballet lessons or ice hockey lessons while their parents are deployed overseas: Our Military Kids.
  • Provide creative writing classes at community libraries for the low-income: LOFT 
  • Rescue and rehabilitate ill and injured seals and sea lions: Marine Mammal Center
  • Help low-income people get medical care that they can afford: Access Partnership

These are just a few examples from the GreatNonprofits 2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit List.

2. Go with your heart – are you interested in having a local impact or national? National organizations tend to have more impact in raising awareness and policy-making, and therefore can have broader impacts. The advantage of local giving is that you can get more involved with an organization in addition to donating. There are thousands of nonprofits in each major city providing services ranging from meals for the elderly to legal aid for the low-income. Find your city’s list of nonprofits: AtlantaAustinBoston, ChicagoCleveland,Columbus, DallasDenverHoustonHonoluluNew YorkPittsburghPhiladelphiaPortland,San DiegoSan FranciscoSan JoseSeattleWashington DC and more.

3. Go visit the nonprofit and experience it for yourself. Many nonprofits have community outreach events – and you can drop by and talk to them at their table at the community fair, or at their open house. Walk around and see if you can meet some of the people they serve – talk to them and get a sense of what services they value and their experience with the organization. Sign up to volunteer and see first hand the work of the nonprofit. By volunteering, you will meet other volunteers, even some board members or clients and get to witness their program first-hand.

Just remember, you have just a couple of more days to make your 2013 tax-deductible donation count. Giving unleashes endorphins – so give to a worthy cause, and enjoy the true season of giving!


Keep It Simple: Lessons On Feedback Tools for Nonprofits

Leave a Comment November 21, 2013

In the 6 years in which my organization, GreatNonprofits, has been collecting beneficiary feedback, we’ve gleaned some lessons. A wide range of nonprofits from cancer support organizations to after-school programs to arts organizations use our tool to collect feedback. These nonprofits range in size and audience from small, grassroots organizations, to well-known international nonprofits. (more…)

Get The Most Out of #GivingTuesday

Comment (1) October 9, 2013

#GivingTuesday is the brainchild of the 92nd Street Y, a nonprofits cultural and community center in New York. The idea is to inspire giving and help charities nation-wide.  How? By creating a daylong national effort to help charities raise money online during the holiday shopping season – and do so right on the heals of Cyber Monday and Black Friday.  This is a big deal for nonprofits as last year alone the movement drew donations to about 2,600 nonprofits. (more…)

Getting Community Feedback

Comments (2) January 31, 2013


GreatNonprofits’ CEO Perla Ni, recently authored a post for Markets for Good about community feedback. Ni gave an overview of beneficiary feedback from the community perspective, noting that feedback tools for grantmakers, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations must demonstrate on-the-ground results and lead to improvements in programming and in quality of life for beneficiaries.

So, where are we today with community feedback? And how is the data being used?

As many government agencies and nonprofits face budget cuts, there is increasing pressure for grantmakers and grantees to justify the funding of these entities with results. From all sides of the funding equation, across the board, there is a priority being placed on evaluation. Aggregating community feedback—from clients served, legislators, volunteers, partner organizations, or donors—is a sensible and cost-effective way to show program impact and pave the way for improvements.

Read more…

Bill Gates Supports GreatNonprofits in Series on Innovation

Comments (5) December 11, 2012

Bill Gates Gates Notes Gates Foundation

GreatNonprofits highlighted on Gates Notes

We’re thrilled to share that GreatNonprofits has been recognized for our work in collecting community feedback by Bill Gates, visionary Microsoft founder and leading philanthropist. In a special series on his Gates Notes blog, Bill and Melinda Gates showed praise for GreatNonprofits for its innovative work in transforming the way people give online:

GreatNonprofits focuses on helping people make great giving decisions through socially sourced feedback and reviews. Increasing the amount and quality of information available to donors will ultimately make giving easier, more effective and rewarding.”


Crowdsourcing the Search for Great Nonprofits

Comments (5) November 26, 2012


Noah Rimland Flower and David Ehrlichman of the Monitor Institute recently interviewed GreatNonprofits CEO Perla Ni on crowdsourcing knowledge about nonprofits:

One of the best-known and most-debated examples of crowdsourcing is Yelp.com, which brought a new rapid-cycle feedback loop to the relationship between customers and retail services. GreatNonprofits is built on the same model, offering a place for people who interact with a nonprofit to share their views about its performance.

To see them in action, check out their crowdsourced Top-Rated Nonprofits Awards for 2012.

But the problem Yelp is trying to solve is a simpler one than exists in the nonprofit sector. Many people who receive a nonprofit’s service aren’t paying for it, and many people interact with a nonprofit as a volunteer or a board member rather than as a customer. Since GreatNonprofits has been working on this thorny challenge since 2007, we interviewed its founder Perla Ni to find out what she’s learned so far. Read on to hear how she thinks about their evaluation model, her belief in the value of personal stories, and her experiences at the forefront of creating greater transparency and feedback in the marketplace for social good.


Do Nothing About Me Without Me

Leave a Comment May 23, 2012

When you make a purchase online, or grab a meal at a new restaurant, it’s likely that you think about writing a review; either positive or negative. Writing and reading reviews online has become a practice pervasive in our everyday lives as consumers. Why not use this model to also assess the efficacy of social welfare programs? GreatNonprofits CEO Perla Ni seeks to address this question in a recent article published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. (more…)

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