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December 28, 2010

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December 28, 2010

I've served on the board of this remarkable organization almost since its inception. Founder Perla Ni is an inspiration, and the organization's mission is close to my heart: offering a viable alternative to the financially-based evaluations of nonprofit effectiveness from the self-appointed watchdog organizations.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

reading comments from nonprofit executives that testify to the usefulness of reviews posted on GreatNonprofits -- in fundraising, in strengthening staff and board morale, and in gaining wider recognition for their work

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

if I had it, give $10 million

November 12, 2010
4 people found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
November 12, 2010
4 people found this review helpful

This group allows stalkers and kooks to post false negative "reviews" about any non-profit they like. They are allowing people to harass good groups which help children and animals. They do not enforce their own Terms and Conditions, "You may post or submit feedback, materials, information, ideas, opinions and other content ("Content"), provided that your Content does not: (i) violate a third party's rights, including any copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, moral right, privacy right, right of publicity, or any other intellectual property or proprietary right; (ii) contain material that is false, intentionally misleading, or defamatory; (iii) contain material that is unlawful, including illegal hate speech or pornography; exploits or otherwise harms minors; (iv) contain images of or links or references to tobacco and alcohol products; or (v) violate or advocate the violation of any law or regulation."

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

They have allowed a cyberstalker to post obscene, disgusting, libelous, false "reviews" about my organization. They have allowed a sicko to post that I "ass raped a baby to death" and I "give porn to children." They've allowed this person to post that I'm a "convicted criminal" with a "bench warrant out for my arrest." These things are utterly untrue. This company has no shame.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Shut it down, sue the board of directors and arrest them for aiding and abetting criminal stalkers.

September 29, 2010
4 people found this review helpful

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September 29, 2010
4 people found this review helpful

This site has high-minded words but its actions DAMAGE many great nonprofits. Any kook can write a bunch of lies about a "real" experience and cause real damage.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

California

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 21, 2010
2 people found this review helpful

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April 21, 2010
2 people found this review helpful

Great nonprofits appears to be a politically-motivated group pretending to be a dispassionate, non-partisan charity monitor. The first review received by several very well run conservative groups appear to be merely hit pieces. One on Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, for example, says the group should lose its tax-exempt status just because it doesn't agree with the global warming orthodoxy. It's donors sure know already about its writings on the topic and the suggestion that the group should lose its tax-exempt status borders on libel. After reviewing Greatnonprofit's funding sources, it appears this could be by design. The funders are a veritable Who's Who of left-wing environmental funders... W.K. Kellogg, Hewlett and others. This group has no credibility whatsoever.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Harming the reputation of extremely well-managed, effective free market oriented groups.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

End the anonymous reviews or just shut the whole thing down.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Learning about its funding sources, which gives a pretty good idea of its political leanings... and it is very much to the ideological left.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

None.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

...Harm the reputation of other great organizations

Ways to make it better...

The reviews I saw were fair. Every nutty left-wing group receives positive reviews while all the ones that are right of center with which I'm familiar received negative ones.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Losing credibility because of anonymous, astroturf reviews that are orchestrated from groups with axes to grind.

One thing I'd also say is that...

If greatnonprofits wants to be a credible charity monitor, it should disclose all its sources of funding and the amounts. It should also post the grant proposals sent to these funders so that the public can see what the donors thought they were getting.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 16, 2010
3 people found this review helpful

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April 16, 2010
3 people found this review helpful

I heard about GreatNonprofits today when I read a deliberately mis-leading review you published about the National Center for Public Policy Research. The reviewer claimed the National Center hounded her father, sent repeated junk mail and bankrupted him, and also said the Center wasted its money for personal use. I know from personal contact with the Center and some of its researchers that none of this is true. Their research is impeccable, and they will take the time to talk to me to answer questions. I'm a small donor and get 2 letters a year, at my request. GreatNonprofits makes a big mistake that threatens its own credibility when it does nothing to verify reviews and refuses to delete reviews after provable facts discrediting the review have been given to it.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the unpleasant way of reading a dishonest review about an organization I admire

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 15, 2010
4 people found this review helpful

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April 15, 2010
4 people found this review helpful

Great Non-Profits does not appear to be committed to responsible philanthropy. It permits reviewers to post libelous statements about institutions. For example, one anonymous reviewer accuses the two top executives of an institution with which I am affiliated, The National Center for Public Policy Research, of keeping most of the money raised by the institution. Together, their compensation was roughly 3.5% of the expenditures and, according to an independent survey commissioned in 2007, their salaries were substantially below the mean. GreatNonprofits will not take down the numerous libelous statements. This does a tremendous disservice not only to my institution, but to GreatNonprofits as once it was informed of the false information, it incurred legal liability if it continued to post them. This suggests extremely poor judgment. Non-profit reviews from the public can be of great value to donors, if that are responsible. Reviews intended as malicious do not better inform prospective donors, nor, for that matter, do reviews from those with no experience with the institution in question. The reviewer in question was not a donor, but a relative of a donor. Those of us who have been in the non-profit field for a while recognize that there are those who object to charitable giving that will cut into

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...harming the reputation of an independent, free market non-profit organization.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Monitor reviews for evidence of malicious intent and take such reviews down. Negative opinions are fine and can be helpful to donors, but deliberately false and misleading information does not help donors become better informed.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Though the response to my request for correction was completely inadequate, it was at least courteous.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Courteous, yet unhelpful. Lacked judgment.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

???

Ways to make it better...

GreatNonprofits would have exercised good judgement and, at minimum, taken down the libelous portions of the review.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Credibility and the risk of litigation for itself, its partners, its board members. It risks becoming the Wikipedia of non-profit reviews if it continues to permits posts that are anonymous and unmonitored.

One thing I'd also say is that...

This group is a great investment, if you've always wanted your charitable dollars to go to lawyers.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 20, 2010

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February 20, 2010

Your service is turning out to be such a wonderful opportunity. We've never had a good channel for feedback and suggestions before, and the outpouring of enthusiasm and constructive ideas has been priceless. A fringe benefit is that I now have quotes I can use in my next grant proposal!

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Is having a channel for communication with my patrons. I found out wonderful things and also some good suggestions.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Very responsive.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 30, 2008

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September 30, 2008

We're thrilled to have the opportunity to connect and communicate through GreatNonprofits. Just days after completing our profile, we were contacted by a local business that had some resources to give away. They used our GreatNonprofits profile and reviews to determine which organization they would donate to. GreatNonprofits provides an invaluable service and has created a lively, interactive way to spread the good news being done all around us.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

A donation we received as a result of our presence on GreatNonprofits.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The passion of the staff.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Change the way we choose to give and work together.

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Springboard Forward

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

March 28, 2008

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March 28, 2008

GreatNonprofits has established itself as an innovator in the field in a very short timeframe. The Human Services Center is fortunate to have this new vehicle to promote our work to potential volunteers, interns, and donors. The value-add of this service has already been beneficial to our work as volunteers and prospective interns have found their way to our unique agency thanks to GreatNonprofits. Perla and Vivien have been responsive to the needs of agencies in the development stage.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

recruiting volunteers for our agency.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

go national.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

there is an immediate return on a modest investment.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

innovators in the field.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

market the nonprofit sector to all those who need to understand it better.

Ways to make it better...

I had more time to improve our site.

One thing I'd also say is that...

we are proud of the work of GreatNonprofits on behalf of agencies like ours and the nonprofit sector as a whole.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

February 4, 2008
7 people found this review helpful

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February 4, 2008
7 people found this review helpful

In theory I like the idea of Great Nonprofits. Good, more focus on quality and accountability! But in practice I question if charitable organizations need another entity to comply with. As a development director for a community health center with over 90 grants, I am struck by the amount of justifying we must do in order to get (or stay) funded for something as vital as health care for poor people. I am also struck by how much pressure our staff are under to provide high quality care to our patients. This has been the same for all of the service-oriented nonprofits that I have worked for in the past, or am doing pro-bono work for now, regardless of whether they were well-established with large operating budgets, or small startups. What is the mission of Great Nonprofits? the best I could glean from the website is that they want to set up a website like Yelp for nonprofits...'You already know that reviews by other people who have gone to a restaurant or tried out a doctor are the best way to find out about the quality of those services..' The first question I ask is how many people who are targeted by people who access, let's just say safety-net services, have the time or resources to bother to register to this website and then write a review for a nonprofit? Most are too busy trying to get health insurance or pay the rent. I looked at some of the reviews and the only one I found that was negative was from someone who appeared to be trying to get a job and was disgruntled that the nonprofit only seemed to hire from within. So the website implies that this is a community service...For who's community? The second question is actually for anyone who has dedicated their life to working in the nonprofit sector. Not as an academic or for a foundation -- who seem to be the people that are controlling the public discourse about what we should "do" with the nonprofit sector (Stanford Social Innovation Review is a good example). If you've never actually had a personal connection with a grant/donation funded nonprofit program budget--i.e. it feeds you or sustains the program you care about-- than I don't think your opinion counts for much. Getting back to the question...Do YOU think it's appropriate for another nonprofit, and the people who frequent its website (who may or may not be your patients/clients), to represent the programs that you work to sustain with little stars on their web page, when it is most likely that donors--not patients/clients-- will be judging your program by the little stars? Based on the cast of characters that make up the board and management of Great Nonprofits I am wondering if the organization's core concept was not just a half-baked idea cooked up in some well-funded, good-meaning "community forum" with token nonprofits in attendance. Nonprofits that were actually only there to meet foundation people so they could fund their nonprofit programs that are expected to cover their overhead at no more than 15%...And are very amenable to the bright ideas of the people who give them money. Looking at the Board and staff bios, *very impressive*, with the exception of Bill Jackson and Tom Reis, none of them make any mention of actually working for a nonprofit. They are all either donors or academics. So does internet-based rating of nonprofits hold any value? I guess we'll find out, looking at the kind of backing the organization attests to have on its website. I'm a little concerned that it could just end up creating more barriers for people like me to help nonprofits succeed by creating another bogus way for funders to screen who they give money to. If the method by which Great Nonprofits appears to be attempting to transform accountability and improve quality for nonprofits is suspect, and I would contest that nonprofits ARE NOT LIKE RESTAURANTS (which is a whole other rant), why do it? I don't get it. By the way, I appreciate that Great Nonprofits put itself out there to be rated.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

On it's website

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Want to learn more and hope they proved my assessment to be incorrect.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I like thinking about this kind of stuff because people who compose the board and staff of this organization are the kinds of people who impact, for better or worse, my ability to help my organization achieve its mission.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Not particularly aware of what it means to have your feet on the ground at a nonprofit. Or at least that's how it appears from their bios.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Totally destroy the reputation of many good nonprofits. Or, if I'm wrong, and the people who developed it and fund it aren't just on an ego trip, make a positive impact in terms of driving quality and accountability in the nonprofit sector.

Ways to make it better...

They focused on what they could do to help nonprofits achieve their missions, instead of giving funders another potentially flawed tool to judge them by

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Messing up the chances of good nonprofits getting foundation funding because disgruntled staff and job candidates that know Great Nonprofit's website decide to write a bad review (or two or three or four...)

One thing I'd also say is that...

Post your mission statement. Or if you have already, put in plain site (like on your "About Us" page.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

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