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10 Ways You Can Actually Help Syrian Refugees

Written By: Maria Losada

syrianfeatureimage (1)

With the recent and unfortunate tragedy in Paris, the road for refugees will only get rougher.

The continuous barrage of news updates may make some feel overwhelmed, and unsure of how they can make a difference. We want you to know that there are ways to help, and we’ve collected some inspiring stories of effective human rights organizations. If you find yourself sympathizing with the plight of refugees seeking a better tomorrow, we encourage you to look into the following nonprofits.


Inspiration Break: Jonah Sachs of “Free Range” on Storytelling

Inspiration Break: A series of interviews with Nonprofits thought leaders.

For our second interview, we had the opportunity to speak with Jonah Sachs — globally recognized author, designer, as well as the co-founder and CEO of Free Range, an innovative design studio that focuses on advertising social brands through brilliant storytelling strategies. He is also the author of “Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (And Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future”.



Affluenza: A New Disease of the Rich In Era of Inequality

Some people are calling this “affluenza”.  It’s a condition that afflicts rich people and makes them selfish, unhappy, and obsessed with making more money.  

Now there’s data that this is real, and money changes how your brain is wired, according to Michael Lewis, in his article “What Wealth Does To Your Soul”.

There’s one way to counter affluenza – though philanthropy, giving and spending money on others.  

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

mo money mo problems


Donors Want Giving To Be More Joyful, Connected and Simple


You’ve been collecting personal and inspiring stories from volunteers, clients and donors on GreatNonprofits.  These stories make donors feel good, feel connected, and feel motivated.

And this is what donors want, according to new research.  According to the 2015 Money for Good report recently released, donors want giving to be “more joyful, dynamic, connected, and simple.”   (more…)

10 Rules for Dating in the Nonprofit Sector

mosterSource: Flickr user amboo who?


Our friend, Vu Le, wrote one of the funniest pieces we’ve read in a long time on the blog Nonprofit with Balls. Here’s two of our favorites:

Rule 4: Weigh the potential benefits to your organization when choosing whom to go out with. Consider factors such as donation potential, skills that could benefit a committee or project, and whether the person works at company that matches donations or provides event sponsorships.  Remember, you’re not just dating for yourself, you’re also dating to make the world better. Don’t even consider dating someone who won’t likely volunteer at your organization.

Rule 7: Ensure your date has been trained on racial equity, gender identity, disability, heterosexism, cultural competency, privilege, power, and intersectionality before introducing them to your teammates. Don’t even think about inviting them to a team happy hour unless they’ve had time to reflect on their identity and role in undoing the dominant systems of oppression.

Want more? Continue reading on Nonprofit With Balls.

2015 Top-Rated US Charities List Published

Donors get inspired and informed this Season of Giving

Redwood City, November 2, 2015




GreatNonprofits, the largest site for nonprofit stories and reviews announced today the 2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit  List. The Top-Rated List of 1,417 nonprofits helps donors and volunteers find the best charities this Season of Giving.  The end of year is when most Americans donate and volunteer for nonprofits.  Donations surpassed $456 billion in 2014.

Unlike other charity awards, the Top-Rated award winners were selected solely by people who have had involvement with the nonprofit as volunteers, donors, or those who have been helped by the nonprofit.

“This is the people’s awards for nonprofits.” says founder and CEO, Perla Ni. “These are top nonprofits, as nominated by people in those communities who see the work of these nonprofits on the ground.”

One of the top-rated nonprofits is Aim High, a charter high school in San Francisco for low-income children.   They were nominated by one of their students who wrote, “Attending Aim High was one of the best decisions I had ever made in my life. I am who I am because of this program. In middle school, I was very behind in terms of my math skills, and had always hated math… If it weren’t for the great teachers at Aim High, my middle school math skills would be non-existent. I learned all my M.S. math skills from Aim High teachers. Also, my teachers actually cared. When I was upset due to something from home or from school, they were always there for me and so were my friends.

Other top-rated nonprofits include Neighbor Ride, which provides affordable rides for the elderly or Solutions for Change, which provides housing, food and childcare for homeless families.

The GreatNonprofits Top-Rated List inspires people to donate or volunteer this Season of Giving. Ni says, “Most people are not aware of terrific nonprofits near them.  If you think education is important, if you love  animals, or you enjoy nature, or you are passionate about social justice, or you just want to do something near you , you can find some great nonprofits to give or volunteer with.”

The top-rated nonprofits span over 37 issues such as animals, the environmentwomen’s issueseducationhuman servicesart and more. With over 25,000 city and issue pages, donors and volunteers can find charities in their cities, such as New York, Los AngelesWashington D.C., San Diego, Houston, Chicago, and San Francisco or even suburbs like San Mateo, California.

For more heart-warming stories, see the complete list of Top-Rated charities.


GreatNonprofits is the largest site for donors and volunteers to find inspiration and information about nonprofits.   Over 20M users annually use content from to learn, get inspired, and get informed about nonprofits.   


Aarti Bains

Phone: 626-703-3259


5 Halloween Treats You’ll Feel Good About Handing Out

By: Maria Losada

Halloween1Source: National Retail Federation

Pumpkins, cobwebs, and (hopefully fake) spiders are signs of Halloween creeping in. However, this holiday wouldn’t be complete without sweets like candy or chocolate. This year, the National Retail Federation predicts shoppers will spend $2.1 billion on Halloween candy. As consumers, the candy we purchase sends a message to big corporations, encouraging them to increase production and supply. Which corporations are we sending that message to? (more…)

Considering Online Volunteering?

Written by: Maria Losada

When you think about volunteering, you may not think of sitting behind a computer screen. But online volunteers are doing things like developing business models for NGO’s in Pakistan or translating films produced in Colombia to increase global reach, all from the comfort of their own homes. In our global digital age, volunteering is definitely not what it used to be.

onlinevolunteer-feature Source: Flickr user hackNY


18 Of Taylor Swift’s Most Charitable Moments

Written by: Susan Peters

Taylor Swift is one of the most powerful women in music today, but did you know she’s also one of the most charitable? Swift has topped’s most charitable celebs list since 2012, but she’s been making generous contributions since her career began.

1.When she basically broke GoFundMe.

It was the GoFundMe donation heard around the world. When 11-year-old Taylor Swift fan Naomi Oakes had to miss Swift’s upcoming concert due to rigorous leukemia treatments, her family released a video on YouTube hoping to get Taylor’s attention.

That they did, and as a result Taylor donated $50,000 towards Naomi’s medical bills. GoFundMe upped their donor limit to accommodate the generous donation.


Here’s How Demi Lovato is CONFIDENT For A Good Cause

Demi Lovato just dropped her new album Confident.


Hollywood Records


She’s using the record to speak up about stigma surrounding body confidence issues and mental illness.


Complex Magazine

She wants to share “how you can go from being very insecure with body image issues to feeling so proud of your body that you want to show it to the world.”


How to Help Those Affected by the California Wildfires

Donate Money. Donate Time. Donate Goods.

The California wildfires have burned over 70,000 acres of land and caused nearly 30,000 people to flee their homes. Although there have been few fatalities, these families have lost a lot. Some have no home to return to. Here are some ways you can help.

ca fires


8 Funniest Videos That Might Just Save The World

Comedy and nonprofit issues don’t normally go together, but when done right, even the most dire issues lead to some pretty funny (and inspiring!) videos.

Here are some nonprofit videos that sent our staff staff at GreatNonprofits into a fit of giggles. They were just too good not to share.

1. Watch Pope Francis fight climate change like a boss!

Why We Love This Video: What grabbed our attention the most was seeing this alter-ego version of the Pope don boxing gloves and throw some punches.
The Moment We Lost It: 0:30

2. Which is hotter: Ian Somerholder or global warming?

Why We Love This Video: Who would think that Ian Somerholder and global warming have so much in common? The scientific facts about the environment and opinions of Ian Somerholder come together perfectly.
The Moment We Lost It: 0:58

3. See just how far you would go to save the environment from deforestation.

Why We Love This Video: This video shows the hard way to prevent deforestation and the easy way. Although the hard way is much more entertaining, it also shows what is actually doable.
The Moment We Lost It: 1:59

4.This is why we shouldn’t take reproductive health for granted

Why We Love This Video: The comedic sketch shows a lofty take on what women in other countries actually face.
The Moment We Lost It: 2:23

5. “Call Me Maybe” + puppies = adorable perfection

Why We Love This Video: With just some new lyrics and adorable pups this song takes on a whole new meaning.
The Moment We Lost It: 0:46

6. This one will make you incredibly grateful for oral contraceptives

Why We Love This Video: Not only does it show some of the weirdest contraceptive methods that people actually used, but it connects them nicely with the main message that women need family planning AND contraceptives, not one or the other.
The Moment We Lost It: 0:36

7. Watch Jim Parsons literally stand up to cancer

Why We Love This Video: Jim Parsons’ isn’t afraid to take on any role and make it awesome. The video message that everyone – not only celebrities – can make a difference is really prominent throughout.
When We Lost it: 1:02

8. What if people were as loud and passionate about the environment as they are about sports?

Why We Love This Video: Many people are passionate about the environment, but it often expressed differently than how people express it while watching sports. This video shows how the our two passions aren’t as different as we think.
When we Lost it: 0:57

What nonprofit videos make you crack up? Tell us in the comments below!

Most Quotable Nonprofit Leaders

Here are some of the most inspiring words from some of the world’s greatest nonprofit leaders.

Malala Yousafzai

  • Malala-Yousafzai_Antonio-Olmos“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”
  • “Some people only ask others to do something. I believe that, why should I wait for someone else? Why don’t I take a step and move forward.”
  • “Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality.”
  • “I don’t want to be remembered as the girl who was shot. I want to be remembered as the girl who stood up.”


Funders, Your Grant Application Process may be Perpetuating Inequity

Vu-LeWe just love this blog post from Vu Le at and thought that we would share it with with you!

This past year, my organization assumes more and more the role of a quasi-funder. Rainier Valley Corps (RVC), was formed to build the capacity of communities-of-color-led nonprofits while simultaneously developing leaders of color. We do this by selecting host sites and then sending emerging leaders of color that we train (and whose wages we pay) to these organizations, where they work full-time for one or more years to build these organizations’ capacity. The ethnic CBOs increase their capacity and effectiveness and ability to be involved at the systems level, and the field has a slew of awesome future nonprofit leaders of color that I will personally help to train to be kick-ass nonprofit warriors. Our inaugural cohort of ten leaders starts this September.

Because small nonprofits have to apply to be partners and host sites in our program, we have started being viewed as somewhat of a funder. (We have the best of both worlds: The joy of having to reject great organizations, and the fundraising-associated night terrors of being a nonprofit). I noticed the shift in dynamics when I was visiting these organizations as part of the review process, and some people seemed visibly nervous. As I mentioned earlier, program officers are instantly 27% more attractive than civilians. Suddenly, my wrinkles were marks of experience, my twitching left eye now charming, and this weird gap between my front two teeth a distinguishing feature. Not only that, but apparently my jokes on those site visits were 100% funnier too! (more…)

Frances’ Story

I work for a grantmaking foundation. Daily I read grant proposals, research nonprofits, and recommend which ones should receive grants. A dream job, right? In many ways it is. I meet people who are passionate about their work; and our foundation supports arts education, so I get to see young people creating art. They inspire me.

A challenge in this work is discerning the truth at the core of applications. Grant seekers are generally honest, but grant proposals are pitches and often there is a gap between what a nonprofit means to do and what it’s actually accomplishing. When reading proposals, I seek three additional information sources—direct observation of a program or talking to peers at other foundations. The hardest information to uncover is opinions of people who participate in the nonprofits’ programs.

GreatNonprofits is a source for these hard-to-find constituent voices. Many of my applicants have not yet been reviewed but I’ve learned from the reviews of those that have been. I have four observations to share about using this resource. (more…)

“I Do” Want More… For Less!

miss piggy

How do you really get more for less when it comes to one of the largest grossing industries in the world? The wedding industry makes billions of dollars every year and the average amount of money spent on a wedding today is $30,000, continuing to rise as time goes on.

Although we all want our wedding to be a beautiful and lavish affair, is that really possible without spending a fortune? Of course it is! With so many weddings happening at any given time there are innovative ideas, as well as, websites popping-up all the time that can do just that. Although the saying may be old, many brides still hold it true that unless they have “something old, something new, something borrowed, something new” with them on their wedding day, they won’t have the good luck they desire.

Check out some easy ways to make the most of your money and still fulfill the old British saying:


Summer Meals for Kids in Need

In a recent blog post, the U.S. Department of Agriculture stated that more than 21 million American children and teens depend on free or reduced-price school meals during the school year. When school cafeterias close, many of these kids are at risk of going hungry.

The USDA has stepped up to expand its summer food program. And a number of organizations are pitching in with special programs during the long, hot summer.

Check out these groups around the country that fill in the gap. (more…)