Thank you GreatNonprofits users! Many of you spoke up about questionable management and judgment of Susan G. Komen *before* the Planned Parenthood crisis. You posted reviews questioning Komen’s commitment to its mission (i.e.: you reported that Komen sued a local charity the user knew for using the word “the cure”, or allowed KFC to license the pink ribbon, or sued your friend who had walked and not raised enough money). Before the Planned Parenthood crisis, you gave Susan G. Komen a poor rating – 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Since the Planned Parenthood announcement, reviews skyrocketed from 27 to 620 reviews. Susan G. Komen now has an overall score of 1.5 stars. (The lowest possible star rating is 1).
This is but one example of how your perspectives have contributed to a more informed judgment about charities. Our community values your insights and experiences about charities, national or local.
Keep posting those reviews of nonprofits you have had an experience with! You are helping more donors and volunteers learn about which nonprofits they should support!
- Perla Ni
GreatNonprofits announced this week that 20 organizations have qualified for the 2011 Military Families Top-Rated Nonprofit List at the close of a month-long campaign in partnership with Cell Phones for Soldiers, the Fisher House Foundation, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Organizations receiving ten or more positive stakeholder reviews during the month of October qualified for this top-rated list.
During the campaign, a total of 75 nonprofits were rated and reviewed by hundreds of clients, donors, and volunteers around the world. Over 800 reviews were submitted during the campaign that demonstrated the outstanding impact these organizations were having on active servicemen, veterans, and their families.
All of the participating organizations have shown the many ways nonprofits can help support our military families, both abroad and at home. User reviews of personal experiences and examples also help nonprofits ensure they are working in the right direction.
The VFW National Home for Children received 10 glowing five star reviews during the campaign including this one from beckyjo_ridler about her experience with the organization: “I moved to the VFW National Home when I was 7 years old, from Ohio. My Grandfather was a WWII Veteran. My Sister, Brother and I came with our mother and were part of the single parent program for 3 years. Then one day my mother left us and we ended up in the residential program (the best thing that ever happened to me). Even though my mother couldn’t get it together, the National Home didn’t give up on the 3 of us.”
The full list of Top-Rated Military Families Nonprofits can be found at http://greatnonprofits.org/issues/military-families
About the Campaign
The 2011 Military Families Campaign ran throughout the month of August 2011. Reviews appear on GreatNonprofits.org as well as on GuideStar.org,CharityNavigator.org, GlobalGiving.org, and JustGive.org. Organizations receiving ten or more positive reviews are listed as one of the 2011 Top-Rated Military Families Nonprofits.
A Surprising Family of Writers and Mentors, and Friends Gives Girls a Chance to Write and Go To College
Engel and Baden pose for a photo after Engel was awarded a 2010 New York Women in Communications Foundation Scholarship.
Inside Café Grumpy in Chelsea New York, with the clang and bang of coffee grinding in the background, the 18 year old Shira Engel sat in a corner table, holding a leather-bound journal, open to a page of her own poetry. Across from her was a young woman, Morgan Baden, with a brightly knit scarf draped around her neck. Brows knit, Engel read aloud, paused, and looked up. A steaming cup of coffee in her hands, Baden brought the ceramic mug to her lips, mulling over Engel’s work. Putting down the mug, she looked over the stanza, pointed to the page. Engel scribbled down notes on the side. Baden looked up and grinned, and suddenly, Engel threw her head back in laughter, holding the journal to her chest.
For years, Engel has been drawn to writing poetry and has grown to be an aspiring writer. Baden, is her mentor, a writer and social media manager at Scholastic. They had been meeting weekly for three years. They didn’t meet accidentally. And like many girls in New York, Engel, a girl who always wanted to write, didn’t have any writing classes at school because of budget cuts that left her school without another option.
“They cut out Spanish classes [the only language class] by my junior year of high school, so they definitely did not have creative writing as an option,” recalls Engel. “I really craved that and I had trouble identifying myself as a writer in 9th grade because I had no space to write.”
At home, her parents were going through a divorce. And while they never tried to stop Shira from pursuing her dreams, they also wanted her to pursue a career that could provide a steady source of income. With a whirlwind of events, Engel had little room to process and express the overwhelming emotions that she felt.
“They were very supportive of my writing, but they do have the mentality that you need to do something that makes money,” she says.
Engel learned about a program called Girls Write Now, a New York City based nonprofit that pairs girls with mentors who are successful female writers in the professional world. Since it’s creation in 1998, the organization led by founder Maya Nussbaum has served over 6,000 girls in the New York City area, 3,500 of which have been considered underserved or at risk. Throughout the programs duration, girls partake in weekly meetings with mentors, workshops, and public readings, which are often both one of the most terrifying and rewarding experiences of the program for many girls.
Engel was soon paired up with Baden. Baden worked full time at Scholastic on top of writing in her spare time. And she seemed to be on top of it all – with her journal and iPhone with her.
“She is such a talented writer but she is also a nurturer as a writer and that is something I wouldn’t find anywhere else,” says Engel. “Morgan [Baden]and I started working together and she encouraged my writing but she also pushed it, I grew more committed,” she explains. Stanza by stanza, the pair would work through Engel’s poetry, with Baden providing feedback.
“They have college advisors that come in, which is essential because so many of the schools [in the NYC public school system] don’t have college advisors,” says Engel.
“My parents really wanted me to go to a state school. No one in my family had ever gone to a private school,” Engel explains. “But on a college tour, I fell in love with Wesleyan and their writing program.”
With the help of her mentor and Girls Write Now, Engel won numerous awards and scholarships.
“Morgan and Girls Write Now in general encouraged me [to pursue going to Wesleyan] and showed me scholarships [that] I wouldn’t have found out about without Girls Write Now,” she explains.
Now at the end of her freshmen year at Wesleyan, Engel is pursuing a double major in English and Feministic, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Going to classes, studying to be a yoga teacher, and reading novels about Tudor England, Engel, feels that she has the ability to choose her future.
“With Girls Write Now, you’re getting us before we go to college or even think about going or not going to college,” she explains. “…to be able to have that positive influence on people, to show the impossible is possible, while serving in the greater community of writing, is really amazing.”
One of the greatest gifts that Girls Write Now has given Engel was that what began as a professional mentorship developed into lasting relationship.
“Morgan was in no way contracted to stay on as my mentor or anything yet whenever I came home from Wesleyan…we would talk about our lives in every sense. We talk about boys. We talk about careers. We have become friends. She doesn’t treat me like I am over ten years younger than her. We connect past boundaries of age, which is what a mentor/mentee relationship is all about,” says Engel.
Girls Write Now Inc. is a New York based nonprofit and is one of the highest rated nonprofits on GreatNonprofits.org, a website of ratings and reviews of nonprofits. To find out how you can support Girls Write Now go to http://www.girlswritenow.org/.
Congratulations to the 43 organizations that qualified for the 2011 Education 4 All Top-Rated Nonprofit List! The campaign ran throughout the month of September in partnership with Little Kids Rock, Communities in Schools, Givology, Parents Education Network, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, and the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. Organizations receiving ten or more positive stakeholder reviews during the month of September qualified for this top-rated list.
During the campaign, a total of 181 nonprofits were rated and reviewed by hundreds of clients, donors, and volunteers around the world. Over 1,000 reviews were submitted during the campaign that recognized how these organizations have improved the quality, access, and diversity of education around the world.
All of the participating organizations have demonstrated the variety of ways nonprofits can help support schools and make education more available. User reviews of personal experiences and examples also help nonprofits ensure they are working in the right direction.
Admission Possible received 20 glowing five star reviews during the campaign including this one from Michelle I., a participant in the program: “As a sophomore in high school, I had no plans on going to college. I didn’t think it was possible for a low-income, first generation student to go to college. Joining Admission Possible in for my junior and senior years changed my life. They showed my that college is possible for anyone and everyone given the resources they need. Admission Possible prepared me for, and signed me up to take the ACT, apply for financial aid, apply to and actually get in to the college of my choice. As a now sophomore in college, I credit my success to Admission Possible as a whole and the wonderful coaches they employ. I am now a social work major hoping to make a difference in people’s lives, like Admission Possible did for me!”
The full list of Top-Rated Education 4 All Nonprofits can be found athttp://greatnonprofits.org/issues/education-4-all
About the Campaign
The 2011 Education 4 All Campaign ran throughout the month of September. Reviews appear on GreatNonprofits.org as well as on GuideStar.org, CharityNavigator.org,GlobalGiving.org, and JustGive.org. Organizations receiving ten or more positive reviews are listed as one of the 2011 Top-Rated Educaiton 4 All Nonprofits.
GreatNonprofits is featured in the current issue of Advancing Philanthropy, the publication produced by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. We were thrilled to share some of our most interesting and surprising findings from our experience with reviews over the last few years. Here’s a sneak peak at the article, “Up For Review,” written by Andrew Wyatt, FInstF, and the full article is linked below.
“If you conducted a survey of your organization’s leaders, volunteers and donors, what words do you think they would use to describe the positive qualities of your organization? Perhaps, you may hope, terms such as “accountable,” “effective” and “ethical” would be among those used most frequently. At the same time, what would the people involved with your organization change to make it better?
Since 2007, GreatNonprofits (www.greatnonprofits.org) has provided a forum where volunteers, donors and people served by charitable organizations can tell their stories and describe their experiences with various nonprofits (see sidebar). GreatNonprofits helps inform prospective donors and volunteers, and assists them in differentiating among nonprofits, finding ones they trust and being more confident in
giving or signing up to volunteer. At the same time, the site promotes greater nonprofit excellence through feedback and transparency. (There are now more than 80,000 reviews of nearly 10,000 nonprofits.)
GreatNonprofits decided to analyze reviews on its website in order to identify the words used most frequently in comments about charitable organizations and to better understand the attributes of nonprofits that are most important to the people who work with and benefit from them. The result —surprising, to say the least—have interesting implications for fundraisers.”
Read the complete article here: Up for Review – Advancing Philanthropy Sept-Oct 2011
“The biggest benefit we gained in participating in this campaign was becoming a top-rated animal welfare organization,” said President and CEO Nicole F. of RedRover. “There are so many animal nonprofits to choose from and highlighting a list of organizations that have positive reviews is a great way for donors to start to do their homework.”
All of the qualifying organizations have shown the vast ways in which nonprofits can help protect and raise awareness about the necessity of conducting spaying and neutering campaigns, as well as passing the appropriate legislation to defend animals around the world. User reviews of personal experiences and examples also help nonprofits ensure they are working in the right direction.
The full list of Top-Rated Animal Welfare Nonprofits can be found at http://greatnonprofits.org/issues/animal-welfare-campaign
About the Campaign
The 2011 Animal Welfare Campaign ran throughout the month of August 2011. Reviews appear on GreatNonprofits.org as well as on GuideStar.org and CharityNavigator.org. Organizations receiving ten or more positive reviews are listed as one of the 2011 Top-Rated Animal Welfare Nonprofits.
Emma Bundy | firstname.lastname@example.org | (510) 504-2048
GreatNonprofits, GuideStar, and Charity Navigator announce the launch of the 2011 GreatNonprofits Education 4 All Campaign to identify top-rated organizations working to improve the quality, access and diversity of education.
GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user-generated ratings and reviews of nonprofits, has partnered with several of the most celebrated organizations in the field for this campaign.
Partners in the campaign, which will run for the month of September, include the Parents Education Network, Little Kids Rock, Communities in School, Givology, the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship and the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth.
The 2011 Education 4 All campaign aims to recognize the leading nonprofits within this diverse sector of nonprofits working towards improving education. Their goals range from increasing access to education to raising awareness about learning & attention disabilities to recognizing that there are various non-traditional yet effective teaching methods.
Any education nonprofit that has at least 10 positive reviews by September 30, 2011 will be recognized on the GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Education Nonprofits List.
Participants in the campaign can expect to receive increased exposure to donors and volunteers and increased visibility in their communities and the media. The user reviews gathered by GreatNonprofits are written by anyone with personal experience with a nonprofit, i.e., a donor, volunteer, board member, client, or member of the public.
Over the past year more than 1 million people visited GreatNonprofits to read and write these reviews.
About the Campaign
The Education 4 All campaign will run throughout the month of August. Reviews appearon GreatNonprofits.org, GuideStar.org and CharityNavigator.org and can be written on all three sites. Nonprofits with 10 or more positive reviews will be included on the GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Education Nonprofits List. Review submissions must take place from September 1st through September 30th, 2011.
Emma Bundy | email@example.com | (510) 504-2048