Archive for August, 2011

Help Victims of Hurricane Irene

HurricaneReliefTeam(photo credit: fortherock/creativecommons)

As Hurricane Irene quickly approaches the East Coast, we hope everyone will stay safe. Below is a list of top-rated nonprofits in the NYC, Boston, D.C., Philadelphia, Charleston, and Raleigh areas in addition to National Organizations that are preparing to respond.

From helping people prepare disaster action plans, to providing food and shelter and responding to animals affected by the storm, these services will be crucial in the coming days.

If you know other organizations that will be responding to the hurricane, please feel free to add them in the comments or email us at Emma@GreatNonprofits.org. We will update our list as more information becomes available.

Please consider making a donation to one of the nonprofits listed below so that they can respond as quickly and effectively as possible following the storm.

National

NYC

Boston

D.C.

Philadelphia

Charleston

Raleigh

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August 26, 2011 at 11:58 pm Leave a comment

Drum Roll….What Supporters and Nonprofits Want!

Thank you friends for completing our survey this month! We gathered extremely valuable information from your responses, which will help us better serve you. Below are some findings that we have separated for easy reading; hopefully you’ll find the responses as exciting and intriguing as we did!

87% of BOARD MEMBERS told Us…

  • That reading reviews helped them better understand the organization’s programs.

37% of VOLUNTEERS told Us…

  • That reading reviews led to their decision to volunteer for a particular nonprofit.

95% of DONORS told Us…

  • That reviews helped them better understand the nonprofit’s work.

AND, 84% of DONORS told Us…

  • That reviews are considered helpful when deciding whether or not to give to the nonprofit.

For example, Joell Dunlap, Executive Director of Square Peg Foundation, reported, “reviews have helped us raise $10,000 for our organization.” Specifically, Square Peg Foundation has used reviews in grant proposals and letters to donors. She said, “Using reviews by an outside, 3rd party, increases legitimacy of our foundation leading to increased donations.” If you haven’t already used reviews in grant proposals or in letters to your donors, try it! You will be surprised at what will happen as a result!

Finally, CONGRATULATIONS to Audrey Evans, our GreatNonprofit User Survey winner! She’s receiving $50 to continue supporting her favorite nonprofit, Food for the Poor. Also, Lutheran World Relief is our nonprofit winner of a $100 spa gift certificate! Use it to relax for all the hard work you do every day.

We’d love to hear your responses to these exciting results. Please feel free to comment below!

Best,

Perla & GreatNonprofits

Perla

August 26, 2011 at 5:52 pm Leave a comment

Animal Photo/Video Contest

Dear Friends,

Nothing tells a story like a picture or a video. We have enjoyed the photos you have shared on Facebook during the past months. They were fun, inspiring, and incredibly talkative. That is why GreatNonprofits decided to take it to another level and launch an animal photo/video contest!

So, next time you post a review about your favorite animal welfare or conservation nonprofit, add a photo or video to the review, then share it through Facebook and Twitter.

3 reviews + best photos/videos will then be featured on our homepage and in our newsletter, reaching 40k constituents!

How to add a photo/video?

  1. Go to “Write a review” for an animal welfare or conservation nonprofit
  2. Share your story by filling out the review form
  3. Scroll down to the end of the web page
  4. Click on “Photos/Video”
  5. Upload your file(s)

Note: JPG only. Wider than 150 px, 2MB max. No GIFs.

How to share the review + photo/video?

  1. Click on the “Submit” button
  2. Choose to share your review via Facebook or Twitter so we can track it.

We’re excited to see your best photos and videos! The winners will be featured on our homepage and in our newsletter!

August 23, 2011 at 6:48 pm Leave a comment

Who Inspires You to Volunteer?

We’ve been thinking a lot about what inspires people to get involved, to volunteer, and to give back to their communities. After all, our inspiration is what helps us decide which causes are most important to us, and how we want to go about making a contribution.

Last week, we asked our fans on Facebook this question: If you could spend a day volunteering with one person (past or present) who would you want to volunteer with and why? We were so impressed with the responses that we felt we had to share them.

We learned that people find inspiration from all kinds of different sources. Historical figures, politicians, family members, friends, and great authors are just a few of the kinds of people that help motivate us to do good. Check them out below:

Kristin N: “Mother Teresa to get a glimpse of true compassion and selflessness, or Audrey Hepburn to see someone who balanced both personal/professional success with the art of giving back.”

Rmhc SD: “Princess Diana to see her efforts as well. She always showed amazing poise, compassion, and love to the people she helped.”

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship: “Albert Schweitzer — he is our namesake, and his legacy of reverence for life motivates our 250 Schweitzer Fellows each year to dedicate themselves to serving vulnerable people and addressing unmet health needs.”

Larry S: “Pope John Paul II. He was a man that brought out the best, always.”

Tasha M: “I would volunteer with Jesus so He could show me how to impact the lives of others without judgement or criticism.”

Lisa C: “Gandhi. He was an amazing advocate against injustice, and for humanity, and just the common decent treatment of people.”

Diem P: “Greg Mortenson because I would love to learn about his experiences, motivation and lessons that he has since his trip to K2.”

Red Creek Wildlife Center: “Rachel Carson wrote “Silent Spring” and started the environmental movement. She bucked the big chemical industries and didn’t back down even though she was dogged by big business. The common citizen, however, listened to her and things had to change. DDT was later banned in the US, saving our raptors from near extinction. I love her, and I would love to learn from her about that great spirit where one person can change the world!”

Belén Q: “I would spend it with Martin Luther King, just being around him must have been inspiring enough to last a lifetime.”

Kim S: “Mother Theresa….no question.”

Amy M: “JoHanna Jones at The Girls’ Empowerment Center, because she has such a loving and caring heart. I learn more about compassion as a result of spending time with her. :)”

Sue A.: “My sister Cheryl Alonso and the Isaiah Alonso Foundation because nothing is closer to my heart than helping families battling childhood cancer and no one inspires me more than my sister, her husband Vinnie Alonso and of course my sweet ‘forever 6’ nephew, Isaiah.”

Grm S: “Jesus… So I could get the message straight from the person before it was distorted by politics, greed, and all other sorts of ulterior motives.”

Sara O: “Past: Gandhi. MLK Jr would be amazing too but I figure since he was inspired by Gandhi I would want to go to the source. Present: Bill Drayton (great strategist and humanitarian) or Khalida Brohi (a transcendant person).”

Jennifer C: “Amelia Earhart. She was one of my heroes in elementary school. Plus, I’d love to know what exactly happened on that last night with Fred Noonan (though ideally, we’d all survive in another version of the story). Also, I’ve read so much about her, I would love to see her in action and help her reach out to women interested in flight of any kind. The other person I might want to volunteer with is L.M. Montgomery, the author of one of my favorite book series, Anne of Green Gables. I don’t know much about Montgomery or the inspiration for the characters but I would love to ask her and help her out at a book signing or reading. Did they have book signings back then?”

Lis S: “Jimmy Carter

Kathleen C: “Mother Teresa because she loved the poor and saw Christ in them.”

Please feel free to share your response in the comments. We’d love to hear your answers too! To comment on the thread on Facebook, visit our page at Facebook.com/GreatNonprofits

August 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm 2 comments

Thank You For Your Feedback, New Security Features

Over the past few weeks, we were surprised to be the target of internet hacking wherein several people created fictitious accounts, intentionally exploited a work-around of our registration system to create duplicate screen names, repeatedly reposted their review, posted multiple reviews,  posted inappropriate reviews that violate our terms of use and engaged in uncivil dialogues with each other using the commenting tool.

We spent last week listening to the user complaints about these issues, and this week working with our engineers to make changes to improve the security.  We have now closed the loophole in the registration system, restricted the ability to comment on reviews only to people who have verified official status with the nonprofit, removed reviews that violated our Terms of Service, and banned several users.

We know that some of our users feel that we should have responded faster.   We weren’t ignoring you – we were planning and implementing the technical solutions.  We will do a better job next time communicating with you and even if we don’t have a solution, let you know that we’re aware of the problem and looking into it.

So for most of you (who are not trying to hack our site), you won’t notice a difference in the site.  The biggest difference is that only nonprofits can comment on reviews about them.  So some of you who wrote comments responding to reviews and are not officially a staff of the nonprofit – sorry, we no longer support this feature.  If you want to compliment the reviewer, vote the review as “helpful”.

If you are officially with a nonprofit, and you wrote a comment but you don’t see it there anymore, it’s because you haven’t claimed the nonprofit.  To do so, click the “Staff -Claim Org” button on the top of the nonprofit profile page and fill out your information.  Then your comments should appear again automagically – voila!

Enjoy the new security measures and thank you for your feedback!

Best,
Perla

August 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm 1 comment

Animal Welfare Design Contest Details

Are you a Top-Rated Animal Welfare nonprofit?

The 2011 Animal Welfare campaign is about to get super exciting! GreatNonprofits is pleased to collaborate with Goodjoe, a community-based t-shirt company, on an animal welfare design contest. One of our Top-Rated nonprofits will be randomly selected at the end of the Animal Welfare campaign to participate in a design contest focusing on its mission statement. The nonprofit will receive 30 T-shirts with a cool logo inspired by its mission statement. And that’s not all! 50% of the proceeds of each shirt with the design sold on Goodjoe.com will also go to the winning nonprofit!

What about the other “top-rated” nonprofits? The good news continues! Selected Top-Rated nonprofits can benefit from Goodjoe’s fundraising drives where each nonprofit gets 25% of the sale of their promotional activities. Check it out at http://www.goodjoe.com/Fundraising/.

Details:

– The winner will be chosen at the end of the campaign (Aug 31st)

– The winner would be featured on Goodjoe.com and a cool shirt with a logo reflecting their design would be available to order online at Goodjoe.com

– Designers (open to all general public) would submit designs based on the nonprofit’s statement

– People would vote for the best design on Goodjoe.com

– 30 T-shirts with the design would be given to the nonprofit…for FREE

– The lucky nonprofit could then encourage its constituents to order shirts with that logo on the Goodjoe website. Whenever a shirt w/ the design is ordered on Goodjoe.com then the nonprofit associated with the design gets 50% of proceeds.

As a nonprofit, you gain new exposure for the nonprofit and at the same time provide a platform for your audience to engage with your cause.  As a result, you also get a cool graphic T-shirt designed specifically for your cause for branding and fundraising.

August 9, 2011 at 9:47 pm Leave a comment

29 Top-Rated Social Justice Organizations Listed During Inaugural National Campaign


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Emma Bundy

(510) 504-2048 | emma@greatnonprofits.org  

 

GreatNonprofits announced today that 29 organizations have qualified for the 2011 Top-Rated Social Justice Nonprofit List at the close of a month-long campaign in partnership with Alliance for Justice, The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, EarthRights International, FreePress, Global Fund for Women, Equality Now, and Third Goal. Organizations receiving ten or more positive stakeholder reviews during the month of July qualified for the top-rated list.

During the campaign, a total of 125 nonprofits were rated and reviewed by thousands of clients, donors and volunteers across the country. The 668 reviews submitted during the campaign highlight the innovative ways that social justice organizations are changing the world. Alliance for Justice, a coalition of more than 100 organizations devoted to ensuring equality for all members of society, finished the campaign with a perfect 5-star rating as one of our partners.

“The Alliance for Justice is an unparalleled resource for the non-profit community,” said client served and reviewer Paul S. of Alliance for Justice. “AfJ provides the expert assistance and advice that enables non-profits to provide a voice for their clients in government circles, while scrupulously complying with all legal requirements.”

All of the qualifying organizations have show the vast ways in which nonprofits can help protect and advance the human rights and social justice initiatives worldwide. User reviews of personal experiences and examples also help nonprofits ensure they’re working in the right direction.

“One of the most exciting things for us about participating in the GreatNonprofits Social Justice Campaign has been interacting with some of the people who benefit from our services and getting feedback from them,” Amy Conroy, Director of Development at Alliance for Justice explains. “The third party review platform not only allowed people and organizations who we may not have otherwise heard from to voice an opinion, but it allowed us to respond by commenting on individual reviews.”

The campaign also provided organizations with the ability to view site traffic for the month and expand lines of communication. “We are so pleased that we have been able to receive some great reviews—full of valuable feedback—from our allies, activists, and supporters. I really like the feature that allows me to see how many views our profile has received! We’ve received well over 900 views this month!” says Sara Longsmith of FreePress.

The full list of Top-Rated Social Justice Nonprofits can be found at http://greatnonprofits.org/issues/social-justice.

About the Campaign

The 2011 Social Justice Campaign ran throughout the month of July 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 Social Justice Nonprofits.

August 2, 2011 at 6:47 pm Leave a comment

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