I learned about the GreatNonprofits site from Measuring the Networked Nonprofit.
Initially, the way that it was described, I thought that it was mostly another aggregator of nonprofit financial information, an attempt to equate nonprofit efficiency with ‘excellence’.
But I was intrigued by a tag about it being like a Yelp for nonprofits, and I was pretty psyched by what I discovered.
Best things about GreatNonprofits?
- Highlighting volunteer, staff, donor, and even client stories, with an understanding that data don’t have to be numbers, and that people’s experiences matter
- The use of the phrase ‘impact’ at least three times, in my initial review–we still need to arrive at collective understanding of what that means, and what it looks like, but familiarizing ourselves with the term is a great place to start
- This request for people to share their ratings of nonprofit organizations: “You contribute a valuable public service when you write a review. You are not only helping others learn about this nonprofit. You are also helping the nonprofit improve its programs with your feedback. The best nonprofits are those that are continually listening and learning.”
- An active effort to promote the ‘best’ nonprofits, which adds a level of curating that makes the site more valuable–GreatNonprofits highlighted, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, “nonprofits that are on the ground and highly rated”, and the site had a list of user-recommended feeding programs for people in poverty, following Paul Ryan’s photo op at a soup kitchen
There aren’t many advocacy organizations listed, or very many organizations with advocacy-related content, but, since the site is largely user-generated, I think we can change that! Overall, I find it refreshing and encouraging, and I have enjoyed adding content and browsing organizations–including locally–that my family and I should consider supporting.
Nonprofit marketing folks, have you tapped into GreatNonprofits? Are you encouraging your donors and volunteers to rate you there? Have you had people find their way to you through the site? What do you feel is the greatest contribution of a site like this? What concerns do you have about these data?