Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

 

1.) What is GreatNonprofits?

GreatNonprofits is a website with user reviews and ratings of nonprofits.

 

Ask yourself, when was the last time you took a risk and tried a new restaurant, saw a movie, or bought a camcorder without checking out reviews by other consumers online? GreatNonprofits is bringing the same kind of "word on the street" recommendations to help donors and volunteers find good nonprofits.

 

To learn more about us and read our story, please visit our About Us page.

2.) Who writes the reviews?

Reviews are written by people who have had a direct experience with the nonprofit they are writing about. They are typically written by volunteers, board members, clients, donors, community partners, or other stakeholders of the nonprofit.

 

We ask that paid staff members do not post reviews for their own organization.

3.) How do you promote this information to prospective donors and volunteers?

We've built the site to be easily found by search engines. If you have a nonprofit and you've been reviewed on GreatNonprofits, your reviews on GreatNonprofits will come up near the top of a search results page every time someone searches your name. We also partner with GuideStar and reviews written on GreatNonprofits.org are automatically visible on the nonprofit report page on GuideStar.org. We also work with online and offline media to promote the nonprofits that have reviews. See our Press section for media coverage.

4.) Are you worried about people gaming the site (posting fake reviews)?

In general, we think the nonprofit sector has a lot of integrity, so we don't expect a lot of people trying to game this site.

 

However, like the majority of sites on the Internet, there's no way for us to verify each posted review. As with all things on the Internet, you have to use your judgment. Read the reviews, and judge for yourself which ones sound credible.

5.) How does this fit with other data about a nonprofit?

GreatNonprofits provides "on the ground" perspectives on a nonprofit. We make the impact of a nonprofit visible on a human scale through the voices of people who have known the work of the nonprofit. Reviews are a vivid, emotionally engaging, and authentic way to tell the story of a nonprofit's work.

 

We also see the benefit of other kinds of data that inform donors and volunteers. We invite nonprofits to tell their story through their profile by adding information about their programs through pictures, text, and videos. We also see the value of objective data and have partnered with GuideStar to provide a more complete view of nonprofits.

 

6.) What is your scaling strategy? How do you reach nonprofits?

Many nonprofits find us online and voluntarily list themselves so that they can be reviewed. We work within the nonprofit community through partnerships with leaders in the field to raise awareness about the value of reviews for nonprofits. We also work with local nonprofits, usually through nonprofit associations like the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership, to market the site to nonprofits. We find that once a nonprofit hears about us, they understand the value of reviews. With one mass e-mail to their list of clients, board members, volunteers, and other stakeholders, they can get genuine, compelling testimonials online that the whole world can see. Firsthand stories of how a nonprofit has benefited its community can lend credibility and raise visibility for a nonprofit.

 

We'd be glad to hear from you if you think your city or your network of nonprofits or foundations want to bring this level of transparency to your community.

7.) What is your business model?

We a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and are funded by foundations and individual donors.

8.) I'm interested in helping GreatNonprofits. How can I help?

You can help GreatNonprofits by spreading the word and sharing your feedback. You can also click "Donate to GreatNonprofits" above, to help support our website.

9.) Do I need permission to post one of your reviews on my website?

There is no need to ask for permission to quote from our site. Simply use attribution "GreatNonprofits.org User review."

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Nonprofit Questions

1.) I am already listed on GreatNonprofits. How did this happen and what does it mean?

Through our partnership with GuideStar, every nonprofit listed on GuideStar automatically has a basic profile on GreatNonprofits (to edit this profile, see question #7). Reviews can be written both at GreatNonprofits.org and at GuideStar.org, and are automatically visible on both websites.

 

2.) Will you take down a negative review that is posted about my nonprofit?

We understand the importance of your reputation to you and to your organization. GreatNonprofits provides an open forum for discussion about nonprofits. As such, we do not as a policy remove user-written reviews.

It is our experience that users understand that the web is an open forum and look at the totality of information about a nonprofit when forming an opinion. So we urge you to get your message out by responding and asking your supporters to do the same.

3.) Can I encourage people who know our nonprofit to write a review?

Yes, you can (and should!) encourage your stakeholders -- your volunteers, clients served, board members, donors, interns, and community partners -- to write a review.

 

Here are some great tips for gathering reviews:

 

  • Send an email to your volunteers, clients, donors, board members, and others (for an email template, contact Support)

  • Post to your Facebook status

  • Tweet out a link asking people to post reviews

  • Post a link in a prominent place on your website

  • Put a link in your email newsletter asking people to post reviews

4.) Why should I invite people to review my nonprofit?

At a time when consumers are increasingly resisting conventional marketing appeals, user reviews have emerged as a trusted source of information about products and services of all types. Numerous studies indicate that people value the opinions of other people over institutional sources of information.

 

Therefore, stakeholder reviews of your organization represent a major opportunity to demonstrate your community support and the significance of your work.

 

In this age of social media, there is also a risk that if you don't have any reviews, it will look like no one is willing to speak up about you.

5.) Does it cost anything to be listed on your site?

Having a GreatNonprofits account is free, listing nonprofits is free, reviewing is free, and reading is free. GreatNonprofits is a 501(c)(3) organization and receives no money for reviews.

6.) What if my nonprofit isn't listed on your site?

Start by doing a search for your organization. If you don't get any results, you can add your nonprofit.

 

(Note: You must be signed in to add a nonprofit. If you don't have a username and password, register here.)

7.) How can I edit my organization's nonprofit profile page?

At GreatNonprofits, individual user accounts gain "ownership" over nonprofit profiles.

 

To claim ownership of your nonprofit's profile and edit your organization's information (including your organization's name), simply follow the steps below:

 

  • Be sure you are registered with a username and password on the site. To do this, click Register and make sure you sign up as a nonprofit user.

  • Once you are logged in, search for your organization in the nonprofit finder and click into your nonprofit's profile.

  • Click the gray button that says "Staff-Claim Org" at the top left of your nonprofit profile. You will be able to edit basic information, and there will be tabs at the top to edit your advanced profile, add photos, videos, logos, and links.

  • We allow multiple staff members at an organization to have access to a profile. If you are asked to claim ownership, this means someone has edited your profile before. Just fill out the information, we will verify your identity, and then you will be able to access the information.
     

Once you've claimed ownership of your nonprofit profile, you can also easily access your profile to edit and add information from the "My Nonprofit" tab in the top navigation bar.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Support.

8.) When I click on "My Page" it looks like a profile for an individual user, but I signed up as an organization. What's going on?

Until you claim a nonprofit profile (See question #7), your account will function as an individual user account. Once you've claimed ownership of your nonprofit profile, the "My Page" link will change to "My Nonprofit." Click on this link to access your nonprofit manager dashboard.

9.) How can I get my nonprofit removed from your site or not receive reviews about it?

More than 1.8 million nonprofits are listed on this site. These nonprofits listed on this site are public charities and as such, the nonprofit is accountable to the public and its listing information is public information.

10.) What safeguards do you have to protect against unfairly harsh reviews of our nonprofit?

We have a number of safeguards.

 

First, we have automatic speech filter to make sure that the reviews adhere to the guidelines for civil speech.

 

Second, we have a built-in "comment" feature underneath each review. If you feel that a particular review was unfair, simply click on "comment" and feel free to clarify or respond to the review. We encourage you to engage in dialogue with your reviewers.

 

Third, this is an opportunity to ask the people who know your work to write about their experience with you. (See #2 for tips on how to encourage reviews.)

 

Fourth, a number of nonprofits have found that constructive criticism provides useful feedback that can be used to improve operations and implement new suggestions.

 

Finally, in the world of online reviews, readers understand that there are going to be different perspectives and they don't expect any product, service, or organization to be perfect.

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Reviewer Questions

1.) How do I write a review?

Glad you asked! It's easy.

 

First, search for your nonprofit. You can use the nonprofit finder in the top navigation bar or click the "Write a review" link on our homepage to search for the organization you'd like to review. Choose your nonprofit from the search results.

 

Once you're on the nonprofit profile page click the button that says "Write a review."

2.) Who will read my review?

Anybody visiting the site can read your review on the organization's profile page. Your review can help prospective donors and volunteers learn more about the organization.

3.) Can anyone write a review?

We ask that the nonprofit's founder and people who currently work in a paid position for the organization refrain from writing reviews about themselves. Unpaid board members, clients, volunteers, partners, and other stakeholders are welcome to write reviews.

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Reader/User Questions

1.) Can I write more than one review for a nonprofit?

Yes. Please note that you can only edit a review up to 30 days after you have written it. If you write another review, it will be displayed in a thread with the old review. To update your review or edit it, go to "My Page" and click on "Edit" below your review.

2.) The organization I'm looking for is not listed!

Add it yourself. Simply create an account and then add a nonprofit. And once it is there, anybody, with the exception of your account, can write a review about this nonprofit. To write a review for this nonprofit, you will need to create a new account.

3.) I want to change my password.

First, make sure you're signed in. Then, go to the top right of the page and click "Account." Your registration information will appear and you can edit your username, email, or password.

4.) Why do you only perform customer service via email?

To better track, monitor, and provide consistent customer service, all customer inquiries should be submitted via email.

 

For all inquiries, please email us via our Contact Page

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