Fundraising and volunteerism: The power of reviews

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A look at how GreatNonprofits reviews can help increase support for your cause and grow your nonprofit’s network.

Why online reviews are a big deal

Smartphones, social media, and increased connectivity have made an incredible amount of information available to us anytime, anywhere. This accessibility has changed the way we make decisions as consumers.josh-felise-55613

Not sure where to go for dinner tonight? Check Yelp. On-the-fence about purchasing that sweater online? Look at its customer reviews. Instead of trusting a marketing department’s description, we want a real person’s opinion before we act.

In fact, a Nielsen study found that online consumer opinions are some of the most trusted sources of brand information, second only to recommendations from family and friends, with 70% of global consumers reporting taking action based on online reviews.

In the same way, donors and volunteers want to hear from real people before deciding to support a new nonprofit. According to GreatNonprofits,

  • 80% of donors say reviews influence their giving
  • 90% of donors say reviews help them better understand a nonprofit’s work

How reviews can benefit your nonprofit

I’ve said it before, but something all successful nonprofits have in common is effective donor engagement. People are more likely to support – and continue supporting – causes and organizations they feel personally connected to.

A great way for a nonprofit to connect with an individual is through honest, compelling stories like the ones supporters tell in online reviews. A review reflects a personal experience with an organization and is written in the reviewer’s own voice, adding a level of relatability that resonates with potential and existing supporters.

You can also use these reviews to create more compelling communications for your nonprofit. Feature a volunteer’s quote on social media to recruit new volunteers. If you have a review written by someone impacted by your work, feature their story on your website or in a newsletter to show donors the difference their support makes.

JustGive

How to get started

First: Claim your nonprofit. Take a few minutes to complete your organization profile and provide details of your impact.

sample reviewSecond: Invite reviews through social media, email, SMS or phone. Reach out to donors, board members, volunteers, colleagues and clients.

Third: Share those reviews on your social media channels,thanking your supporters and spreading your message. The site’s built-in sharing options make it simple.

GreatNonprofits reviews are syndicated across dozens of partner sites, like JustGive and Guidestar, extending your nonprofit’s reach and increasing your credibility with real stories from real people.

-Amanda Chun
Account Development Manager

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Reviews Show Your Impact

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Our partner, GreatNonprofits, started in 2007, has become the Yelp of the nonprofit world. With a database of more than 200,000 reviews, GreatNonprofits is the leading provider of reviews and ratings for nonprofits throughout the United States.

Their story

It all began when Hurricane Katrina hit and GreatNonprofits founder Perla Ni was publishing the Stanford Social Innovation Review. She wanted to write about nonprofits doing a great job providing supplies and help for great-nonprofitsvictims, but had a lot of trouble identifying them. It struck Ni that there needed to be an online “Zagat” for nonprofits, where people could tell first-person stories and share reviews about the work and impact of organizations.

Today, on the GreatNonprofits website, users can rate more than 1.8 million nonprofits – and these reviews are widely shared through partner sites like JustGive and GuideStar.

Making the most of your reviews

It’s clear reviews make a difference. According to Neilsen, 70% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

So, as an organization, how do you:

  • Engage your supporters
  • Collect more online reviews
  • Use reviews successfully

Tara Verner, Vice President of Marketing for GreatNonprofits, recently spoke about how to do just that. We’re sharing the slides from her presentation that provide great examples and tell you how. Enjoy!

 

If you’d like to watch the recorded session, here’s the YouTube video of the presentation.

– Candy Culver

Marketing Consultant