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Who Are These People, and What Are They Saying About Us? Charity Reviews Debut on GuideStar

If you've looked at our new report pages, you may have noticed the "Click here to read reviews" and "Click here to write reviews" links to the left of the page. Click on the former, and you'll find reviews written by people who have firsthand experience with an organization. Click on the latter, and you'll be invited to write a review of your own.

The reviews appear on GuideStar courtesy of GreatNonprofits, a Web site where people post charity reviews similar to the ones you see on travel, commerce, dining, and entertainment sites. GreatNonprofits founder Perla Ni notes, "Research about on-line shoppers shows that 65 percent of the time, customer reviews are read 'always' or 'most of the time' prior to making a decision to purchase." GreatNonprofits extends this model to charities.

Donors and corporate sponsors post reviews explaining why they give to a particular charity. Board members and volunteers tell what sharing their time with an organization means to them. Clients describe how a charity affected their lives. Together, these stories help donors measure one of the most important things about a nonprofit: its impact.

Reviews posted on the GreatNonprofits Web site appear on GuideStar, and reviews posted on GuideStar appear on GreatNonprofits. Local or international, small or goliath, regardless of mission, any non-grantmaking 501(c)(3) public charity can be reviewed. Like GuideStar, GreatNonprofits levels the playing field, making it possible for any charity to stand out from the crowd.

On May 27, Perla Ni will present a free Webinar about the GreatNonprofits system and how it is used on GuideStar. If you would like to be invited to participate, add your name to our Webinar mailing list. In the meantime, you might like to listen to the Webinar we presented with Perla last December.

Who are these people? They're your donors, board members, volunteers, clients, corporate partners, government representatives ... anyone who has interacted with your organization.

What are they saying about you? Listen to December's Webinar and go to your charity's GuideStar report to find out.

Suzanne E. Coffman, April 2009
© 2009, GuideStar USA, Inc.

Suzanne Coffman is GuideStar's director of communications and editor of the Newsletter.
Topics: Giving Wisely Impact Fundraising Charity