Posted by on Jan 3, 2014 Views: 5093

How to Make Social Sourced Reviews Work for Your Nonprofit

Think about the last time you bought something online. Did you look at Amazon or Google reviews first? Did you use Yelp to find a great local restaurant? Did you use TripAdvisor to help coordinate your last adventure? Or go to CitySearch to find a hotel?

Real Reviews From Real People Help Your Accountability

If you are like millions of people online, you did. And it makes sense: you are trying to get past “marketing speak” to look at what *real* people have to say about a particular product and service.  Your nonprofit’s donors and supporters are just like you.  They want to know about your nonprofit’s results and outcomes, and at times they want to hear it from someone other than you. That’s where reviews made through GreatNonprofits come in handy. 

Not only can a review about your nonprofit help bring in new donors and supporters, but it can increase your fundraising efforts, and it can help tell your nonprofit’s story. GreatNonprofits reviews really are the only mechanism for bringing in feedback on such a human scale, and they can describe your impact in a way you haven’t thought of. Who couldn’t use that kind of help?

Two Steps for Leveraging Socially-Sourced Reviews

  1. Step 1: Check out the tool kit with turn-key language that you are welcome to copy and paste and use on your website, blog, newsletter, e-mail, or your favorite social network to solicit reviews: click here.
  2. Step 2: Once you have a review, pass it on! Highlight good reviews in your marketing materials, press releases, on your website, and in your communications efforts to help drive support to your organization. Check out the other tips for sharing reviews in our getting started page:


GreatNonprofits Syncs with GuideStar

Note: If someone writes a review of your organization on the GreatNonprofits site, it will appear on both the GuideStar and GreatNonprofits sites as well as syndicate to other partners in the nonprofit sector. Similarly, reviews/ratings written on the GuideStar site (for example) will appear on GreatNonprofits. Anyone can write a review–board members, volunteers, donors, partners, etc.–as long as they are unpaid stakeholders. Check out our marketing and social media kit here.

Of course, we completely understand that it can feel scary to solicit reviews. Who among us hasn’t received less than glowing feedback? It doesn’t have to sink your ship, however. You can do two things to manage critical reviews:

  1. First, if possible, start a dialogue with the person writing the bad review. We have found that many people who write bad reviews don’t understand a particular situation or just need to be heard. A little attention can go a long way. Of course, not everyone will be happy about being contacted, so use your judgment. If you can change his mind and he writes a new, positive review, however, think what a coup it would be!
  2. To counteract the negative comment, it’s a great opportunity to ask all of the people who know and love your organization to write about their recent experience with you. GreatNonprofits is a free platform — both for you and the people doing the reviewing — so there’s nothing to it other than a few minutes of time.

Remember – we live in a time where negative reviews are commonplace. Don’t let one bad apple spoil the bunch – or your work. Remember that people usually see through the bull and can determine if they agree with an opinion. And, if the reviewer really has underscored a problem, it gives you an opportunity to learn about and fix it! The people judging you will understand the chronological factor and rely on newer reviews. For more questions and answers on reviews on our site go here.

As part of a New Year’s Resolution, we hope you will take advantage of this platform for your nonprofit. It’s free, it can be really fun, and it can truly enhance your fundraising efforts. We published a press release with GuideStar recently with more details for supporters – check it out here.

Has your organization been reviewed? What has worked? What hasn’t? Let us know in the comments below!