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How Online Reviews Benefit Your Nonprofit

Learn how with one simple feature you can develop your brand, attract new volunteers, drive more donations, and constantly improve.


5 star reviews

Online fundraising, more than traditional fundraising, turns not only to local supporters who already know your organization and its work, rather it tries to widen its reach to new people, sometimes far away, perhaps even on a different continent. These people might be hearing about your organization for the very first time.


When a potential supporter first hears about your nonprofit organization, they might feel hesitant about supporting you. How can they be sure you are legit? How can they know you are honest, hardworking and actually doing the stuff you claim to be doing?


Reviews strengthen an organization's credibility by showing that other people know the nonprofit and the people involved. Reviews are the digital equivalent of a word-of-mouth recommendation and they are becoming increasingly essential to decision making in all areas.



Why are reviews important for your nonprofit?


1. Drive more donations

Reviews have become a primary source of information that consumers use to decide where, what, when and how to spend their time and money. In fact over half of consumers won’t take any sort of action when it comes to making a decision until they’ve read reviews online. This is true to the nonprofit sector too. Before potential donors give you their hard earned money, they want to be sure that you can be trusted, and that people that trusted you in the past don't regret it.


2. Bring more volunteers

When it comes to volunteering, reviews become even more important. A person who is about to spend his valuable time helping an organization they do not know is going to want to vet them. When the volunteering also includes actual on the ground work and perhaps even accommodation, the volunteer will want to know that volunteering with you is safe.

In general reviews about volunteering experiences should convey that volunteering with you is not only helpful and beneficial to the cause, but also fun, exciting, gives valuable experience and unforgettable memories.


3. Create more engagement

Reviews provide an opportunity for your nonprofit to build a relationship with your supporters. People like being asked their opinion and they like being heard. Show your supporters that you care about their thoughts and feelings, and they will be more likely to continue and engage with you in the future.


4. Give you important feedback

Ultimately, reviews are the best opportunity to learn something about yourself. If people leave negative feedback, listen, use it to improve your organization.


Banner saying "we hear you"
People like being asked their opinion and they like being heard. Image by: Unsplash

Who should you ask a review from?


The short answer to this is everyone. Anyone that has been in contact with your nonprofit and truly knows you - volunteers, past employees, beneficiaries, people you work with from other organizations and more.


When should you ask for reviews?


You should try to ask for a review as soon as a joint project has come to an end. For example, just after a volunteer finishes their stay with you. At this time the reviewer still has strong and hopefully positive memories and emotions from your encounter. Although it is better when the review is fresh, it is also ok to approach people from your further past and ask them to review your nonprofit. That way you can start accumulating more reviews.


3 Tips on reviews!


# Dealing with bad reviews - Though negative reviews are not preferred, they can actually work in your favor. When people see a mix of good and bad reviews it makes the good reviews seem more trustworthy. One bad review won’t derail your average score as long as you have a steady stream of (mostly positive) reviews.


Still, if you receive a bad review, address it. Make sure the person on the other side feels heard. Try to resolve the issue if possible, and make sure that you learn from the review so that the bad experience doesn't happen again.


# Number of reviews - Besides the overall star rating, the number of online reviews is an important factor that gives a sense of how many people have worked with you in the past. For example a volunteer is more likely to choose to volunteer with an organization that has 40 positive reviews than with one that has 3 great ones.


You should actively and consistently encourage your supporters to share their experience with your nonprofit. The more reviews you have, the more credible you appear to others.


# Spread the time - Try spreading some time between the date each review is submitted so it doesn't look like they are all from the same date, it looks more reliable and natural when you get 1 review every few weeks than 30 on the same day.


How to add reviews to the GivingWay page?


Collecting reviews on GivingWay is very easy! You can easily approach your contact lists and ask some your community to review you.


  1. Login to your GivingWay account.

  2. Go to the "community" section on your dashboard.

  3. Click on "Create new email"

  4. In the "template" field - choose: "invitation to review"

  5. In the "to" field - choose the relevant list

  6. Type in your message in the text box

  7. Click "send community email".


Collecting reviews on GivingWay is very easy
Collecting reviews on GivingWay is very easy

Responding to reviews


Once you receive reviews, you (and everybody else) will be able to see them on the bottom of your organization page. If you wish to respond to a review, simply click on the "respond" button. The response will be published publicly.


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Online reviews


Online reviews play a significant role in shaping your nonprofit's image in the digital age. They can help you develop your brand, attract new volunteers, drive more donations, and give you feedback on how to improve.



Remember you are not alone! Join GivingWay’s community of nonprofit organizations to share your insights and questions with organizations similar to yours.

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