Citizen Feedback Tool: GreatNonprofits Talks to the World Bank

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In early 2014, Perla Ni, CEO and Founder of (the Yelp for Nonprofits) spoke to the World Bank about crowdsourced citizen feedback and opportunities globally. Learn more by reading her presentation.


  • Crowdsourced Citizen Feedback January, 2014
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • Lack of On-the-ground Information
  • New Systems Information Model
  • Why Citizen Feedback Matters 1. Quality of services can reliably be measured from the perspective of the user. 2. Feedback from the user can provide insight into how to improve programs.
  • Why Citizen Feedback Matters I believe that nonprofits need to adopt a similar perspective and make sure that continuous improvement is part of their operation. - James D. Power, formerly of J.D. Power & Associates.
  • A Citizen Feedback Tool for Nonprofits 1.8mm Nonprofit & project profiles >5,500 US City & Issue Pages ~200,000 reviews >19,000 Nonprofits
  • OUR MISSION Help inspire and inform prospective donors and volunteers Enable great nonprofits to harness their most authentic and most effective advertising the stories of the people they served Promote greater nonprofit excellence through feedback OUR PARTNERS Our Mission & Partners
  • In The News GreatNonprofits focuses on helping people make great giving decisions through socially sourced feedback and reviews. Increasing the amount and quality of information available to donors will ultimately make giving easier, more effective, and rewarding. Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation The website GreatNonprofits allows users to review and comment on charities, much like Yelp does for reviews of restaurants or stores. Sites such as GreatNonprofits are trying to use crowdsourcing to generate better information about which charities really work.
  • Content syndication partnerships across nonprofit information platforms to audience of 20million Open Syndication of Content
  • Developing Countries Utilizing Tool Primary usage in North America. We also have nonprofits doing work in on developing countries that use our platform. Such as in: Africa: Ghana Malawi Nigeria Rwanda Uganda Asia: Bangladesh Philippines Latin America: Dominican Republic Honduras Jamaica This is a partial list
  • Nonprofit & Project Profiles
  • - Tymesha T. Client served at Family Scholar House Sample Beneficiary Review
  • Sample Donor Review Cambodian Childrens Fund
  • Sample Donor Review Cambodian Childrens Fund The Cambodian Children's Fund (CCF) serves among the most poor and at risk children in CambodiaDomestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse and pedophilia are some of the problems many of the children face on a daily basis. The transformation of the children's lives is so dramaticThe children learn Khmer, English, computer skills and receive vocational training in addition to going to public school. They also receive free medical and dental care. I now sponsor one of the little girls at CCF and have encouraged my investment firm, Sterling Stamos Capital Management, to provide annual funding as part of our corporate giving program.
  • Nonprofit Case Study Program Improvements
  • Nonprofit Case Study Program Improvements What interested us in being open to reviews from our constituents is really the desire to improve our services. Without hearing feedback about what were doing well and what we can do better, we really cant make improvements in how we serve our kids. Nicole Molinaro, Fmr Executive Director of Communities in Schools Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Lessons Learned 1. Feedback needs to be easy, fast and inexpensive to collect. Nonprofits should not need to hire a PhD or outside consultants to do this. Nonprofits do not want to take on another large and expensive operational burden. Unless it can be done in-house with existing staff resources, it will not be sustainable.
  • 2. Feedback needs to be easy to understand - for everyone. Low-income people should be able to submit feedback; nonprofit staff should be able to easily take action based on the feedback and an external audience of donors and volunteers should be able to understand the information as well. It needs to be easy enough for all these audiences to understand what the feedback means. Lessons Learned
  • 3. Feedback needs to be dynamic, and part of continuous management improvement. It should be on-demand - beneficiaries should be able to provide feedback when they want to. And social programs can encourage this process by inviting their beneficiaries - by email or other means - to provide feedback. If the feedback is negative, it benefits the organization to follow-up more in depth and find out why the beneficiary is dissatisfied. Lessons Learned
  • 4. Feedback should not be edited. It may be tempting to remove feedback that is perceived by staff to be inaccurate. Just remember- feedback by its very nature, is subjective and keeping the voice of the beneficiary as it is, is vital to the integrity of the information and process. Lessons Learned
  • 5. Feedback should be public. Beneficiaries become cynical when their responses are edited, or not visible to the public. As a result, beneficiary response rates decline over time. Public feedback, as long as the management of the organization can also get equal space and be able to respond to the feedback publicly as well, can hold everyone more accountable. It is far harder to ignore and not respond to feedback that is publicly posted online, than when the feedback is filed away in a cabinet. Lessons Learned
  • Quality & Validity of Reviews Objective & Findings Objective: Create an open dialogue Foster a culture of honest and open feedback, where users are less afraid of giving feedback Findings: The majority of reviews are positive; but there are often criticisms, complaints and constructive feedback Some international organizations that have initiated feedback programs, do get an equal number of complaints / compliments (such as the Danish Refugee Council in Somalia) We encourage nonprofits to leverage constructive criticism to improve programs and drive transparency See next page for sample reviews/constructive criticism.
  • I would love to see more full-time staff positions to encourage a even greater level of loyalty and support year- round programming through study and work abroad opportunities. writes a volunteer with Amigos De Las Americas If I had to make changes to this organization, I would go further to get feedback from the beneficiaries on what exactly are their problems and work together with them to help change their lives. - writes a supporter of the Malawi Project Quality & Validity of Reviews Samples
  • Enables Project Staff Response
  • Either: Search your organizations name and claim the profile Getting Started: search & claim your profile
  • STEP 2: Claim your organization. Getting Started: search & claim your profile
  • Or: Add your organization manually Getting Started: or manually add your profile Go here: You may also contact support to be added at:
  • INVITE REVIEWS 1 2 3 Getting Started: Invite Reviews
  • INVITE REVIEWS Getting Started: Invite Reviews
  • INVITE REVIEWS Getting Started: Invite Reviews
  • Send an email with your reviews page link to your Citizens Volunteers Donors Other non-paid stakeholders Getting Started: Invite Reviews
  • GET YOUR BADGE Getting Started: Invite Reviews Using Website Badge
  • Getting Started: Users Write Reviews
  • Future Tools
  • Your Challenges Poor network coverage in rural villages Frequent power shortages that prevent people from charging their cell phones. Illiteracy among the most vulnerable beneficiaries means that they have to rely on third parties to deliver messages. The wide diversity of dialects can sometimes cause communication difficu