How Online Reviews Are Good For Your Nonprofit

Most consumers look for reviews of companies, products, and services before they commit to a purchase, but do they do the same research before donating to a non-profit? Absolutely.

Reviews are one way to foster donations, either by people affected by your service or by those participating in the donating process. They help people trust your organization, see the impact, and personify your brand.
Where should a non-profit go to host their reviews? The first place is on Google and on Facebook. They’re simple to search for, and often are going to be on the top of the page when someone searches your organization. They’re simple to set up and very effective. For non-profit specific review websites, try Charity Navigator or Guide Star, they both allow you to create your profile, and Charity Navigator lets visitors donate. In order to get reviews, you want to make it easy for your nonprofit to be found on review sites.

Now that you have your review sites, you have to get your reviews in. The easiest way to get reviews: ask for them! If you have an event where you interact with people and they donate, or when you provide a service, simply ask them to help you and your cause out by taking a few minutes to give you a review. The donors are already helping you out and will probably love another way to help you out, and the recipients of your help might feel the same way. Ask! Ask! Ask! Never offer something in return for a review though, this is generally bad practice and discouraged from most review sites.

Just because you have some reviews doesn’t mean you’re done yet. You want to engage with your reviews. If it’s a good review, thank them for their feedback, make it personal based on what they said. If you happen to get a bad review, take the time to thank them for bringing the issue to their attention and tell them how you plan to solve their problem. Engaging in bad reviews in the manner lets those searching your company know that you’ve worked on a problem and it hopefully won’t be an ongoing problem. Thanking your reviewers will encourage others to post their feedback because it shows you’re listening and engaged.

Don’t fret over a few negative reviews; chances are that they’ll happen. From the donor’s perspective, it might seem a little odd if you only have 5-star reviews. Most people will still work with you if you have a 3-star average, so don’t sweat it. Work on getting more, positive reviews to balance it out and don’t let it slow you down too much.

-Kristin Orr, Marketing Coordinator at BizCentral USA 08/14/17