We Want To Hear From You!

By: Joe Marren

When you’re planning a trip to a new city and are trying to decide where to eat, you likely check out Yelp reviews to find the best restaurant at the lowest cost. When you’re trying to decide whether to purchase that self-watering planter on Amazon, you might first scroll to the bottom of the page and see what others have thought of it. Online reviews drive so much of our purchasing decisions these days; even the comedian Aziz Ansari has joked that when he needs a new toothbrush, he googles “best toothbrush.” Learning what other people’s experiences with products, services, etc. have been, before you yourself take the plunge helps to hold companies and organizations to a high standard, and rewards the best ones with more business. GreatNonprofits applies this same framework to the nonprofit sector.

In 2005, Perla Ni was the publisher of the Stanford Social Innovation Review. When Hurricane Katrina hit, she was bombarded with questions from businesses and ordinary Americans about where they should send their donations—in effect, they were asking which organizations they could trust to use their money to make a difference in the disaster relief and recovery processes. Despite the highly-respected nature of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Perla Ni was not an expert on the most effective local relief organizations in the Gulf Coast communities affected by the hurricane. So she sent one of her journalists to Biloxi, Mississippi. He spent time on the ground, talking directly to the people affected and learning which nonprofits had been there for them, distributing water and other essentials.

Green Playces Northside Outdoor Classroom

After realizing the importance of these on-the-ground conversations in learning about the most effective local organizations, Perla Ni went on to found GreatNonprofits in 2007, with a vision of what she calls “an online Tripadvisor for Nonprofits,” with the goal of giving “a voice to the experiences of clients of nonprofits, volunteers, and involved donors. And to help prospective donors and supporters find great nonprofits.” In the intervening nine years, GreatNonprofits has grown into the leading provider of reviews of U.S. nonprofits.

ReClaim South Ambassador Linda’s 30/32 Grape Street Community Garden site

GTECH was a 2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit on the site, a recognition we are both proud of and humbled by. But we are not content to rest on our laurels. We’ve undergone several changes in the past couple years—launching Lots to Love and Green Playces, adding two new Ambassador programs and sustaining the momentum of the ReClaim South Ambassadors. Increasing the size of our staff, transferring ReEnergize Pgh to Conservation Consultants, Inc., and retiring our ReFuel Pgh program. We try to make all of our strategic decisions based on synthesized input from a wide array of stakeholders, but we believe the only way to truly know if we’re continuing to serve the Pittsburgh region as effectively as we can is through your input. We appreciate and value honest feedback from you, the real people living and working in communities in which GTECH has invested. So please, take a few minutes to rate and review GTECH on GreatNonprofits here. We will closely read your reviews and take your opinions into account as we move forward to better serve the Pittsburgh region we love so much.

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