How Charity Navigator and GuideStar Can Help Increase Donors
Donors like to be well-informed when making decisions on what nonprofit organizations to support. Informational websites like CharityNavigator.org and Guidestar.org. provide information for these donors and can be used to your nonprofit’s advantage. Below is a list of tips on how these websites can help increase donors.
Being highly rated by reliability watchdog websites like CharityNavigator.org and Guidestar.org can increase an organization’s creditability. This can increase a potential donor’s confidence in donating to a new organization.
Watchdog websites will also give a picture of the Organization’s financial health by using IRS Form 990 information. Charity Navigator, for example, will weigh the financial information found on the Form 990 against seven performance metrics to generate a score between 0 to 10.
In addition to giving a picture of financial health, many donors may use these websites to review the percentages of program, management and general and fundraising expense to total expenses of the Organization. Donors will want to see that the majority of funds are spent on the programs of the Organization. Most Organization’s should strive to keep their combined management and general and fundraising expenses to under 30% of total expenses.
These sites connect donors with 990s, links to organization websites, and other information that the organization provides. GuideStar, for example, will allow a nonprofit to make up to three years of prior return information available to the public.
It is important to explain, without over-explaining, your mission, goals, and accomplishments on a navigation site and go more in depth on your own website to draw donors to your specific organization.
Maintaining a website for your nonprofit is important because donors want to see improvement and progress for the cause they support. If a website looks out of date, donors may wonder if the organization is still operating and may consider donating to a different nonprofit who does similar work instead.
Differentiating yourself from others who do similar work is vital and can be done by having a strong presence and up-to-date information on navigation websites.
Please contact the Not-for-Profit Niche team at Gilliam Bell Moser LLP for further guidance.