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People of Rendezvous Cafe: The Faces Behind the Food

by Ian Anstee

On my first day working for GreatNonprofits, I was taken to lunch at Rendezvous Cafe, our neighbor in Redwood Shores’ Sobrato Center for Nonprofits. I learned from my coworkers that Rendezvous is a social enterprise operated by JobTrain, a career training nonprofit. In addition to serving healthy, delicious food, Rendezvous Cafe offers valuable work experience to graduates of JobTrain’s culinary program.

Congratulations to our 2018 Top-Rated Nonprofits!

Dear 2018 Top-Rated Nonprofits,

Congratulations on earning a 2018 GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Award! It’s clear the impact you’ve had this year based on the heartwarming stories that your volunteers, donors, and community members have shared.


Nonprofit Spotlight: Baking Challah with GLIDE’s Volunteers

A Friday volunteer team smiling after a job well done. Source: Michael Lezak

By Ian Anstee


I arrived at 9 AM and donned a disposable apron, hairnet, and latex gloves. I found myself in a metallic room hidden in the basement, furnished with large steel counters and bins with mysterious produce inside. Bright, yellow lights lit laughter underneath. The volunteers there taught me how to measure dough, how to roll it into cigars, and how to braid those cigars into the familiar pattern that makes mortals salivate. As we prepared the challah, my fellow volunteers taught me about the history of GLIDE and the challah program.

Glide Memorial Church was founded in the early 20th-century on the corner of Ellis and Taylor Street. Under the guidance of Reverend Cecil Williams, who joined the church at the start of the hippie movement, GLIDE became a refuge for San Francisco’s oppressed. Now a household name, GLIDE provides essential services and a spiritual community to homeless and economically fragile residents of the Tenderloin. Its mission is simple—To treat everyone who comes through its doors with unconditional love.


25 Creative Fundraising Ideas for Giving Tuesday

By Grace Kennedy

Kids holding a sign that says kids helping kids

Image by Cookies for Kids Cancer via GreatNonprofits

Giving Tuesday is November 27, and now is the perfect time to think up some fun and creative ways to make it work for your nonprofit. When it comes to fundraising, thinking outside the box can pay off big-time. For an example, look no further than Cookies for Cancer. (more…)

Nonprofit Spotlight: A Day at Milton Marks Family Camp

The 2018 staff at Milton Marks Family Camp. Source:

By Ian Anstee

For every nonprofit with a household name, there are thousands doing the good work without recognition. I had the privilege of volunteering with one such organization earlier this month, Milton Marks Neuro-Oncology Family Camp.

Milton Marks Family Camp is a three-day, annual camp for families that have a parent with a brain tumor. Its mission is to provide families with the space to reconnect and to show them that they’re not alone. Abigail Marks Ph.D. founded the camp after her husband, Milton, passed of glioblastoma in 2012. (more…)

Four Steps to a Solid Giving Tuesday Fundraising Plan

Giving Tuesday

Graphic courtesy of

By Grace Kennedy

November 27 may seem far away, but it’s never too early to set your organization on the path to an amazing Giving Tuesday. Take one look at the stats on this charitable tradition and it’s clear that putting some effort into your Giving Tuesday will pay off.

According to The NonProfit Times, Giving Tuesday generated a record $274 million in 2017, up 55 percent from 2016. Ready to make Giving Tuesday work for your organization? As we head into the seventh annual Giving Tuesday, let’s go over four steps to creating a solid Giving Tuesday plan.


Give to Hurricane Florence Victims along the East Coast

By Mayra Gomez and Ian Anstee

Hurricane Florence

Image via
Volunteers from the Civilian Crisis Response Team help rescue three children from their flooded home, Sept. 14, 2018, in James City, N.C.

Millions of Americans in Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas face one of the strongest storms in decades. Hurricane Florence, a Category 2 hurricane, is causing power outages, disruptions in communication services, along with food and water shortages. Join other donors in supporting the following nonprofits that provide much-needed relief.

Celebrate Pride Month and Support LGBTQ Nonprofits!


The HRC Foundation and University of Connecticut 2018 survey of over 12,000 LGBTQ teenagers, shows how these teenagers are experiencing heartbreaking levels of stress, anxiety, and rejection, and how a disturbingly large number feel unsafe in their own classrooms. The LGBTQ youth who participated in the survey also indicated that family support and inclusive schools are key to their success and well-being.

If you are looking for ways to show support to the LGBTQ community, or simply celebrate pride month, here are a few top-rated nonprofits to consider: (more…)

20 Nonprofit Blog Posts to Inspire, Entertain, and Educate Your Readers

By Grace Kennedy

20 Nonprofit Blog Posts to Inspire, Entertain, and Educate Your Readers

Photo by pixelcreatures via Pixabay

Your nonprofit blog is a valuable marketing tool that helps you stay in touch with your audience, communicate news, and establish your organization as a thought leader in your industry. But coming up with consistently good content, post after post, can be daunting.

Mix up these 20 post ideas for a blog that gets your audience’s attention and keeps your organization top-of-mind for the people who matter most to you. (more…)

Add Some Kind to Your Daily Grind: Seven Ways to Blend Philanthropy Into Your Routine

By Grace Kennedy

Add Some Kind to Your Daily Grind: Seven Ways to Blend Philanthropy Into Your Routine

Photo by rawpixel via

If you have ever pitched in on a service project or made a charitable donation, you know how great it feels to work for the greater good. But our busy lives can keep us from giving back as much as we want to. We found seven ways to seamlessly blend philanthropy into daily life.

Want to fill every day with that feel-good spark that comes from making the world a better place? Read on to learn how. (more…)

Take It Outside: 10 Fresh Air Fundraisers for Nonprofits

By Grace Kennedy

Fresh-Air Fundraisers

Photo by Tama66 via

Spring is here, and for many of us, that means warmer weather! (Our apologies to those of you still wearing winter coats. That just doesn’t seem fair.) Longer days and pleasant forecasts are perfect reasons to host an outdoor fundraiser for your organization. Here are ten ideas to make a splash (dunk tank, anyone?) with donors who want to enjoy the outdoors while supporting your cause. (more…)

Ten Simple Hacks for Eco-Friendly Living

By Grace Kennedy

Blue sky

Photo by Mabel Amber via Pexels

We may celebrate Earth Day on April 22, but you can start upgrading your eco-friendly game any time, thanks to these 10 simple changes. As a bonus, these tricks will save you money, too. Earth Day for the win!


5 Ways to Show Your Organization’s Impact with Visual Storytelling (And Five Free Tools to Make it Simple)

By Grace Kennedy

visual storytelling

Photo by via Unsplash

Show, don’t tell. We have all heard the well-worn writing and marketing advice. So how does this nugget of wisdom apply to nonprofit marketing? The answer is Visual Storytelling.

Images do some major heavy-lifting when it comes to marketing. Our brains are wired to process images faster than text, so it’s vital to take advantage of visuals whenever possible.

We also know that our brains love a good story. Visual storytelling combines our attraction to images with our attraction to stories for powerful results.

Here are five ways nonprofits can use visual storytelling to show, rather than tell, their impact on beneficiaries, donors, and volunteers. We have also included a free tool to make each visual storytelling strategy easy and affordable.

We cannot wait to see your stories!


Earth Day 2018

April 22 is Earth Day. But for nonprofits dedicated to protecting animal and plant species from extinction, keeping our landscape from more resembling a moonscape, and preserving the quality of our air and water, every day is Earth Day. Here are 10 of the many that do just that: (more…)

10 Ways to Give Your GreatNonprofits Profile Pizzazz

By Grace Kennedy

Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

Do you want your nonprofit to get noticed, but don’t have a huge budget for marketing and advertising? is an excellent place to start – and it’s free!

All you have to do is set up a profile and start getting noticed. Here are some easy ways to beef up your profile so you can get attention from potential volunteers, donors, and clients. (more…)

Five Ways to Find Your Dream Volunteer

By Grace Kennedy

It’s no secret that volunteers make the do-gooder world go ‘round. The Corporation for National and Community Service reports that volunteers performed 7.9 billion hours of service in 2015, saving $184 billion for the organizations they served.

But how do you find volunteers – especially when you need someone with a particular set of skills?



It’s Never Too Early to Show Your Children the Joy of Volunteering

by Grace Kennedy

Never too young to volunteer

Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

Volunteering can help you make friends, learn new skills and even improve your physical and mental health.

So why wait until you’re an adult to start? Check out these innovative ways to get your children involved in service. Once they learn how great it feels to make a difference, chances are good they will become life-long volunteers.


Four Little Words To Help You Plan a Summer to Remember

by Grace Kennedy

Four Little Words To Help You Plan a Summer to Remember

Image by A Place Called Home via GreatNonprofits

Planning your best summer of service ever is a great way to beat the winter blues, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s keep it simple by starting with four little words that you’ve probably heard before: Do what you love.

There are service opportunities for young people in just about every category you could imagine.

Engage Your Clients With Text Messaging

Community Connect Labs is a project of GreatNonprofits that provides SMS texting-based tools for nonprofits and government to reach hard-to-engage individuals. It’s time-consuming and challenging to engage low-income individuals — but text messaging meets them where they are in a convenient and private format. Read on for success stories, key learnings, and an overview of our solutions for texting and other mobile messaging channels.

Text messaging meets your clients where they are