As we approach the season of giving, there’s a unique opportunity to make a meaningful impact right in your own community. Giving Tuesday is just around the corner, and we invite you to join us in supporting the incredible work of local nonprofits through GreatNonprofits.org. This year, let’s embrace the spirit of generosity by contributing to the organizations that are tirelessly working to make our communities better places for all.
GreatNonprofits.org is your gateway to discovering and supporting local nonprofits that are making a significant difference in your community. We believe in the power of firsthand experiences, and that’s why our platform is built on the stories and reviews shared by donors, volunteers, and the individuals directly served by these nonprofits. By tapping into the collective wisdom of the community, we aim to connect donors with the organizations that align with their values and passions.
‘Tis the season for giving, and what better way to make a lasting impact than by supporting causes close to your heart? At GreatNonprofits.org, we’re thrilled to present the highly anticipated 2023 GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Guide – a curated collection of inspiring stories and impactful organizations that are changing the world, one compassionate act at a time.
What Sets GreatNonprofits Apart?
Unlike other charity awards, our Top-Rated Nonprofit winners are handpicked by those with direct experiences – volunteers, donors, and individuals who have directly benefited from these organizations. Their stories are a testament to the genuine impact these nonprofits are making in communities around the globe.
Your nonprofit works hard to push your cause forward, from creating donor engagement opportunities to hosting fundraising events like auctions and galas. While fundraising is always on your nonprofit’s mind, it’s also important to consider how you can grow and increase your cause’s visibility to people all over the world.
Nonprofits bring attention to their missions by conducting awareness campaigns. Unlike your standard fundraising campaign, awareness campaigns focus first and foremost on spreading the word about your organization, how you’re working to tackle an issue, and why you need donor support to make it happen.
To bring your awareness campaign to life and attract audiences to your cause, you need to develop the right messaging. In this article, we’ll go over these top tips to inspire new and current supporters with your awareness campaign communications:
Consider your target audience
Connect your campaign to your mission
With the right messaging, your awareness campaign can lead to plenty of future support for your organization, allowing you to strengthen your donor base and show donors the value of giving back to your organization.
Consider your target audience
Like any fundraising campaign, the first step to crafting your awareness campaign’s messaging is to identify and define your audience. First, decide whether you want to reach your entire audience base with your messaging or if you’re interested in reaching a particular segment, such as a certain age group or prospective supporters living in a specific region or city.
Narrowing down your audience can help you craft more targeted and compelling communications to spur emotional connection. To help facilitate this process, develop donor personas. Donor personas are fictional representations of your real-life supporters that encompass shared characteristics, interests, and demographics.
Comb through your CRM to pinpoint trends in your donor data and figure out which donor segments would be most productive for you to target. As you look through these data points, consider questions like:
What are the demographics of our supporters (i.e. location, age, gender, employment details)?
Who are our most devoted supporters who regularly participate in our fundraising events and campaigns and give consistently?
Who has participated in our awareness campaigns in the past?
When we last conducted an awareness or other type of campaign, what kind of messages and engagement tactics were most effective at encouraging their involvement?
Answering these questions will help identify the right people to focus on with your messaging and shape your audience engagement strategy. For example, after exploring these data-driven insights, you might identify a donor segment of millennials in your local area who have engaged with your organization online in the past. This could be a great opportunity to tailor your messaging to this audience and reengage them in your mission.
Connect your campaign to your mission
Your nonprofit might run an awareness campaign to bring attention to a very specific issue in your area, such as the pollution of a nearby river or the planned demolition of a historical building. While you should bring as much attention as possible to this problem, it’s also critical that you frame it as a reflection of your entire mission more broadly.
The OneCause guide to awareness campaigns explains that donors who understand and are connected to a nonprofit’s mission have a higher likelihood of donating in the future and staying engaged beyond this campaign. Therefore, highlighting your organization’s mission as part of your awareness campaign messaging will demonstrate how and why your nonprofit is trusted and worthy of donor support.
Keep your messaging as succinct and comprehensive as possible, and we recommend focusing your campaign on one aspect of your mission.
For example, if your nonprofit’s mission revolves around animal welfare, you might focus your awareness campaign on shelter overpopulation. This gives your audience a more specific issue to focus on, rather than trying to understand and process all of the issues animals face in their community.
Your nonprofit needs a surefire way to ensure that prospective supporters not only read your communications but identify with the mission and are motivated to deepen their involvement. This is where a strong storytelling strategy can help.
Stories help to tug at your audience’s heartstrings and are powerful tools to deepen donors’ connection to your cause.
To add storytelling to your awareness campaign’s messaging, use these best practices:
Showcase real people: Heroes give audiences someone to root for and empathize with. With their permission, consider telling impact stories that center around beneficiaries, show your nonprofit in action, and bring attention to a given problem in the community. For example, a hunger relief organization that wants to bring awareness to food insecurity might tell the story of a family barely able to get by and provide their children with nutritious meals. Then, explain how your organization stepped in and transformed their lives with the help of donor support.
Use visuals: Powerful visuals, like photos and videos, can help to further illustrate your impact and bring your stories to life. Tectonic Video’s guide to nonprofit video storytelling suggests creating a testimonial video that features stories from your beneficiaries or filming a day-in-the-life video of one of your volunteers to showcase the work you’re doing in the community.
End with a call-to-action: While you don’t want to ask audiences to donate just yet, you can encourage them to get involved in your mission in more casual ways. For example, you could ask them to sign up for your email newsletter, sign a petition, or create a peer-to-peer fundraising page.
Make sure to spread your stories far and wide so you can attract a large audience to your cause. A multi-channel marketing strategy is the best way to create multiple touchpoints with audiences and keep your cause top of mind. Share your awareness campaign messaging via social media, your website, email, and other relevant platforms.
Whether you’re hosting a standalone awareness campaign or pairing it with an existing awareness day or month, it’s critical that you think through how you present your campaign and your cause as a whole. Ensure your messaging is tailored to your target audience and showcases your nonprofit’s impact. Then, make sure you offer clear ways for audiences to stay involved even after your campaign is over.
Author: Kelly Velasquez-Hague, Director of Content Marketing for OneCause
Kelly brings over 20 years of fundraising, nonprofit management, and sales/marketing experience to her role at OneCause. As a member of the OneCause sales and marketing team, Kelly manages all of the company’s content strategy and execution. She is passionate about empowering great missions and loves that her current role allows her to continue to help nonprofits reach new donors and raise more funds for their cause.
Pride Month isn’t just for members of the LGBTQ+ community; it’s for everyone.
Each June, we focus on celebrating diversity in our communities. We recognize the progress made toward equality. However, as more and more governments are passing legislation that would harm members of the LGBTQ+ community – particularly LGBTQ+ youth – Pride Month is our chance to support organizations working to preserve equal rights while making the world a safer, kinder place.
LGBTQ+ Nonprofits can’t accomplish their mission alone.
This Pride Month, Great Nonprofits is highlighting Top-Rated LGBTQ+ Organizations that provide education, advocacy, activism, and life-saving support for LGBTQ+ people of all ages. We have gathered community reviews for thousands of nonprofit organizations so that you can donate confidently, knowing your dollars are directly impacting LGBTQ+ individuals.
Please join us in celebrating and protecting the LGBTQ+ community.
The following are just a select four of the hundreds of LGBTQ+ nonprofits that have a proven track record of trustworthiness and success, so you can donate knowing that your contribution is valued.
Any size donation contributes to an outsized impact.
Free2Luv is transforming lives by empowering LGBTQ+ youth to embrace their individuality and practice self-love. With the theme “love is stronger than hate” as its foundation, Free2Luv encourages young people to embrace acceptance, reject bullying and hate, and create cultures of tolerance wherever they are.
The organization focuses on mental health and self-acceptance, bringing proven techniques to under-resourced youth nationwide. Free2Luv has partnered with celebrities and other high-profile changemakers to create social media campaigns and outreach events that impact millions of young people each year.
By empowering youth to live as their authentic selves and to love and accept one another, Free2Luv is changing the world, one young person at a time.
“What you are doing to promote awareness, kindness, and acceptance with your anti-bully campaign and Instagram account brings me to tears. It is so heartwarming when groups rally around children such as my son and his siblings. Keep up the great work.” -DownwithJake, Client Served
LGBTQ+ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers. The increased risk isn’t caused by their sexual orientation or gender identity, but rather by the way these young people are treated by society. The rejection and hostility LGBTQ+ people face puts them at a greater risk of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations.
The Trevor Project is the nation’s leading suicide prevention and mental health support organization for LGBTQ+ youth. Those in crisis can reach a trained counselor 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year through text, online chat, or phone. It’s impossible to know how many lives The Trevor Project has saved, but counselors spoke with more than 150,000 young people in 2020 alone.
The Trevor Project works tirelessly to save young LGBTQ+ lives. With so many LGBTQ+ youth under attack from local and state legislators, this organization gives young people a safe place to be themselves.
“It is like a dream come true. It is one thing to have a helpline, and that’s great in itself. But it’s even better to get that same support from kids like you that know what you’re going through. Trevor has changed my life.” -vocrocks, Client Served
Family Equality is building a world where everyone can experience the joy and unconditional love of family.
Legal protections for LGBTQ+ couples seeking to foster or adopt children have come a long way. But a dozen states still allow state-sponsored child welfare agencies to deny placement into homes with LGBTQ+ guardians because of their religious beliefs.
LGBTQ+ individuals and couples still face extreme hardships when it comes to building the family of their dreams. From surrogacy concerns to birth certificate challenges to the rights of families with transgender children, LGBTQ+ families do not have equal rights.
Family Equality is working to change that. The organization focuses on community building, education, advocacy, and policy change initiatives that would increase legal and lived equality for all American families.
“Today, we are extremely concerned that our son, who is also a member of the LGBTQ+ community, will grow up in a country with fewer human rights than what we had previously fought so hard to achieve. But Family Equality gives us hope. It represents us in Washington, DC, and provides frequent opportunities for us to advocate for our human rights using online tools that are accessible. Family Equality empowers us to remember that we are part of a gloriously diverse community fighting together for a better future for our children.” -Jclanclotto, Client Served
Community is undeniably crucial to LGBTQ+ people. LGBTQ+ community centers across the world provide support, connection, and vital services and resources for their local LGBTQ+ members. CenterLink works to empower and support each local LGBTQ+ center, giving them the resources and opportunities they need to serve their communities better.
CenterLink addresses the concerns and challenges that many LGBTQ+ centers face. By connecting these centers with one another, the organization helps each individual community center thrive.
The organization provides one-on-one and group training, webinars, annual Leadership Summits, an Executive Director Boot Camp, and phone and online support. CenterLink also focuses on advocacy and activism, working to change policies that impact LGBTQ+ people and the community centers they rely on for support and connection.
“I utilize CenterLink often to help connect with other LGBTQ Centers to learn about their programs and services, gain new insight into best and emerging practices, and provide other Centers with the knowledge I have gained over the years. CenterLink is a vital resource for our community!” -Jarcher12, Professional with Experience in this Field
This month, we are celebrating the moms and mother figures in our lives who provide love, support, care, and the warmest hugs. If you’re still searching for the perfect Mother’s Day gift, why not give in her honor to one of her favorite organizations? We’ve rounded up six impactful nonprofits dedicated to empowering and advocating on behalf of women worldwide — and you can find more causes perfectly tailored to Mom’s interests on GreatNonprofits.
Celebrated annually on April 22, Earth Day serves as both a day of reflection and a day of action as we mobilize to preserve our planet.
With each passing year, we are reminded of the critical importance of protecting our natural resources for the next generation. This year’s Earth Day theme, “Invest In Our Planet,” focuses on engaging everyone to do their part — from governments and institutions, to businesses, to the more than 1 billion individuals who participate in Earth Day activities annually.
In the words of Kathleen Rogers, president of earthday.org, “We must join together in our fight for the green revolution, and for the health of future generations. The time is now to Invest In Our Planet.”
We can’t afford to wait any longer. Here are six top-rated climate organizations taking measurable steps to improve our planet. Help them continue their vital work with a generous donation this Earth Day.
There is a growing number of vulnerable children around the globe. In fact, there are nearly 11 million children living in poverty in America alone. Childhood poverty has been exacerbated by factors like rising inflation costs that affect the price of basic commodities and the housing crisis. At the same time, the sudden closure of schools and shift to distanced and virtual learning has reinforced the barriers to quality education for low-income children.
Did you know that when you donate through GreatNonprofits to support a charity, you can dedicate your donation in honor of someone else? We think this is a perfect solution for meaningful, last-minute gifts.
It’s been a busy year! Perhaps you haven’t had time to tackle everyone on your holiday gift list. Maybe you’ve realized a few more people to whom you’d like to show your love and appreciation. Or you might be looking for the perfect token for colleagues, employees, and partners at work.
We can help you with that.
Donate through GreatNonprofits in honor of a friend, colleague, or family member, and you’ll get a personalized certificate sharing your generosity to present to them. It’s fast, easy, and secure. Most importantly, it’s available right now – no waiting for shipping or processing.
As we approach the end of 2022, GreatNonprofits took a look back at the major giving trends of the year. We looked into what drove and affected generosity across the United States including parameters such as: gender, age, income, geography, timing, devices, top causes & influencers to donate.
We were pleased to find out that we had donations coming from across the entire United States and that donating is moving quickly from desktops to mobile devices. We are also proud to share that 85% of donors said that reading reviews about nonprofits influences their donation decisions.
Check out the infographic below to dive into the findings!
GreatNonprofits encourages you to influence the upcoming year’s Giving Trends. Find a cause you love and donate at www.greatnonprofits.org
I believe you are a good person. I think you care deeply about making the world better, perhaps in a few specific ways. Perhaps you haven’t figured out how you’ll do it yet, but I know you will.
Here’s the thing, though: you are probably not a billionaire or even a millionaire. Like so many of us, you may struggle to figure out how to make ends meet and support your dreams. How can you make the biggest possible difference with what you DO have to offer?
No matter what cause or issue you care about, there are plenty of nonprofit organizations working to address it. The question is, which ones are doing the best job? These are the ones to whom you should give your hard-earned money. You need a way to make smart giving decisions.
Here we are, wending our way through another Autumn. We may be admiring the colorful leaves, bundling up during cold mornings, or preparing for fun-filled holiday celebrations. This time of year brings another exciting milestone: the release of the 2022 Top-Rated Nonprofits.
GreatNonprofits is thrilled to congratulate all of the amazing charities who achieved top-rated status by being positively rated by their communities this year.
2022 Top-Rated Award Winner Highlights
2022 boasts the largest list on record, with more than 2500 nonprofit organizations.
Every state, plus Washington DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are represented in the list.
The last time the federal government convened such a focused gathering on this issue was 1969, more than 50 years ago. Not a good look. Still, the last conference paved the way for critical programs like school lunches, SNAP, WIC, and important changes to food-labeling practices. We need new and better advancements like these more than ever to address the chronic health, hunger, and poverty issues we’re facing in this country.
According to the USDA, more than 34 million people are food insecure in the USA. This includes about 9 million children. There are people in every community in the country struggling with hunger.
Discover and support top-rated nonprofit organizations working to end hunger.
The toll of hunger and diet-related diseases like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension is not distributed equally, of course. Underserved communities are disproportionately impacted, including communities of color, people living in rural areas, people with disabilities, older adults, LGBTQI+ people, military families, and military veterans. A major problem is lack of access to healthy food and healthy lifestyle resources, and this lack of access has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic to deepen an already horrific crisis.
I didn’t attend the White House Conference (I’m just a regular person, remember?) but here are my notes and major takeaways after reviewing reports from those who attended:
Hurricane Ian is one of the strongest storms to ever hit Florida. Since making landfall on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, it has devastated communities as it moved across the state with record-breaking winds, rains, and storm surges that left people trapped and in mortal danger. As we write this post the storm continues to rage, and we know all of you in the generous GreatNonprofits network are waiting anxiously for reports of damage, injury, and lives lost.
Fortunately, we can do more than sit idly as we follow the news reports; we can act now by supporting nonprofit organizations who are already working on the ground to help storm victims. By donating to organizations reviewed on GreatNonprofits, you can be confident your money is going directly to charities that help real people – because you can read community stories about their impact right here.
Below we’ve highlighted a few of the great nonprofits working right now to help victims of Hurricane Ian:
It’s December 22nd, and you’ve just spent a few hours digging through all your emails and files. The deadline to process charitable donations is coming up fast, and you still haven’t found all your receipts – sound familiar?
This year, we’re helping you get ahead of that end-of-the-year crunch.
GreatNonprofits helps you maximize your end-of-the-year tax benefits by keeping all your charitable giving in one place.
Giving USA reported that individual Americans donated more than ever in 2021 – more than $325B! As more people become donors, it is essential to understand how your contributions impact both the organization and your finances.
GreatNonprofits helps you maximize your end-of-the-year tax deductions by keeping all your charitable giving in one place. Our nonprofit marketplace makes it so easy to choose, give, and track donations to causes you care about, plus it’s a HUGE time saver.
We’ve pulled together a few guidelines to consider when making charitable donations.
Research and compare nonprofits before you give. So you’ve found some community organizations that center the values and causes important to you. It is critical to confirm the charitable status of the organizations you want to support and look into each organization’s reputation and quality. A nonprofit marketplace with consistent, unbiased reviews is a fast and easy way to find crucial external insight into charitable organizations.
Keep all necessary tax documentation available and accessible. To receive a tax deduction, you must prove that your donation was made to a legitimate nonprofit organization. Work with an organization that issues itemized tax receipts, and keep them readily available when you file your taxes and deductions. If you plan to make donations across multiple nonprofits, it is beneficial to work with a single entity that can consolidate all of your tax documentation needs.
Monitor your charitable donations in one place. Most philanthropists, large and small, make donations to multiple organizations. Therefore, it is wise to keep your contributions organized by using a nonprofit marketplace that can manage a wide range of charitable gifts. Using a platform such as GreatNonProfits, you can easily track and monitor your donation amounts, impact, and updates.
Whether you haven’t started making charitable, tax-deductible donations or want to make more, GreatNonprofits helps you find, compare, and contribute to top-rated organizations. It also assists you in monitoring your charitable contributions and organizing all of the critical documentation needed to monetize your benefits.
Explore how you can save hours searching for receipts and never miss a tax-deductible charitable contribution with consolidated giving through GreatNonprofits.
The US Supreme Court recently overturned the constitutional right to abortion, leaving the decision in the hands of each state. We understand that people feel strongly about the issue and have varying points of view. Nonetheless, women and families across the spectrum will likely need more assistance. Below we have compiled lists of top-rated nonprofits in a variety of categories that strive to support women and families in the midst of these changes.
Gun violence in the United States has continued to escalate, with the number of mass shootings already at 213 this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The nation watched in horror as one of the deadliest school shootings in history unfolded and people are yet again left wondering if there is some way they can help to stop these tragedies.
In light of the most recent horrific shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas which killed 19 students and 2 adults, we have compiled a list of nonprofits working to solve this problem as a resource for people who want to contribute in a meaningful way.
Everytown for Gun Safety
Everytown is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. They focus on reform in four main areas: background checks, domestic violence, preventable deaths, and gun trafficking.
The Brady Campaign strives to “create a safer America for all of us that will lead to a dramatic reduction in gun deaths and injuries.” They are aiming to cut the number of U.S. gun deaths in half by 2025 by focusing on background checks, stopping ‘Bad Apple’ gun dealers, and voicing the dangers of keeping guns in the home. The organization’s name honors former White House Press Secretary Jim Brady, who was shot and seriously injured during an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.
Following the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, residents of Newtown, Connecticut founded the Newtown Action Alliance. They are “dedicated to reversing the escalating gun violence epidemic in this nation through the introduction of smarter, safer gun laws and broader cultural change.”
Sandy Hook Promise is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Sandy Hook Promise’s mission is to prevent gun violence (and other forms of violence and victimization) BEFORE it can happen by educating and mobilizing youth and adults to identify, intervene, and get help for at-risk individuals.
We have also created a Giving Fund for donors to easily contribute to several top organizations in this space. With a giving fund, you can make one donation to help multiple organizations all working on a vital single issue. We vet each nonprofit included in the fund and then evenly split your donation among the fund’s organizations.
Cardiovascular disease is the world’s leading cause of death. Nearly 18 million people around the globe die of heart-related illnesses each year, including heart attack and stroke. And in America, heart disease ranks as the No. 1 cause of death.
In an effort to educate people about heart health and reduce the number of cardiovascular deaths, President Lyndon B. Johnson created the first proclamation in 1964 to recognize the dangers of heart disease. Each year in February, American Heart Month focuses attention on issues like heart health, prevention, healthy diets, exercise, smoking cessation, and access to medical care.
As we celebrate Black History Month, we are focusing on Black-led organizations who are working to close the equality gap. The origins of Black History Month unofficially began as early as 1915, though the month did not take on an official observance until 1976 when President Gerald Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
Since then, each February has been a month dedicated to the contributions and achievements of African Americans in U.S. history. These Top-Rated Nonprofits focus on impacting communities of color, working to create equal opportunities for all citizens.
‘Tis the season for charitable giving! Which also means tax season is right around the corner. And with that in mind, we’re here to help you make the most of your charitable donations and claim those donations on your taxes.
The holidays are here! While you’re probably familiar with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there’s one holiday that gives back: Giving Tuesday. What is Giving Tuesday? And how can donors make an impact this holiday season?