Last week, we talked about the types of rating and review sources that donors use when seeking information about charities. These sources can strongly influence donor decisions on whether or not to fund your organization. Here’s how to prepare online profiles that demonstrate your organization’s impact in your community and your innovations in your field of endeavor in their best light.

The information a rating site can automatically pull from an organization’s IRS records is minimal. Your organization can improve its presentation to funders by reviewing the information each service currently has posted about your group and adding profile information to their databases. Your input strengthens the quality of the information in their database, so it is generally welcomed. It also helps to present your organization in its best light, emphasizing its strengths and highlighting its accomplishments.

In most cases, rating agencies allow you to search for your organization by name and simply ‘claim’ your profile by requesting an email be sent to a specific authorized administrative staff member. Once your identity has been verified, you can update your organization’s information and choose the type of profile (basic or expanded) that is most appropriate for your organization.

Take the time to look at the information you are providing to ensure that what you post or make available for download gives a full picture of your organization’s use of funds. For example, you can include statements about:

  • Initiative and program area goals and the strategies. Provide as many details and specific examples about program strengths and successes as allotted space allows.
  • Demonstrated Social Return on Investment (SROI), which should reflect your use of every dollar received and should also include information about how those dollars are leveraged. 
  • In-kind sources (such as volunteer time, materials and supplies, waived or donated site fees, contributions of partner agency staff time, and other resources) boost the value of your funder’s sponsorship and grant dollars,  and vastly increases your organization’s SROI. 
  • Provide financial statements that are reviewed and/or audited in addition to 990’s. It takes up to two years for services to get your 990’s from the IRS and post them, so make it easy to find current information.
  • Long- and short-term campaigns and other funding goals. Some sites have wish lists  and donors will seek you out once you post your needs, which can be a refreshing change of pace.
  • Testimonials, photos, videos, and other means of conveying your successes on a personal level.

This may seem like a lot of work to bolster your online reputation. However, the bulk of it should already be readily available to you if your organization has been in service for any length of time. If your organization is just starting up, compiling this information will assist you in having on hand the information needed for outreach and other communications, including your grant seeking efforts.

P.S. Make your supporting documents colorful, insightful, targeted, and reliable. This lets funders see your group more clearly as one that is proactive, responsible, and impactful in your field.

Most nonprofits struggle with getting grants and they’re tired of chasing money. It shouldn’t be this hard. So we created a process that helps them find funding, get grants, and connect to a network. This gives their organizations the money they need to make our communities strong. Join us for our upcoming workshop #GetTheGrantNM on July 17-19 learn more ins-and-outs of grant seeking from grant professionals and trainers with decades of experience working for New Mexico based organizations. Early bird pricing ends June 15!