One of the key ways that most people under 30, and more and more people of all ages, get their information online is not from an expert, but from something better: users and peers. I suspect that anyone reading this blog has looked at a review of something: a movie, a camera, a cosmetic, before deciding whether or not to purchase.
In our house,we always go to www.rottentomatoes.com before making a choice about movies. There we can look at both critics' and users' reviews. We don't always agree with the site's assessments, but usually we get good information. Same with electronics, books, even over the counter medication.
In his book "The Wisdom of Crowds" which is on group decision making, James Surowiecki argues that randomly selected groups of people (who are not under duress) will nearly always make better decisions than a few experts. Great book, by the way.
This, to me is the beauty of reviews, particularly when the reviewing site then averages all of the reviews into a manageable number...a number of stars, a number of smiley faces, etc. And, the net makes it easy, to both post such reviews and to see them.
So, here's my question. Is there anywhere on your site where people can post their experiences with your organization...in other words review your nonprofit? Can volunteers discuss their volunteer experience? Can end users talk about how polite and welcoming your staff are? Can donors rave about the giving experience. If not, why not?
More and more people are coming to your website before they come to your door.
And people listen to peers. So let those peers speak.