Awards Season is Here! Help HubSpot Pick the Nonprofit of the Year

Brooke Freedman
Brooke Freedman

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nonprofit-of-the-yearAs reported by Network for Good, 30% of annual online giving will occur this month and 10% will occur the last three days of the year. In the spirit of the biggest and most exciting month for nonprofits, the HubSpot Nonprofit Program is excited to announce our first annual "Nonprofit of the Year" award nominations!

The organizations on this year's list are all small nonprofits nominated by HubSpotters, and we'd love your voting participation.

Voting will be open to over a million of our social followers until December 22, and the winning organization will be granted a free one-year subscription to our Nonprofit Advantage product, so that we can do the inbound marketing work for them!

There are thousands more NPOs that we'd put on this list if we could. We are so inspired by the amazing work these organizations all do each and every day.

Click to see the 2013 nominees and help us pick the winner!

As a part of Nonprofit of the Year nominee announcement, we've included our favorite highlights from Charity Navigator's Top 10 Best Practices of Savvy Donors, along with our own commentary on each recommendation:

1) Be proactive in your giving.

Charity Navigator says:

Smart givers generally don't give reactively in a knee-jerk fashion. They don't respond to the first organization that appeals for help. They take the time to identify which causes are most important to their families, and they are specific about the change they want to affect.

For example, they don't just support generic cancer charities, but instead have targeted goals for their giving, such as providing mammograms to at-risk women.

HubSpot's take:

Nonprofits that are making it easy for prospective donors to gather information through the natural course of research will win the hearts and support of today's giving community, especially the newest group of donors: Millennials.

2) Hang up the phone and eliminate the middleman.

Charity Navigator says:

Informed donors recognize that for-profit fundraisers, those often used in charitable telemarketing campaigns, keep a large portion (in some cases all) of each dollar they collect.

Wise donors never give out their personal information -- like credit card accounts and Social Security numbers -- over the phone. If they like what they hear in the pitch, they'll hang up, investigate the charity online, and send their contribution directly to the charity, thereby cutting out the middleman and ensuring 100% of their donation reaches the charity.

Taking it a step further, donors may want to reconsider supporting a charity that uses an inefficient telemarketing approach and instead identify a charity that does not use telemarketing to raise funds. 

HubSpot's take:

One of the least efficient ways to market is via phone. As donors, we all want to know that the lion's share of our donation dollars are going straight to the field. This is why it is so easy to feel confident about supporting organizations that practice inbound fundraising.

When a nonprofit attracts donors online (organically), that nonprofit is able to shrink its operating budget and spend the rest directly on their mission. 

3) Check the charity's commitment to accountability and transparency.

Charity Navigator says:

In 2011, Charity Navigator added an Accountability & Transparency dimension to its rating system. It tracks metrics such as whether the charity uses an objective process to determine their CEO’s salary, has an effective governance structure, and has a whistleblower policy.

This data is critical because charities that follow good governance and transparency practices are less likely to engage in unethical or irresponsible activities. So, the risk that such charities would misuse donations is lower than for charities that don't adopt such practices

HubSpot's take:

One of the great things about nonprofit websites and an inbound mentality is that there are no barriers. It's not about how much money the nonprofit spends disseminating reports to constituents, but about how accessible it for them to search and find. Transparency is easy and free.

What tips do you have to share? What do you look for in an organization that you choose to support? Tell us below, and be sure to vote for the Nonprofit of the Year!

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