feedback Posts

Introducing a New Way of Hearing from Your Donors!

Introducing a New Way of Hearing from Your Donors!

Thanks to all the feedback we received from our GlobalGiving Project Leader survey, we have learned that you want more opportunities to get feedback directly from your donors! You told us this feedback would be valuable in understanding more about how donors react to your project reports, help you improve your current projects, and overall give a better sense of how donors feel about your projects.

GlobalGiving collects feedback from donors in a couple of ways. First, we collect feedback on their experience on the GlobalGiving website after they give a donation. This information helps us improve the donation experience and helps us to drive more resources to our nonprofit partners.

Second, we also collect feedback from your project reports which provides an opportunity for donors to share their thoughts on the work that you are doing. We used to do this by using a comment button at the end of project reports. We have recently made a change to this feature to make it more user friendly, and to increase response rates!

Thanks for Your Feedback!

Thanks for Your Feedback!

Here at GlobalGiving, we strive to Listen to, Act on and Learn from your feedback.  So we are very grateful for the 750+ responses we received for the Project Leader Quarterly Survey this May!  This survey has given us important insights into what you think of GlobalGiving and how we can better support the wonderful work that you do.

One of the questions we asked is what kind of improvements to the website would you like to see.  Thirty-three percent of you said creating project appeal templates to email donors outside of project reports is your top priority, while 20 percent of you would also like to be able to embed videos in project reports.  We hear you!  We will be working with our team to implement these features so you can better communicate with donors and show them the importance and impact of their support.

We also asked what training topics would be most beneficial for your organization.  Eighty-three percent selected “Reaching potential donors on GlobalGiving or on social media,” while over 50 percent of respondents would like trainings in managing donor relationships and communicating with existing donors.  It is clear that donor recruitment, management and retention are topics that you are interested in!  We will be sure to put together more trainings on donor relationships in the future.

Sarathi: Connecting local needs with local government

Sarathi: Connecting local needs with local government

Sarathi Development Organization is a recipient of our 2015 Feedback Fund. This is a summary of how they close the feedback loop between local people and local governments.

This organization gathers information about what local people need and facilitates its flow from village level to the government in Uttar Pradesh, India. Sarathi begins by mapping out shared community goals over 5 days.


Stronger Together: Growing the GlobalGiving Community

Stronger Together: Growing the GlobalGiving Community

You probably know that GlobalGiving is committed to listening to feedback from our nonprofit partners. Your feedback has helped us improve bonus days, guided our tech team on what fundraising tools to build, helped us design the GG Rewards program, and even influenced our website re-design. One thing that hasn’t changed is the way that nonprofits join GlobalGiving. Since 2008, new partners have had to succeed in an Open Challenge to become a permanent part of GlobalGiving’s community. This is about to change.

After every Open Challenge, we receive survey feedback from participants. Most participating organizations have a positive experience; they raise important funding for their program, improve their online fundraising abilities, and diversify their donor network. Nevertheless, we often receive feedback that the time restrictions created by the Open Challenge are too rigid to accommodate busy calendars. We also hear that some wonderful organizations aren’t able to qualify for permanent membership in the time allotted, even though they are doing great work in their community.

What our Feedback Fund applications tell us about the challenges in feedback loops

Here are some lessons drawn from GlobalGiving’s ongoing Feedback Fund, an experiment to improve the ways organizations listen to people. Last time I shared examples of feedback loops. This time the lessons are about how using data about feedback loops can help us make smarter funding decisions.

Feedback Labs (a consortium co-founded by GlobalGiving in 2013) provides a convenient self-diagnostic quiz that organizations can use to understand how well they are listening to the people they try to serve. It breaks the feedback process down into six steps:


Answering a few questions gives you an overall score. In my hypothetical example, I need to do more community dialogue.

We asked all Feedback Fund applicants to take this quiz and analyzed their existing feedback systems. It tells us what they do well and what they struggle with.

More effective organizations struggle the most with community buy-in

The chart below shows quiz scores for all applicants. Scoring at least a 100 (y-axis) means you’ve can listen effectively. If an organization has mastered the other five parts in a feedback loop (design, collect, analyze, dialogue, course correct), buy-in remains the hardest step.


At the opposite end of that chart, the red dots represent organizations that struggle with many stages of the feedback loop. They have no system to absorb feedback into their programs. Many of these organizations choose to start by “collecting feedback” first. Their applications were very focused on how GlobalGiving could help them collect data, sometimes ignoring the other five steps entirely.

However, we believe the first thing organizations ought to focus on, because it yields the greatest improvements, is better dialogue with some course correction based on feedback. Statistically, better dialogue correlated the most with higher scores. This is the hardest step, and it doesn’t require technology. It requires intentionality within the organization.

When we found ourselves in the unusual role of a Grantmaker choosing organizations,  we decided to give organizations at both ends of the spectrum funding to experiment with feedback loops. What we cared about most was whether they had really thought about how feedback could help them improve a specific program. Later, I ran this analysis of quiz scores against the organizations we chose to fund (in green) and those we chose not to fund (in red dotted line below):

funding vs feedback loop strengths in cycle

Guess what! The average feedback quiz scores for each part of the loop are pretty much the same between grantees and non-grantees, except in the case of dialogue and course correct. These steps are harder than the others, and differentiate great organizations from the rest, as I shared previously.

Even without the quantitative scores, our team could tell from the qualitative data (written applications) which organizations were more interested in using the fund to expand their community dialogue and course correct steps. Yay for qualitative data!

I believe an honest conversation with the people you aim to serve is far more valuable than pages of numbers in a spreadsheet. And it is much easier to quantify conversations with people than you think.