First Bi-directional API for Nonprofit Sector about to Launch

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First Bi-directional API for Nonprofit Sector about to Launch

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By Perla Ni

Craig Newmark funds API to build user-generated nonprofit reviews into software

As founder of craigslist and, I am always excited when I find and can fund technology for social good.  I wanted to tell you about my latest investment in—a Yelp for nonprofits. has a robust website with over 170,000 peer-to-peer reviews on over 16,000 is now building an API to embed these reviews into grants management and employee giving software and other programs so funders and grant makers can look holistically at their portfolios – incorporating the quantitative and qualitative data into decision making. To start, is partnering with Fluxx – a new grant management software with a lofty goal of bringing all donor management data into one place for better decision-making.

Monday, October 14, 2013 - 3:15pm


Collaboration, Bi-Directional Knowledge Sharing and Beneficiary Feedback

With more and more CRM tools (like Salesforce) in the market, talk of collaboration and data sharing is rampant.  Organizations are increasingly working with more data and more people—hence, the need for better tools.  This is especially true in the nonprofit sector where grant makers have many data points to manage and consider—from financial to program data and even beneficiary feedback.

While, as humans we are always well intentioned to gather various data points while formulating decisions, the harder it is to gather and analyze this data the less likely we are to incorporate it fully into our analysis. Sadly, this is often the case when it comes to beneficiary feedback in the nonprofit sector.  Well, that is about to change with this recent investment.

A New API; A Whole New World

Great Nonprofits – now the largest nonprofit review site of its kind – is building a write-a-review API. This new API will allow third party partners to integrate reviews into their systems in a seamless and automated fashion.  One of Great Nonprofits first software partners is Fluxx—an innovative grants management CRM system that allows foundation officers and executive staff to easily make decisions by housing all pertinent data in one place. “We’re trying to push all information to the program manager in one place. And once that data is available to the program manager, he or she can pivot on the view,” says Jason Ricci, CEO of Fluxx.  So whether you’re at a foundation and need to check the 501(c)3 status prior to writing a check or if you want to understand other charities that fellow foundations have donated to, you can do this all in one place.

The partnership between Fluxx and Great Nonprofits is one of the first of its kind to bring this bi-directional data together in one place.  And this is key, because in all the data mining, some times the stories of the beneficiaries served gets lost. But with over 170,000 reviews and growing, plus this new API functionality -- these stories will be made available to foundations and corporations all in one place.  And this benefits not only the foundation or corporation who is trying to analyze the impact of the investment beyond financial metrics, but also to the nonprofit who needs a little help in demonstrating their impact to the world. 

“What I love about Great Nonprofits,” says Ricci, “is that they’re collecting actual reviews from people in the field who know an organization’s work well—and those reviews are starting to tell stories about that organization’s work.  So from a grant maker’s perspective, they’re not just looking at an organization’s financials to make decisions on whether to fund them, but they’re looking at real reviews from real people.”

So What’s next?

This is the first of many ventures for Great Nonprofits to extend over 170,000 nonprofit reviews to other sectors.  Along with this, Great Nonprofits is looking to partner with employee engagement software providers, so employees of corporations can read and write reviews about the impact they are having on nonprofits, and the corporation can easily collect these stories of impact to marry with other information about their charitable giving programs. 

Toward this goal, GreatNonprofits is also in discussion with Benevity, (, a software social enterprise.  Benevity’s award winning employee giving and volunteering solution, Spark!, is used by some of the most notable companies in the world to engage employees around causes.  Benevity has committed to embed API into its platform to help inspire and inform giving decisions for its end users.  The soon to launch partnership with Benevity will help its clients engage their employees and add more information and interaction to their giving activities. 

While we wait…

As an investor, I’m personally excited for the next advancement in the nonprofit sector to bring reviews and crowd sourced information about beneficiary feedback directly to donors, foundations and nonprofits.  While we wait for this exciting launch, play your part in increasing beneficiary feedback and collaboration by writing a review at Great Nonprofits today?  And then, later this year, that information about your favorite nonprofit will be available in the Fluxxgrant management software, Benevity’s Spark! workplace giving solution software and others.

If you’re interested in learning more, contact Great Nonprofits CEO and founder, Perla Ni at

Keywords: Technology | API | Fluxx | Great Nonprofits | Nonprofits | Social Good | benevity | craigconnects | data | social justice | yelp