Meet the Panelists of Giving Under The Influence: Perla Ni

Meet the Panelists of Giving Under The Influence: Perla Ni

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 11:50am


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On April 24th, America's Charities is hosting Giving Under The Influence, a symposium focused on key trends, solutions, and strategies shaping the future of employee engagement and workplace giving. In this series of posts, we’ll introduce you to the panelists who will lead the Giving Under The Influence Symposium discussion.

Meet Panelist: Perla Ni

Perla Ni is CEO and Founder of, the largest nonprofit review site (think Yelp for nonprofits). Ni has executive experience in corporate, academic and nonprofit sectors. She was the founder and former publisher of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the leading journal on nonprofit management and philanthropy. While at the Review, she also launched the successful web site and blog.

Prior to her work at SSIR, Ni co-founded Grassroots Enterprise, later acquired by global public relations firm, Edelman. A frequent speaker on nonprofits and philanthropy, Ni continues to blog at She has a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She has been named a "Top Game Changer" by the Huffington Post.

We recently caught up with Perla and asked her a couple questions, which she and other panelists will discuss in greater detail at this year's Giving Under The Influence Symposium:

Q: Why is the ‘Overhead Myth’ important to companies?  

A: Donors and investors want to know that their money is put to good use. But simply measuring overhead ratios does not give the full story.  Instead you need to understand the impact on the ground the nonprofit is making; and that you can get from a holistic 360 view – we at GreatNonprofits allow for this 360 feedback in the form of constituent reviews because often the person receiving the service is best able to relay impact.  Furthermore, Companies are trying to inspire their employees. Employees don't get inspired by overhead or low-overhead to give or volunteer.  

Q: How does your organization, GreatNonprofits, facilitate corporate philanthropic decision-making?

A: GreatNonprofits is partners with GuideStar. We share data so that constituents can have a 360 degree view of nonprofit performance. Currently GuideStar leverages GreatNonprofits’ bi-directional 'write a review' API so that their users can read reviews and feedback from clients served, donors, volunteers, and more. That information can be seen alongside other factors such as IRS data, financial data, information on transparency and more (Click here for a great article about 360 feedback).

We also provide actionable and vivid peer to peer reviews of nonprofits to corporations and foundations through software providers that integrate our content like Fluux, Foundant and Truist.   

Q: In what ways are companies realigning their corporate giving strategies to engage employees and have greater impact?

A: Both companies and charities want to ensure that people get involved, have a great experience, and want to tell their friends and colleagues about it. Companies are selecting, among other criteria, nonprofits that get good community reviews, to promote to their employees.  And they are also putting more power in the hands of employees to tell the company which nonprofits they think are having great community impact.   

On April 24, Perla Ni will share more insights regarding those questions and will join other panelists in examining the connection between corporate giving, employee engagement and investing in charitable performance and impact from the perspective of charities.  Additionally, America’s Charities will release its latest research - Snapshot 2014 - giving event attendees exclusive insights around the best ways for companies and their employees to engage with charities and have the most impact.

>>Register Now for Giving Under The Influence 2014 and learn more about the other panelists.