Two Carolinas-based religious organizations earned top ratings in the GreatNonprofits 2009 Pride Choice Awards. Across the country, local LGBT non-profits focusing on education, service, and advocacy received more positive ratings than large national nonprofits. Religious organizations, surprisingly, also made a strong showing in the list of winners.

Raleigh’s Gay Christian Network and Columbia’s Whosoever magazine were among the winners.
The contest, held during Gay and Lesbian Pride Month in June, asked people to submit reviews and ratings about non-profits serving the LGBT community. The contest was sponsored by GreatNonprofits, GuideStar and Queerty. The results provide surprising insights into the diversity of organizations that are considered effective and important by volunteers, donors and stakeholders of the gay and lesbian population.

Over the course of Pride Month, more than 32,000 people visited the GreatNonprofits website and 736 reviews were posted about more than 60 organizations.

“The Awards gave voice to many of our constituents that we don’t hear from,” Charles Robbins, executive director of The Trevor Project, said in a press release. The Project won best LGBT organization with an annual budget over $1 million. “It was incredibly meaningful for our staff to hear youth saying ‘I was saved because of the work of The Trevor Project.’ It’s monumental.”

While big organizations such as Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force were available for review, those groups didn’t see the kinds of results that their smaller counterparts did.

Gay Christian Network was among the top three non-profits. One other gay religious group made it into the top three ratings. The success of religious organizations in the 2009 Pride Choice Awards shows the large impact these groups have on the LGBTQ people they serve. It suggests that today’s gay and lesbian population wants a connection with religions that have spurned them in the past.

“There are so many great non-profits that don’t have an advertising budget and are not household names. Similar to what Yelp has done for small restaurants, we enable grassroots non-profits to gain recognition,” Perla Ni, CEO and founder of GreatNonprofits, said in a release. “Now there’s an even playing field through the genuine testimonials and reviews of people who have seen the work of a nonprofit first-hand. Donors and volunteers now have a source of information for which nonprofits are accountable and effective.”

— Compiled by Q-Notes staff from a GreatNonprofits news release