Monday, December 24, 2007

Google Finance as a Portal for Nonprofits

Google Finance is now including vast amounts of information about nonprofits as well as for-profit companies. For example, do a search on the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the Google Finance main page and you will have links to recent blog posts about the museum, learn about its governance, view key stats and ratios (though Sean Stannard-Stockton of Tactical Philanthropy recommends that Google Finance ditch the ratios part and given recent discussions of the usefulness of percent of revenue spent on programs vs. overhead as a metric, I think I agree with him) and be invited to start (or join) a discussion about the museum.

This new portal could rival extant services such as GuideStar--particularly since GuideStar requires membership in order to gain access to certain kinds of information. Sean also sees this latest Google development as "a game changer."

If these Google pages resided at the top of the search results when people look up nonprofits, than these pages will become de facto home pages, but with blog posts, new stories and discussions that are both positive and negative.

So far, however, at least the larger nonprofits such as the Met (or Sean's example of the Red Cross) don't have to worry yet--their homepages still come up in regular Google searches long before their Google Finance pages.

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