Huddle, Tungle.me, Dropbox & 7 other Web 2.0 solutions
Target audience: Nonprofits, cause and volunteer organizations, NGOs, businesses, brands, Web publishers, educators, project managers.
As nonprofits get more efficient and leaner in managing a 21st century workforce, they’re discovering that all kinds of Web 2.0 collaboration tools can help team members in multiple locations communicate smarter and faster with each other. The tools also can help you work closer with partner organizations and volunteers.
Here are five tools that we’ve encouraged our nonprofit clients to try out. Not all of them may be right for your needs, and not all are free. We suggest testing them out with small teams to see how they can help you become a more social and collaborative organization.
Huddle: Free workspaces
1Habitat for Humanity, UNICEF and World Vision are a few of the nonprofits using Huddle, an online collaboration workspace that’s free for nonprofits with budgets under $7 million. We used Huddle as the online workspace for New Media Lab, one of our nonprofit clients. Coolest features: Huddle’s customizable dashboard, making it easy to add widgets, and online whiteboards that foster effortless integration with LinkedIn, Ning and Facebook. Huddle won the Best B2B/Enterprise Start-up at the TechCrunch Europe Awards 2009. Follow Huddle on Twitter.
Tungle.me: Collaborative scheduling
2To be honest, we think Microsoft Office is so 1996. Need to figure out when everyone on the team — and your outside partner’s team — is available for a call or meeting? Doodle isn’t bad, but Tungle.me is the best of breed, offering the most intuitive way to schedule meetings and to see what openings work best for everyone. After I get five or six emails proposing a counter-time, I now say, tungle.me instead.
Picnik: Edit your photos online
3Picnik lets you edit all your photos online. Picnik is great for quick editing, cropping and enhancing of photos published to the Web. Unlike Photoshop, Picnik is free and browser-based, so you can edit photos quickly from anywhere.
DeskAway: Project management via mobile
4DeskAway is a Web-based project collaboration software that provides teams a central location to easily organize, manage, share and track projects. With its mobile component, you’ll know that your work is going on smoothly when you’re in the field or away from your desk. 30-day free trial with a 30 percent discount to nonprofit organizations on all pricing plans.
Pidgin: Connect across chat applications
5Connect instantly with staff, volunteers and the rest of your community regardless of which instant messaging application they use with either Pidgin (for PCs) or Adium (for Macs). Both are free, open source downloadable applications that allow you to connect with almost anyone running AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, Google Talk, MSN, IRC, Facebook and other chat networks.
Mindmeister: Brainstorming made easier
6Mindmeister is a cool online mind mapping and collaboration tool that will help with your group projects and presentations. The basic version, for three mind maps (OK, it’s a fancy term for diagrams), is free.
Dropbox: Transfer videos & photos
7Need to transfer video files or batches of photos? Email maxes out at about 15 megabytes, which is enough for only 10 high-quality photos or so. We do like YouSendIt, which lets you send up to 2 gigabytes of files to anyone with an email address. But our favorite file-sharing tool is Dropbox, which comes with 2GB of space that you can use for as long as you like. It works with desktop computers and mobile devices (Windows, Mac, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry). Enjoy life in the cloud!
MediaFunnel: Assign roles for your team
8MediaFunnel offers an online dashboard that lets you coordinate and manage your social media presence. It supports multiple users on one or more Twitter accounts or Facebook Pages. You can set up user roles: guest, contributor, publisher and administrator, making it ideal for campaigns or specialized programs. Free trial.
WiserEarth: Connecting social activists
9Ever since Ning started charging nonprofits, WiserEarth has become our favorite place for forming instant online communities of action, helping the global movement of people and organizations work toward social justice, indigenous rights and environmental stewardship.
Hootsuite: Share a social media dashboard
10Create a social media dashboard using Web- based Hootsuite, Seesmic or the desktop app Tweetdeck. Segment constituents into groups, manage multiple contributors, monitor mentions, spread messages, assign tasks, track results, cross-post to Facebook, WordPress, Foursquare and get your social media game on.
Do you have a favorite collaboration tool? Please tell us in the comments!
Image at top by Ernst Vikne
• Top 10 social media dashboard tools (Socialbrite)
• 12 social action hubs (PDF, Socialbrite flyer)JD Lasica works with nonprofits, social change organizations and businesses on social media strategies. See his profile, visit his business blog, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.