January 6, 2014

10 nonprofit productivity tools & apps to try in 2014

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Stay lean & work smarter in the new year

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, journalists, general public.

Caroline AvakianMost of the nonprofit communicators I work with site lack of time and productivity as their number one job frustration. It’s true: Nonprofit professionals are often tapped out, working late hours just to keep up. Plus, many of my clients tell me they have no time to stay on top of the latest tools and apps that could help ease their work load.

So in an effort to help you enter 2014 armed with a set of tools to make your work life simpler, I’ve compiled a list of my 10 favorite productivity hacks that are free or come at minimal cost.

voxer

Voxer: Record your messages for playback later

1Voxer is a free walkie-talkie style phone app that lets you talk to anyone in the world using live text and voice. It also lets you send photos. Voxer really does works just like a walkie-talkie — only better, because it records all your messages for playback later. It’s especially great for international organizations that can use it to communicate with staff abroad in real time. I use this app for quick check-ins with clients working in East Africa and Asia. This is also a great tool for organizations running events throughout the year. Your event team can communicate with each other with this app versus renting pricier walkie-talkie kits for galas, fundraisers, etc.

HipChatIcon

HipChat: Private chat built for teams

2HipChat is a private chat service built for teams to share ideas and files in group chat rooms. HipChat allows for real-time project management and collaboration and lightens the load on you and your team’s email inbox. It also organizes your chats by project and saves your chats so you can review and pick up where you left off. No need to settle for AIM or to fire up a Google Hangout.

asana

Asana: Free project management

3Move over Basecamp, Asana has entered the project management playing field and created a free tool that does most of what the best project management tools do, plus it integrates nicely with Google Drive. Asana allows you to view all your projects at once with a three column view that includes features like work spaces, projects, tasks, tags, notes, comments and an inbox that organizes and updates information in real time. It’s free for teams of up to 15 users. Continue reading

December 19, 2013

DIY and locally made: Makers sparking economic change

bike-raphaelcycles
A bike from Raphael Cycles.

Target audience: Makers, nonprofits, cause organizations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, journalists, general public.

Guest post by Marilyn Yu
SHARED

marilyn_yuMaking things has become popular again, thanks to technology that has given us new tools to enable this.

New DIY websites and apps pop up every day. Etsy has over 1 million artisan sellers who generated nearly a billion dollars in revenue last year. New ways to access capital such as Quirky and Kickstarter are available. Events such as the Maker Faire provide opportunities for Makers to celebrate, showcase, and share ideas. Hundreds of thousands of people attend Maker Faires all over the world. Continue reading

December 18, 2013

5 ways to turn a cold call into a warm call

rapportive
Use Rapportive to track down someone’s email address.

Tips for fundraising and other outreach to supporters

JD LasicaAt a startup event in San Francisco last week, Matt Van Horn, VP of Business at Path, shared five tactics for how to reach people you have no relationship with.

After I heard his tips, I thought, anyone working for a nonprofit whose job it is to engage influencers or raise funds from donors could benefit from Van Horn’s advice. So here’s a short cheat sheet on how to reach out to potential partners, influencers or donors: Continue reading

December 16, 2013

5 simple steps to content marketing success

Content-Marketing
Image courtesy of BigStock Photo

This is the first of a two-part series on content marketing.

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, journalists, general public.

Guest post by Dennis Fischman

Dennis-FischmanYour nonprofit has a problem. You’re trying to get people to volunteer their time and donate their money – but you can’t even get them to pay attention.

You’re not alone. In the Internet age, nonprofits and businesses are all in the same boat. We’re not only competing with each other for people’s time and interest. We’re also competing with online games, viral videos, and cute cat photos.

But what if you didn’t have to compete? What if, instead of your bidding for your supporters’ attention, they came looking for you? Continue reading

December 9, 2013

Facebook’s news feed update: 3 things you need to know

Facebooks-Latest-Algorithm-Update-Why-You-Need-To-Keep-Calm

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, journalists, general public.

John HaydonFacebook’s news feed algorithm will soon put a damper on external links to memes and instead suggest related articles and resurface updates or high-quality content with new comments.

All of these changes are intended to drive more traffic to Facebook, highlight relevant content to the users, and deepen engagement on high-performing posts.

Let’s go over each one of these changes, and then talk about what it means to you. Continue reading

December 4, 2013

Nine simple words to boost your end-of-year appeals

9-Words-to-Boost-Year-End-Appeals
Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs.

John HaydonIContent Marketing for Nonprofits, nonprofit strategist Kivi Leroux Miller mentions a study by Jen Shang.

Shang researched philanthropic behavior and uncovered nine adjectives Americans use to define a good person:

  1. Kind
  2. Caring
  3. Compassionate
  4. Helpful
  5. Friendly
  6. Fair
  7. Hard-working
  8. Generous
  9. Honest

As you can imagine, the process of going from awareness about an issue to taking action — donating, volunteering, etc. – involves a complex psychological process.

And many times this process doesn’t move along as fast as we’d like. Continue reading