January 16, 2014

5 mobile apps for humanitarian aid workers

Global-Emergency-OverviewThe Global Emergency Overview app.

Target audience: NGOs, nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, social enterprises, aid workers, journalists.

Caroline AvakianLast week, I wrote a post on 10 Nonprofit Productivity Apps to Try in 2014, and it prompted a great discussion with a colleague regarding which apps could actually help humanitarians working in the field.

In recent years, we’ve seen many exciting and innovative mobile apps hit the digital marketplace – apps that help connect farmers in India to markets, help medical workers gather health data and treat patients in Malawi, and help people fundraise on the go. But what about the aid workers who often risk their lives just doing their jobs? Any helpful apps to make their jobs a bit easier?

So as a follow-up to last week’s post, I’m sharing five mobile apps specifically created for humanitarian aid workers or … the humanitarian at heart. Continue reading

January 13, 2014

5 technologies that your nonprofit should be using

Image via Shutterstock

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, small businesses, educators, bloggers, Web publishers, general public.

Guest post by Joseph Stark

joseph-starkTechnology is always changing, and nonprofit organizations need to keep up with the latest tools for survival.

To get the word out about your cause and to create a more efficient environment for your staff or volunteers, you’ll want to check out these five technologies that your nonprofit can put into place for next to no cost.

Use social media strategically

1Social media needs to be part of any organization’s outreach to the public, and it’s such an important part of marketing and branding that it’s worth highlighting here. If your organization is like 89 percent of all nonprofit organizations, then you already have a Facebook page, but Twitter adoption is lower. If you’re among the 28 percent of nonprofits without a Twitter account, it’s worth expanding to different platforms to help reach a wider audience and to get the word out about your organization. Continue reading

January 8, 2014

7 marketing goals for every nonprofit communications plan

Image by Dirima courtesy of BigStockPhoto

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

John HaydonIf you’re like most nonprofit communicators, you have a list of specific goals for the coming year. No doubt they include growing your e-mail list, acquiring new donors and increasing engagement on your Facebook updates.

But whatever your goals are, make sure they cover these seven goals for the months ahead:

Write it down

1A plan is very difficult to follow and measure if it’s not written down. Most nonprofits don’t have a content strategy. And based on the limited work I’ve done, they also lack an online marketing strategy that’s written down. Continue reading

January 6, 2014

10 nonprofit productivity tools & apps to try in 2014


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: 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.


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: 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

A bike from Raphael Cycles.

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

Guest post by Marilyn Yu

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

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